Christmas Dinner

Brit (of The Dabbler) wrote to ask me if, as one of the world’s leading ornithologists, I would be tucking into a bird-packed Christmas dinner next week. Specifically, he wondered if I might be tempted by Grimod de La Reynière’s 1807 concoction, the rôti sans pareil. This is a bustard stuffed with a turkey stuffed with a goose stuffed with a pheasant stuffed with a chicken stuffed with a duck stuffed with a guinea fowl stuffed with a teal stuffed with a woodcock stuffed with a partridge stuffed with a plover stuffed with a lapwing stuffed with a quail stuffed with a thrush stuffed with a lark stuffed with an ortolan bunting stuffed with a garden warbler stuffed with an olive. The puckish gastronome did not actually recommend washing this down with a brimming tumbler of fresh warm starling’s blood, but that would be appropriate.

This year, however, in an act of right-on cultural outreach to our non-Christian Middle Eastern chums, I think I will go for whole stuffed camel – the recipe for which you can see here (scroll down to the end if you wish to avoid some blather about Dobson and Marigold Chew and Charles Montagu Doughty).

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