Amazing Goose

No doubt about it, fall is here. The trees are changing and those not changing are dropping leaves.

Friday and Saturday I went to Duluth for the annual Episcopal Church in Minnesota Convention. This is my second one and I’m less intimidated by the confusing combination of political and Episcopalian terminology. For example, any motions, amendments, nominations, comments, arguments, suggestions, etc., from the floor are addressed entirely to the bishop and must begin, “Right Reverend Sir!” It was very orderly and decorous, typical Episcopalian behavior. There was a Eucharist Saturday morning with a good sermon in which Ms. Kim reminded the congregation that while the country was in an uproar and civil unrest rampant, it would do all sides good to remember that even the ones you hate and castigate are children of God and much beloved by Him.

I have begun a program of physical exercise designed to strengthen my leg muscles in anticipation of knee replacement surgery October 3. This is in addition to the water exercises I’ve been doing for years. I am surprised at how good it feels to push and lift and shove three mornings a week.

It will also help me prepare the big Michaelmas feast September 29. For the first time in years we have the use of the party room in our building and so can invite a crowd. “Who eats goose on the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels will not want for money for a year.”  It doesn’t make you rich, it just stops the string of fiscal emergencies that haunt so many of us. We’ve been doing it for thirty-odd years and we haven’t had a bankruptcy yet. We sing, “Amazing goose, how sweet the flesh . . .” and say a serious, militant prayer to St. Michael, and eat a big, potluck meal. I stuff my geese with whole cloves of garlic, chopped apple, green grapes, onion, and fresh parsley and roast them in a hot oven. The medieval recipe calls for galingale, and for the first time in a very long while, someone has found a source for it, so there will be an added gingery tang to the stuffing.

Michaelmas is a “quarter day,” one of four that divided the English year – still does, in some respects. They are Lady Day (March 25), Midsummer Day (June 24), Michaelmas (September 29), and Christmas Day (December 25). Wikipedia has an interesting essay on quarter and cross-quarter days.

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