Saturday, 3 August 2013

Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie

It is unusual to see a blackbird at a bird feeder. Blackbirds prefer a diet of worms dug up in the ground or snails that they bash relentlessly to 'loosen up' before extracting the dazed molluscs from their shells. I have observed a blackbird come to sleep every day in this buddleia outside my kitchen window. I also receive a visit from a blackbird- impossible to know if it is the same one- who stands and looks at me as if to say, "excuse me but the bird feeding arrangements are somewhat unsatisfactory. You see, I hate perching on that damn thing you call a bird feeder." The blackbird has a thick beak that is not best suited to extracting the suet balls from a feeder clearly designed for smaller birds.

I have eaten many blackbirds during happy years spent in France where my best friend, Madame Bue, would frequently stuff them with sultanas, drizzle with cognac and roast in the the oven. I was a bad guest mostly and would arrive late for lunch every Sunday when the blackbirds had waited a bit too long in the oven and were, ahem, let us say, singed. I was told off frequently for my tardiness. It is customary to eat the bones and all in one sitting. For the faint-hearted, I offer no apologies. Food is not entertainment but rather sustenance.

Photos copyright SvD.

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