Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pi(e) No. 2

March 11 ...

One would not normally consider an ornithology book to be the source of an interesting recipe, but Bird Life of Heligoland, published in 1895 by ‘Herr G├Ąthes’ had an interesting recipe for Gull Pie, ‘Heligolandish fashion’. I don’t believe I have ever given you a recipe for gull before, and I have certainly never given you one from Heligoland. To be perfectly honest, I had to look it up. Heligoland (or Helgoland) is an island in the North Sea belonging to Germany.

This is the extract of the book, as given by The Scotsman newspaper.

“During November and December they [Kittiwake Gulls] are remarkably fat, and are then considered a delicacy: and although ‘a certain Greenland flavour’ clings to them, nevertheless, when I shot them myself, I used to relish them considerably when prepared in Heligolandish fashion. By this method, some coarse pearl barley is boiled, with water and some salt, over a moderate fire until it is half cookd, and then spread over the bottom of a stone-ware of brass saucepan; next to this comes a layer of gull, which is covered with a layer of barley, and so on, until the quantity of the layers corresponds with the number of individuals in the family. The whole is topped by a layer of dough sprinkled with raisins. This primitive pie is allowed to cook for three hours in a baking oven, and is served at the mid-day meal. In serving, the basin or saucepan is turned upside down on a dish, its contents, baked to a beautiful brown, and shining with fat, are thus dislodged in more or less perfect shape, and certainly present all the appearances of a very tempting dish.”

The writer of the review felt compelled to add “ To the above recipe we would desire to add – after ‘layers of gull’ after cooking only the breasts and meat without the bones or skins."

We could, of course, debate at some length as to whether or not this recipe represents a true pie - but then you wouldnt need to read the book, would you?

Tomorrow’s Story …

Pi(e) No. 3

Quotation for the Day …

I live on toasted lizards,
Prickly pears, and parrot gizzards,
And I’m really very fond of beetle-pie.

Charles Edward Carryl (1841–1920), U.S. poet

1 comment:

Lidian said...

Yes, I can say that this is a first for me too - my first gull recipe, and first Heligoland recipe. A double first, one might say!

I always like to learn at least one new thing per day, so I thank you very much. I can now spend the remains of the day (the leftovers?) - should I choose to - reading old People magazines! (Actually I won't, as I do not have any around).