Holiday Goose Giveaway! CONTEST NOW CLOSED

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.*

I had so much fun learning how to cook a goose this month, I decided to give one away to a reader to share the experience!

Read about my adventures in goose cookery (recipes included) here.

The prize goose

So, Sassafras Valley Farm is a small farm nestled in the Missouri countryside.

They were kind enough to send me the geese that I cooked—and to donate one for this giveaway! They’re really nice folks. I highly recommend ordering from them. If you’re not into a fresh goose, try a fully cooked, smoked bird instead. Seriously. The one we tried was a-ma-zing.

The winner of this giveaway will receive one uncooked, medium-sized frozen goose (7-8 lbs.), shipped directly to them from Sassafras Valley Farm. The bird comes complete with giblets, and will serve 4-5 for dinner. (Approximate retail value, $96.)

How to enter

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post, answering the following question:

“What’s your favorite holiday memory?”

That’s it. (No really, that’s it.)

Contest Rules

  • You must enter a valid e-mail address on the comment form. (That’s how we’ll contact you if you win.)
  • Only one entry per person.
  • Due to shipping constraints, this contest is only open to residents of the continental U.S. (sorry, Hawaii and Alaska!). We also can not ship to P.O. boxes.
  • Deadline for entries is Midnight (EST) on Saturday, December 8, 2012.
  • In order for your goose to arrive by Christmas, I must hear back from the winner no later than Tuesday, December 11. If you get back to me after that, you’ll still get your goose, it just may not arrive in time for Christmas.

One winner will be chosen by random number generator and notified by e-mail. The winner will receive one uncooked, frozen medium-sized goose (7-8 lbs.), shipped directly to them by Sassafras Valley Farm.

Your goose will arrive fully frozen, so if you don’t want to cook it right away, you can just stash it away in the freezer until you’re ready.

Timing is important with this one

Normally, I’m not a stickler for details, but they’re important on this one because of the upcoming holidays.

(Of course, you don’t have to cook your goose on Christmas Day. I just want to make sure that if you want to, you can.)

OK, so, this fine, feathered beast will take 2-3 full days to thaw in your fridge.

That means that Sassafras Valley Farm will need to ship it to you no later than December 17 in order for it to be table-ready for December 25th.* In order to guarantee shipping by that date, I’ll need to hear back from the winner no later than Tuesday, December 11.

Good luck!

*Obligatory fine print: Please note that Sassafras Valley and/or The Hungry Mouse are not responsible for shipping delays that are out of our control.

*Updated Mon 12/10/12*

And the winner is…

Thanks so much to all who entered! You guys are awesome and you have some really great memories! I’d love to give you all a goose, but sadly, there’s only one up for grabs—for now. (Mwahahahaha…)

We picked a winner using the handy random number generator at

Congrats to Jo from The Hungry Crafter is our winner! Here’s Jo’s favorite holiday memory:

Thanks again! Jo, I’ll be in touch by email to get your mailing address!

Happy cooking to you all!



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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie works as an advertising copywriter in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.


  1. My favorite holiday memory was in my senior year in High School. My family and I were at my paternal grandparents' house for the afternoon von Hammer clan gathering. Holiday treats and chat abounded. Suddenly, I look up and I see my Aunt C. staring at me from across the room with a most wicked grin. She turns to my Dad and shouts over the crowd with a laugh, "I wouldn't worry about the other ones, L., THIS is the one you gotta keep an eye on!" And she was right. She was always my favorite aunt.
  2. My sister and I would dance around Christmas eve (after eating ham with cloves and our grandmas marshmallow whipped fruit salad) to Lawrence Welk in our footie pajamas. Our grandmother would bring out all of her Christmas figurines, including a little model of a ferris wheel. The lights were so pretty with little smiling faces of tiny children, and would play "Fur Elise".. All of the decorations in tThe house played music, sang, or even danced. Being 6 years old was so magical at their home during Christmas time!
  3. My favorite Christmas memories all center on spending Christmas Eve at my grandparent's home in St. Louis (yes Missouri which makes me thrilled to hear about Sassafras being in Hermann!). My grandparents had eight children and all of them had children, so it would be quite a full house. We all gathered just after dark and would wait anxiously for the arrival of dinner, Santa, and present opening time. While the children were eating, Santa would inevitably sneak in and deliver presents under the tree. We'd all sit patiently and watch each other open presents one by one. We'd then eat dessert, dance, and sing carols until it was time for Midnight Mass. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, the family now holds the event a couple of weekends before Christmas, and I'm never able to make it to St. Louis to celebrate with them. I miss this tradition so very much, but I'm trying to install similar ones at my own home here in the Boston area.
  4. My best holiday memory was from my first Christmas with my girlfriend and her family. I'd been dating her since NYE previously so we were serious. December 26th, time to do the return and exchange dance. We were in Target, I don't recall what we were returning, but on the way out, I made a snide comment about Target having a wedding registry. And, like I do, I went on way out into the parking lot. My girl interrupted me and said, "So when is this wedding that you're registering for gonna happen?" I said to her, "I dunno... you wanna get married?" She said, "Yes, do you?" I said "Yes." She cried, and we went ring shopping. 8 years ago this December 26th. Worst proposal ever. Favorite holiday story.
  5. One of my favorite holiday memories is from a Christmas shortly after blue M&Ms were introduced. My mom was (and still is) utterly opposed to the concept of these deliciously-colored treats. So I bought a 1 lb bag and a regular candy-bar bag of M&Ms, invisibly slit open the regular bag, emptied it, and filled it with only blue M&Ms from the big bag. I was detail-oriented, too - when I emptied the bag, I counted the candy pieces so that I could refill it with the same number of blue ones. I glued the little slit closed, and put it in Mom's stocking. Come Christmas morn, Mom thought she had gotten a freak accident of an M&M serving and refused to eat them. I didn't let her suffer long before I gave her the 1 lb bag (with NO BLUES AT ALL, ok, I'm not a monster). Best Christmas prank ever.
  6. I've been wanting to try goose, since I love duck so much. I'll have to order one sometime (whether or not I win the drawing). My favorite Christmas memory was when I was very little and "Santa" came to our house and sat in our living room to visit me and my sister. I learned years later that it was one of my dad's work friends, but I still remember how special and important I felt to have Santa pay me a special visit.
  7. I remember when I was 4 or 5, and my older sister gave me a stuffed Elmo for Christmas. I hadn't asked for it, but it was exactly what I wanted, and my sister just knew. It was my favorite stuffed animal for years, and it still sits on my bed in my parents house (although it's a little worn out at this point).
  8. My favorite memory would be my parents making all 6 of us kids go to bed on Christmas Eve and around midnight we would here bells and my dad would yelling outside "Bye Santa! Merry Christmas". We would here a loud "HoHoHo" and all of us would go running downstairs to see if we could see Santa leaving. Years later, my father did that for all of our kids who would do the same thing we did as kids. Now, as my dad has passed, we are the ones saying bye and HoHoHoing out the front door!
  9. My daughter's first Christmas is my favorite holiday memory. It was a small gathering, just the three of us and my mother in-law. My little one spent the entire morning trying to eat the paper, as 8 month old babies will, until she got to a particularly squishy package. She immediately tried to use it as a pillow and it was a fight to get it away from her long enough to open it. Inside was a little yellow stuffed elephant. She grabbed it out of my hands, called it "ellow", and it has not left her side since. She's five years old now, calls it "Yellow", and still claims that Santa is magic because he can give people best friends.
  10. My fav holiday memory is so simple... getting my first holiday Barbie. She was SOOOO pretty that I refused to open the box. No one believed I could do it but 20+ years later she's still in her box and has alot of boxed friends as well.
  11. The first year my siblings and I realized that we could stuff my parents' stockings, too - and their surprise that Christmas morning! I hope I can surprise my mom with a goose this year :)
  12. My parents aren't from here so Christmas traditions and holidays are what we all learned on tv. One year when I was 6-8 I wanted a traditional Christmas just like on TV! No fish sauce or banana leaf dumplings this time. We went out, bought a turkey, honeybaked ham, stuffing, some cranberry sauce, fruit cake and premade eggnog. Well, 3/6 isn't such bad odds. Cranberry stuff was scary from the get-go. It jiggled from its can before slopping over. A complete horror show. Fruitcake really wasn't fruity nor was it a light and dense cake. Where was the frosting? And then the eggnog. My family and I are blessed to not be lactose intolerant but that eggnog made us nauseous. It was such a cultural disaster it was hilarious. ALuckily, we kept the tradition of eating turkey and honey baked ham with stuffing from thereon out.
  13. When I was just a wee tot, I got a brother for Christmas. Yep, on Christmas day. That one memory I will ALWAYS remember!
  14. My favorite holiday memory would be the first year that we elected to stay home for Christmas. There was no running around, no upset kids, just a relaxed fun day, with awesome food and happy kids playing with their toys.... wish we had thought of that sooner :)!
  15. My favorite Christmas Memory would have to be the year Aunt Rosalie came and taught us all how to make Velvet Hammers (which was basically ice cream with three kinds of brandy stirred into it). This was a terrific innovation, as our family had heretofore been rather temperate in our celebrations. Umm, that year, not so much !!
  16. My favorite memory is going to bed early on Christmas Eve, then waking up at 10 to get to midnight mass. There was something so magical about being up at that time of night. My dad would slip out without us knowing and when we'd get home, Santa had come. Good times.
  17. I'll never forget Christmas of 2008. After spending a year in the hospital, they finally let me out. They told me I WOULDN'T be able to have children, but that I WOULD be able to live. I've never been more grateful. Life has never been sweeter.
  18. oh man - my mom will never let me forget this - but I was such a finicky eater as a child that my Christmas Eve dinner was Spaghetti-Os. haha! She would cook fish for Christmas Eve dinner as a tradition (to this day, I still cringe) and I despised the smell of fish fry so much that I would barricade myself in my room, and stuff towels under the door to block the smell! So when meal time came around, I would pop down and defiantly eat Spaghetti-O's like the little brat that I was. :)
  19. My sister always insisted on putting Angel Hair on our Christmas Tree. I can remember going to bed every night itching. Annoying but still a great memory.
  20. My mom collects antique Christmas ornaments and I loved getting to put those on the tree each year and hear the history behind them all.
  21. My favorite Christmas memory was waking up one year to find a new, living ornament hanging in our tree. Sometime overnight our pet snake had gotten out and draped himself through the branches like tinsel. :-)
  22. My favorite holiday memory is being genuinely surprised as a child when waking up and finding a pile of presents with my name on them.
  23. My most treasured Christmas memory comes from two years ago. It was my son's first Christmas, so it was already a particularly special one, but when we heard there was going to be a chance of snow, we were very excited. Mind you, we live in Tennessee where it doesn't snow very often - let alone on Christmas. On Christmas Eve, I went to bed seriously doubting it would snow at all; I had never experienced a white Christmas living in the South. When we woke up on Christmas morning, the view out our window took my breath away. There were 6 inches of snow on the ground and it was still falling! I felt like a little kid again jumping up and down and clapping my hands. It might be difficult for someone who lives where it snows quite often to understand my delight. As a child I had always dreamed of living somewhere where there was snow. I would envision ice skating and sledding and endless snowball fights with the neighborhood kids. There was occasionally snow, but it was most often, just enough to cover the grass. This time though, it was a heavy, accumulating snow. Fortunately, it wasn't so heavy that my uncle and his children couldn't make it up the mountain to visit us. We spent just a short time opening presents before rushing upstairs to bundle up so we could play in the snow. We spent all of Christmas day sledding and having snowball fights until dark when we all retired to a hastily thrown together Christmas feast - no one wanted to spend time inside cooking when there was snow to play in. It was so magical and brought our family so much closer. I look back on all the wonderful Christmases I had as a child, but they pale in comparison to the Christmas when it snowed.
  24. My favorite Christmas memory would be playing games with my dad. He bought me my first chess set and I still have it after more than 30 years.
  25. We always got to open one gift on Christmas Eve, I always picked one of the smallest ones. I got fold-able binoculars one year. Every year we would ask my parents if we could open 1 gift on the Eve of Christmas Eve. We would all beg and beg, I don't think they ever let us.
  26. One Christmas, my Momma made the hallway look like Santa had left "snow" shoeprints! Starting from the skylight in our bathroom (we don't have a chimney, so clearly this was the next best mode of entry), Santa's steps were traceable right to our tree! To make this Christmas-magic, my Momma cut out a stencil of a shoeprint over which she sprinked baking soda ... over and over again through the house!
  27. I'm a very fortunate person as I have SOOOO many wonderful holiday memories! One that comes to mind is staying up baking for Christmas until after three in the morning with my daughter and son-in-law. We each had our own "station" on their kitchen island with mixers, bowls, etc.; ingredients in the middle; Christmas carols in the background and lots of laughs. We made edible gifts for just about everyone we knew. It was a delicious and fun-filled night. {smile} Thanks for a chance at the giveaway ~ I've never tried goose. Happy Holidays, Jessie!
  28. Simply looking back on those days when I was young, along with brothers and cousins, and all the Christmas's we spent together. Fast forward to when my own children were very young and I was able to make those memories for them. Best times of our lives!
  29. Every Christmas my father would bring home a gallon can of back olives and my brother and sisters would all sit on the steps bundled up and just eat those olives!
  30. I grew up with 3 other siblings - 1 brother and 2 sisters. I'm the oldest and one Christmas morning I woke up just around sunrise, barely enough natural light to see what was under the tree. I was 8 at the time and saw that Santa had given my wish for a Barbie camper to my middle sister! How could he have gotten that so wrong after I had specifically written it down on my Christmas wish list? I decided that since no one else was up I would switch over a present and who would know? :) I went back to bed patiently waiting for everyone to get up. Suffice to say my mom noticed the switch and gently said that Santa wanted my sister to have the Barbie camper...drat! I acquiesced. Christmas that year was still magical for me even if I didn't get the prized camper.
  31. My dad was the university organist and choirmaster at Cornell for nearly 30 years. Every year, he directed The Sage Chapel Christmas Concert on campus. My favorite memories, hands-down, are from when I was a little girl, dressed up in my dark-green velvet dress, and my black patent-leather shoes, and watching the 100+ choir members begin the concert by processing from front of the candle-lit chapel to the choir loft in the back, singing... their faces lit from the candles they held... it was magical.
  32. My favorite memory is of the one and only time I actually cooked a goose. Our daughters were still little and so were completely enchanted by the whole scene. We had gone out and cut down our tree and there were presents for everyone stacked under it. The incredible smell of the the goose cooking, with he higher notes of the side dishes, wafted throughout the house. Uncle Jack, Grandpa Morris and Grandmother Clara were there – the only time they actually all were together at our house before they passed. The kids were playing inside and outside, running happily with all the cousins and trying to guess what the presents were. Tundra, the cat, was sitting in her warm spot in the kitchen taking in the smells, sounds, and sights, in that oh-so Zen way she had. There was even a light sprinkling of snow falling. My favorite memory – Christmas as it almost never is, but always should be. This was to be the last chance for a complete Christmas. Next year Uncle Jack, Grandmother Clara, Tundra, and even one of the cousins were gonel But the memory of THAT christmas will linger forever.
  33. My favorite holiday memory is the year my granddaughter was born. Her birthday is 12/28 and her mom spent Christmas day in and out of the hospital.
  34. My favorite holiday memory is getting together with my family on Christmas Eve, watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and exchanging gifts.
  35. My fondest memory was my son's very first Xmas. He woke up came out to the living room, (it was wall to wall with presents) he sat down for a couple of minutes and got back up and went back to bed and he never said a word. Do you think he was sleep walking? There was a Big Foot Truck and a Big play gym and a puppy waiting for him. I would love to cook him a Goose for xmas dinner, that would be so awesome.
  36. My fondest Christmas memory is Christmas, 1969. I had been watching the TV commercials like every other kid, and my one wish was a Feely Meely Game. I was so thrilled when I found it under the tree! My little sister and I played that game for years.
  37. One of my favorite Christmas memories happened just last year. My husband and I decided to forgo the traditional dinner and spent the holiday in Los Angeles where we pretended to be celebs and hung out in Hollywood and Beverly Hills. For a small-town country girl, it was pretty fun and amazing.
  38. My first Christmas with my fiance. My extended family had all passed away when I was very young, so I was not use to having a large Christmas. Usually just small quite affairs with my parents and brother. Well the first year I was with my Robert was quite a change. To start he has five older sisters, and a few nieces and nephews, so right there the family gift exchange was quite loud and boisterous. Later that evening we went to one of his uncle's house. Where about 100 people packed into the house ranging in age from 96 to newborn. There was laughing, crying (mostly the little one), eating, game playing, and some small arguments over politics. I was not use to this much noise and commotion, but it was fun and the best part is not only does the family do it all again a week later on New Year's Day, but I get to go back year after year because the next Christmas my Robert asked me to marry him!
  39. My favorite Christmas memories were the ones where my family and my cousins went up to my grandparents house to celebrate. The food was always plentiful and amazing. Along with the typical Christmas food, my grandmother always cooked German goodies for my grandfather and Swedish and Norwegian fare0 for her. All of the cousins always put on a play, the same one every year, Dickins "A Christmas Carol." We had created sets, used using fans to blow "snow" (which my poor grandmother had to clean up), and probably bored our parents and grandparents to death......but we loved it!
  40. Every year we fill each others' stockings. Each of us is assigned one stocking. My Dad uses this as an opportunity to empty his junk drawer. The "gifts" he has given include a crinkled old London tube map, dry pen cartridges, and (my favorite) the cracked lens from a 1970s pair of ski goggles. It's the highlight of his year, and he always ends up laughing his head off. The recipient, of course, dreads the moment. And we all plot revenge, storing junk for years just in case we get to fill Dad's stocking some time.
  41. The first Thanksgiving we spent with my stepmom was great. Delicious homemade cooking for the first time in my life (I was 7!). The food was so amazing, and I'm so thankful for my stepmom teaching me how to cook by a recipe, but also with intuition and that some dishes are just made and you have to follow all of your senses to make a good dish. This first thanksgiving was just delicious. She and her kitten had moved in with our little family, saved us from "Hot Dog Surprise" (hotdogs, baked beans and whatever was in the freezer-- SURPRISE!). That year I learned that white meat on a roasted bird was actually not supposed to be dry as a desert and is actually really tasty when cooked right. And even the kitten thought so too! She was so tiny and agile, she hopped up on the counter while we were in the other room and climbed inside the turkey carcass, licking and eating from the inside. There were no turkey leftovers that year, but the laughter we shared as a new family was well worth it.
  42. One year when my sisters and I were quite young, my Father used an ice cream scoop to make "reindeer tracks" through the front yard. I remember how fun it was trying to trace their walk through our yard. I also remember my mother trying without much success to get us to come in and open our presents. Its a rare thing indeed that keeps children willingly away from Christmas presents!
  43. My favorite holiday memory is sitting around the Christmas tree with my siblings watching the Christmas lights twinkle. We'd eat copious amounts of candy canes and just sit there mesmerized. We also had a bird chirping and singing away in the tree. Well, I thought it was one of the birds decorating the tree. Years later I discovered the music actually came from a round silver ornament that was plugged in to the wall. Who knew?! :-)
  44. My favorite holiday memory was when I was 7 or 8 - I caught Santa leaving my gifts under the tree, she was dressed in my mom's pajamas and slippers. I didn't tell my mom that I caught her early on, but I did tell her the following year I was relieved that my gifts came from my mother and not some huge bearded jolly guy dressed in red. I think she appreciated that.
  45. I remember, one year I was really that kid that got a pony for Christmas. Our neighbors had a very young horse they were apparently getting rid of, and she was a deep chocolate brown color. I took to calling her Chocolate Kiss for a long time and I liked to go over and pet her. That year my present was a tin full of chocolate kisses, with a little note tucked inside that just said "You're now the proud owner of Miss Chocolate Kiss! " and I totally didn't get it! I sat there reading it over and over and looking at the kisses, until it clicked, and I nearly fainted and screamed at the same time.
  46. From a child's perspective, it was when I was 10. After all the presents had been Dad asked that my brother and I take the gift wrapping down to the basement to clean up our living our basement were new bikes for both of us...totally unsuspected...and given that we lived in Wisconsin at the time, the only place we could ride them were in the basement or until the next thaw...
  47. My favorite holiday memory is my first time having home made eggnog. I was young enough that it was magical, but old enough that I'll always remember it.
  48. The best Christmas ever was the year my older brother got a train and we all got the game, Monopoly, for sharing. We played and played with both. Must tell you there were seven children, two boys and five girls, so getting a "shared" gift was not unusual, but seldom did we get something as grand as this. The year was 1946 and the game had metal playing pieces. Brother still has the train AND the Monopoly game (taped together!), but nothing equals that first year of playing this wonderful game.
  49. My favorite Christmas memory is all of us gathering at my grandmother's every year for dinner and opening presents. I sure miss her and wish she was still here to celebrate Christmas with us again!
  50. My favorite christmas memory is of me and my little sister sneaking into my grandmas secret stash of chritmas cookies and getting first pick of all our favorites before any of the cousins could gooble them up!
  51. My favorite memory for Christmas is going to my grandparents up here in Vermont. We lived in Mass by the ocean and we didn't really get that much snow (Cape Cod) by Christmas time. My sister and I would watch the scenery change as we drove from Cape Cod with our parents up to Vermont. We'd go through Knotches and oooh and aaaaah at the frozen waterfalls and then we'd gasp at all the snow. We'd see the same tree twinkling in the window every year, in fact it's still up there stored in the attic even though my grandparents passed away a few years ago. My mom owns the house now and she held onto it :) We'd walk in at night and you could smell the food Grammy had been cooking and the sun porch would have pie after pie on the table. That room wasn't insulated so it was like a huge walk in cooler during the winter. Grammy had a table in there and she'd line it with food ready to be cooked. My sister and I would sneak out in the morning and open our stockings, we'd take turns each year on who woke up first LOL!
  52. Growing up from a family of 12 siblings when winter came, that meant little money and small Christmas's for our family. My father was construction worker, so rain was a big factor and less work for those months. One year our postman/friend of many years decided to bring his Christmas party to our home one evening. One Friday early evening, we all heard a big knock our door and when we answered the door, low and behold, it was our postman Rich dressed as Santa and of all his fellow employee's bringing us Christmas cheer! It was one of the best Christmas's ever. Somehow this wonderful human being knew, we didn't have a Christmas tree or presents for that matter, but had a warm heart and understanding of what hard times were, when there was a big family and no money for gifts. They brought us their post office Christmas tree and all their Christmas dinner and even brought us all 1 gift to slip under that tree. It was something wonderful, like, right out of a Christmas story. Yes, in deed I felt very special, very special that WISHES really do come true . . .
  53. My favorite memory was when I was 7 or 8 years old and determined to stay up all night waiting for Santa Clause. I was hiding in my closet and staring out the window when I saw Santa and his reindeer shoot in front of the moon. I was so convinced of what I saw I started screaming at the top of my lungs. My whole family woke up and was yelling for me because of course I was hiding in the closet and not in my bed. I could not understand when they rolled their eyes at me when I told them my revelation until I was older and understood the concept of Santa. I now carry on my story to my grandkids who I have convinced is gospel.
  54. Geez, would LOVE to try cooking a goose!!! My favorite holiday memories come from the mid 90s when for a few years my parents hosted a Christmas Eve open house where we had an open mic performance of sorts, where each member of the family would get up and sing a song or read a poem (or, in some of the stranger twists, get fully wrapped in Christmas lights, or use karate kicks to smash boards with the Grinch's face on them). It was always a great time with the extended family, excellent eggnog, and of course, a wide variety of cookies.
  55. One of my favorite holiday memories is buying my Christmas tree on Black Friday. I do it every year, it's a great highlight.
  56. My favorite memory is having almost a hundred people over for Christmas - all of them family. My family has since dispersed all over the globe and I miss them so much.