Sunday, December 03, 2006

My inner chef

The other night I dreamed I was at my niece's wedding reception. It was late, and most of the guests had already left, but a few of us lingered to chat for a few more minutes.

Earlier, the line at the buffet table had been so long I didn't want to stand in it, but now there was nobody there, and I was hungry. I walked up to the table, got myself a plate, and checked out the food that was left.

One thing caught my eye: a tray full of bird-shaped pastries--pretty, golden-brown things, each about the size of an actual sparrow. Each one had a plump body, a perky tail, a pair of folded wings, and a pastry head complete with a pointed little beak. The birds were all lined up in neat rows in a steaming, stainless steel tray. I put just one on my plate and headed back to my table.

When I pierced the little bird with my fork, I was surprised to find that it's crispy brown body had been formed around a meatball. It was delicious! It wasn't a spaghetti-type meatball, more of a tightly packed ball of meat-and-rice dressing that tasted wonderful inside the buttery pastry.

A quick Google search for "pastry + bird" turned up lots of variations of chicken potpie recipes, but nothing like the meat-filled pastry birds of my dream. If any of you cooks out there need an impressive meat dish, see what you can do with this idea. And if it turns out to be something you'd want to make again, please post photos and a recipe. I'd kind of like to have some more myself.


  1. Love the pictures of your dogs! We have 2 german shepherds, one asleep at my feet right now!


  2. Thanks for stopping by, mrsnesbitt. German shepherds are wonderful dogs, and it's great weather to warm your feet under the belly of one.

  3. You know Velvet, there is a French dish with a name that reminds me of a bird - I believe it was something stuffed. My parents are in France now, but will have to remember to ask them when they get back in a couple of weeks.

  4. I don't think I've ever dreamed of food.
    It seems to me that a dream of eating and enjoying would be something to be expected. Your dream was extraordinary, though, with such an unusual delicacy - what a delicious experience.

  5. "In this episode: 30 years after his mysterious disappearance in the middle of the night, we finally learn what REALLY happened to Corky the parakeet."

  6. Sunflower, please do ask your parents. We're thinking the meat mixture would have to be rolled into bird shapes and pre-cooked, then wrapped in something like phyllo dough and baked. Mmmm-mmmm!

    Annie, I don't remember whether I've dreamed of food before or not, but it wouldn't surprise me. I sure spend plenty of time thinking about it when I'm awake.

    And to Bluff, my daughter, it had to be a heart attack that caused Corky to drop dead in his cage. We had a guest, remember? I would NEVER eat one of my children's pets in front of company. (We didn't have enough parakeets for everybody to have one.)

  7. Well, this sounds challenging. Have you thought about trying to reproduce this dish yourself??? Aint nothing like dreaming of a creation and actually creating it... sooo cool.
    Beef Wellington perhaps... or a Meatloaf Wellington. See... you can even create this dish's name... "Dream Bird Pies".... so cool.
    Have Fun

  8. What an unusual dream Velvet, I'm sure there is something very symbolic about dreaming of a *goodie* inside a pastry bird. I think I remember reading of an old English receipe where game birds were cooked inside a pastry case and in those days the cooks were often very elabrate in their presentation of dishes so it would stand to reason they'd imitate and of course sparrows and small songbirds were eaten too. Hmmm most intrigueing but I've googled too and can't find anything. Maybe Chinese?

  9. I was afraid you'd say it turned out to be a real bird inside the pastry and I was prepared to be grossed out.

    Interesting culinary idea, not sure I'd want to mess around experimenting though. Yesterday I was surfing cooking sites looking for a recipe for cheese straws (found it) and was salivating at appetizer recipes. Yum.

  10. MeMe, I'm afraid I've become a lazy cook. I may try to recreate this dish someday, but I was hoping that someone who actually enjoys being creative in the kitchen might be curious enough to give it a try.

    Sandy, your comment made me think of "four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie." It would have made sense for my pastry bird to contain fowl of some kind, but in my dream it was beef. Soooo good.

    Janet, I could live on appetizers. Kim found a recipe on the Net for making broccoli bites like Bennigan's. Don't know if you've ever had them, but they're wonderful.


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