In the first chapter of “My Vermont Table: Recipes for All (Six) Seasons,” the latest book by pastry chef and cooking teacher Gesine Bullock-Prado, the author (who hails from the Washington D.C. and spent most of her 20s in sunny California) speaks plainly about the hard-won culinary delights springtime can offer eaters in northerly New England climes like Maine, New Hampshire and her adopted Green Mountain State.

“To be fair, all spring edibles are impatient jerks. Everything from rhubarb to asparagus, even my pet goose Mama, who only lays eggs for two weeks in the spring, they all play the ‘you snooze, you lose’ card, and if you don’t catch the goods at just the right time, you have to wait another year before you get a taste.”

She waxes on about “the rich umami depth of morels and the garlic punch of ramps” and serves up tempting recipes like Shaved Asparagus Toasts with Spring Pea Spread and Radishes and Rhubarb Meringue Tart. But I wanted to know more about that short season for goose eggs.

If a goose only lays for two weeks a year, couldn’t every egg be classified as golden?

When I posed that very joke of a question to Maine writer and homesteader Kirsten Lie-Nielson, she laughed, but didn’t agree with the assertion – nor the stingy two-week timeframe Mama laid for Bullock-Prado – as she reminisced about the flock of 22 geese she lived with at her place in Liberty for years until she lost them all to avian flu in 2022.

“When you have a whole gaggle, there is a period of time somewhere between February and June, that you get overwhelmed with goose eggs,” Lie-Neilson said.


The time is nigh, folks, to ask your farming and homesteading friends if they have a few goose eggs to spare.

Lemon, Asparagus and Goose Egg Pansoti. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

To score a few myself, I texted one farmer friend from whom I regularly buy chicken eggs. She texted another farmer friend. And I subsequently got a text back saying: “A little birdie told me you’re looking for some goose eggs …” The next day I traveled to Bowdoin and traded a half-pint of honey from my bees for four eggs laid by a goose called Big who I’m told loves snow and lets her keepers pet her, sometimes.

Local goose eggs are harder to find on the market than chicken eggs, or even duck eggs, said Lie-Neilson, author of “A Modern Homesteader’s Guide to Geese.” Goose eggs are a highly seasonal product but few chefs champion them as they do other springtime treasures like ramps, fiddleheads or morels. Ergo, most home cooks aren’t clamoring to buy them (which is too bad. Goose eggs make especially luscious baked goods, custards and pasta). The lack of demand means there’s no incentive for farmers to overcome the fact that geese eggs are notoriously difficult to collect: Geese are aggressive. They like to hide their nests. And they can be very broody – not broody like your teenager, but broody in that they sit on their eggs near constantly to protect their potential offspring.

A goose egg, left, dwarfs a (large) chicken egg. When cracked, the goose egg weighs 150-grams. It takes three (50-gram) chicken eggs to equal the same amount. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

According to Juanita Stone, who operates the Flock Ridge Hatchery in Woolwich, a goose will start laying eggs at about six months old, and while these ladies can produce 2-3 eggs per day, they typically lay no more than 30 in a year. The math works, then, that Bullock-Prado’s Mama is only busy laying for two weeks annually.

Flock Ridge Hatchery is selling more goose eggs this year than usual because the going price for gosslings is down. “It’s not worth it for us to hatch them out, so we’re selling the eggs so that they don’t go to waste,” Stone said. To purchase goose eggs – $8 for a half-dozen – call the hatchery, (207) – 409-1003, to arrange a time to pick them up.

A single goose egg is big and, thanks to its high yolk-to-white ratio, rich. It will scramble up to fill even the hungriest of eaters. But if you’re baking or making fresh pasta and need more careful measurements, think one smaller goose egg for every two chicken eggs or one larger goose egg for every three chicken eggs your recipe calls for. For precise measurements, crack your goose egg into a bowl and weigh it. Compare its weight to your average cracked 2-ounce (57 grams) large chicken egg and adjust accordingly.


Sealing the pansoti for goose egg pasta. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Lemon, Asparagus and Goose Egg Pansoti

Pansoti (sometimes spelled pansotti) are meatless, ravioli-style pasta typically eaten at Sunday lunch in the Italian Riviera region of Liguria. They can be round, triangular or triangles pinched in the center, which resemble birds. I made that last shape here to honor the goose who gave up her egg to be part of my family’s Easter Sunday lunch. I am working in grams because this pasta recipe is derived from an Italian one (Thomas McNaughton’s “flour + water” pasta cookbook), and Italians use the metric system. You can buy both “00” and semolina flours at Miccuci’s and Monte’s Fine Foods in Portland.

Makes about 48 pansoti, serving 6 as a main course or 8 to 12 as an appetizer

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 bunches scallions, trimmed and cut into 1/8 inch rings
6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 cup dry white wine
1 large bunch asparagus, tips removed and reserved, stalks cut into ½-inch pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Zest of 1 lemon

225g “00” flour
150g semolina flour
200g of goose eggs (1-2 depending on size)
1 tablespoon olive oil

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch slices
1 cup reserved asparagus tips
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving


To make the filling, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium low heat. Add the scallions and cook until soft, 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the white wine, raise heat to high and cook until the pan is almost dry. Add the asparagus stalks, salt, and just enough water to cover the asparagus. Cook until the asparagus is just tender but still bright green.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the solids to a blender, add 1-2 tablespoons of the cooking liquid and puree. Transfer the puree to a bowl, fold in Parmesan and lemon zest and refrigerate until cool.

To make the pasta dough, combine the flours and a pinch of salt in a bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix. Add the egg(s) and olive oil and process until the mixture looks like wet sand. Turn the dough out onto the counter and knead it until it’s smooth, 25-50 strokes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 30 minutes but not more than a day.

To assemble the pansoti, use a pasta machine to roll out sheets of pasta, stopping at the second to last thickness on the roller. Trim the sheets into 3- by 3-inch squares. Place a teaspoon of cool filling in the center of each square. Fold the dough over the filling to make a triangle. Then join the two outer ends of the triangle to make a shape that looks like large tortellini with wings. Place the formed pansoti on a tray sprinkled with semolina. NOTE: you can freeze the pansoti on these trays and then transfer them to an airtight container and hold them in the freezer for up to a month.

To cook the pansoti, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.

While the water comes to the boil, prepare the sauce by melting the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the butter begins to foam, add the reserved asparagus tips, salt and Aleppo pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Turn off heat and stir in lemon juice.

Drop the pansoti into the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer cooked pansoti to the pan of sauce. Toss well and serve immediately in warm bowls with the grated Parmesan cheese.

Local foods advocate Christine Burns Rudalevige is the editor of Edible Maine magazine and the author of “Green Plate Special,” both a column about eating sustainably in the Portland Press Herald and the name of her 2017 cookbook. She can be contacted at:

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