The Ecphorizer

Poor Richard's Almanac XVI
R(ichard) Bradner Mead

Issue #13 (September 1982)

MacKenzie's 1851 Universal Recipes Book has a section on cookery which includes many unusual recipes for such things as sheep's tongues, which must be simmered for five hours, and pigeon pie, which I present herewith:

Pigeon Pie

Truss half a dozen fine large pigeons as for stewing, season them with pepper and salt, and fill them with veal stuffing or some parsley chopped very fine, and a little pepper, salt, and three ounces of butter mixed together; lay at the bottom of the dish a rump steak of about a pound weight, cut into pieces and trimmed neatly, seasoned and beat out with a chopper; on it lay the pigeons, the yolk of three eggs boiled hard, and a gill of broth or water; wet the edge of the dish, and cover it over with puff-paste, wash it over with yolk of egg, ad ornament it with leaves of paste, and the feet of the pigeons; bake it an hour and a half in a moderate heated oven: before it is sent to table make an aperture in the top, and pour in some good gravy quite hot.

I couldn't help wondering, as I first read this, if when the pie was opened, the birds would begin to sing. I also wonder if the feet were to be eaten, or were intended to be just decorative. During a recent visit to Fort Point I noticed that they had a copy of this Universal Receipts Book in a display case, the only other copy I have ever seen. 

Contributor Profile

Brad Mead

BRAD MEAD, whose chapters of "Poor Richard's Almanac" brightened many of our early issues, lives in a San Francisco Victorian house with a large collection of porcelain owls.




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The First Mensa Group

Issue #13 (September 1982)

In the Encyclopedia Brittanica, 13th edition, Mensa is the name of one of the semi-nomadic tribes of Eritrea, the other being called Marea.  These tribes claimed to be of Arab origin, tracing their descent from an uncle of the Prophet.  The speak a dialect of Tigrin (Abyssinian).  The tribes avenge an illegitimate birth by putting both parents and child to death.. 

Contributed by John Cumming

Contributor Profile

Brad Mead

BRAD MEAD, whose chapters of "Poor Richard's Almanac" brightened many of our early issues, lives in a San Francisco Victorian house with a large collection of porcelain owls.




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