Four and Twenty Blackbirds

Four and Twenty Birds of Many Colors

Four and Twenty Birds of Many Colors

Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye.
Four and twenty blackbirds,
Baked in a pie.

Anne suggested that the above pictured birds might prefer remaining etched across the sky, instead of being baked into some pie. Recipes contemporary with this rhyme’s origins describe the making of such pies, so that the birds are left alive and then fly out when the pies are cut open. Even if baking doesn’t kill the birds, which is not supposed to happen, it has to be uncomfortable for them. Who would want to eat such a pie that had held twenty-four birds under duress for some period of time? Even the most flakey of crust must become somewhat sodden under such circumstances. Even if such pies were never meant to be edible, but rather were considered to be entertainments, what host would want to shower their guest with the foul droppings of over excited fowl?

Today and for some days now Anne has been toiling over a hot stove in preparation for our Thanksgiving supper. We met for a shopping date last night at the grocery store and purchased the bulk of our feast’s larder. She had today off and has tomorrow off too, so most of the preparation work should be done before Thursday. This will make a nice break from the past. Usually, our holiday cooking regimen involves marathon participation from the two of us. I’m getting off rather easily this year, because I still have to work and Anne has the time off. While she is still innovating this year, with some new to Thanksgiving dishes, she has not gone all revolutionary on us. We’ll still have plenty of the traditional dishes to serve.

Our dinner party will be smaller this year. It will be just Anne, Dave and I. Dan is staying in LA for this holiday. On the plus side, we shouldn’t be impacted by the current Storm-of-the-Century du jour. Boreas is named for the Greek god of the cold north wind and is the bringer of winter. It should pass us by, leaving us unscathed, but then go on and impact the Northeastern seaboard and snarl airline traffic nationwide. This oncoming storm and the very cold weather that preceded it all this week, herald a bitter winter. If that is not enough, the rings on the wooly bears and the Farmers Almanac both forecast the same. So, on the eve of this Thanksgiving, let’s be thankful for those friends and family members that we can gather and also thankful for our new furnace.

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