|I’m not sure why but Black Bird Pie seems fitting for Easter time. Maybe it’s my mind making the connections between Jesus supposedly returning from the dead and emerging from that tomb, with the birds flying out of that pie. It was the last thing people expected to see, I’m sure. Some cursory searching online shows that the two have nothing to do with one another but I decided to mae the blackbird pie for Easter, regardless. Here’s the poem:
|Sing a song of sixpence
AKA blackbirds in a pie
|Sing a song of sixpence a pocket full of rye,
Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened the birds began to sing,
Oh wasn’t that a dainty dish to set before the king?
The king was in his counting house counting out his money,
The queen was in the parlour eating bread and honey
The maid was in the garden hanging out the clothes,
When down came a blackbird and pecked off her nose!
“During the Medieval times, there were occasions when the cook in the house of a wealthy knight did indeed put live birds (often pigeons, but I’m sure it could just as easily have been blackbirds) inside a huge pastry crust, on his own initiative. This was seen as a great joke and the cook would usually have a real pie waiting to bring in when the birds had been released.”
So here’s my cook, mashing potatoes in with ham and Starling meat, which was then spooned into phyllo dough cups and baked with cheddar cheese on top. I had two of my girlfriends take over after my competency in the kitchen came under serious question and it was decided that I should simply observe.
While the pies baked, some friends dropped by and joined me in dying eggs.
Later we trickled into the kitchen and tested the pies. While some of my friends loved them, others refused to try, and my husband and I both voted them as tasting too gamey. Next time I will marinate the Starling in some sweet wine at least a day in advance, instead of the rush job I did for this occasion, substituting tonic water and agave syrup for the wine I didn’t have around. All is not lost however; the cats practically bit my fingertips off trying to get some of the little morsels so at least the leftovers have a place to go.
This week I’ll be skinning out the rest of the black birds and studying them. I may have an order on deck for one or two, and I intend to use a few others in a hairpiece which I will hopefully finish in time for an event I’ve got to attend on Friday.