Dead Bird Jam

Posted in Humor on June 11th, 2010 by MadDog
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Friend and former visitor to our home, Alison Raynor has sent some items which I know that you will enjoy. Let me begin by saying that there are two Rosellas. One is a beautiful small parrot. The other is a rather unusual fruit. Both are native to Australia. When Ali was visiting us, she left us with a jar of her home-made Rosella Jam. The joke is, of course, that it’s not made from dead birds. It’s made from these things:

About which you shall hear more later.

Rosella Jam is not  made of this:

Which is a Rosella parrot (Platycercus elegans),  quite a different thing altogether, eh?

Ali sent an email to me which is so amusing that I think it deserves to be quoted directly here. I hope Ali agrees with me, or I am in big trouble.

I went to our local country Agricultural Show yesterday and, as always, it was a great  experience and a chance to catch up with people I have not seen since last years show. (people make their annual pilgrimage out of the hills for this one … ha ha)

There is the compulsory drinking  of beers at the “cattle bar” along with  throwing a few dollars at the local ambulance and rural fire brigade “chocolate wheels” in the hope of winning a “frozen chook” (funny how  no one ever calls it the chook wheel … ha ha?)

It is the place of huge pumpkins, giant corn cobs, funny looking chooks, heavy horses and loads of bull sh*t –  literally!

There are the  best steak sandwiches that you have ever tasted, big tractors, bigger hats, cowboy boots and belt buckles that you could  eat your Sunday lunch off.  It’s a  place to watch HUGE  men with big, sharp axes chopping their way down from ridiculously tall wooden poles … (GUTS STUFF!!! ) and then, of course, there are the chainsaw races for those brave or silly enough to take part … (we have a general saying about such boys here – “Smart like donkey …  Strong like tractor”)  You need to be brave just to watch this stuff, but we all love it just the same. (Work place health and safety would have a field day writing reports  whilst  dodging large jagged wood missiles, flying axe heads and air-born splitting wedges weighing about 2 kg’s each.) It’s great to live in the reality of the simple county life instead of the sterility of the city – I think?

Anyway enough of that stuff, I’ll get to the point.  In the Horticulture Pavilion (a hay shed) I found the prize winning “Rosellas” and thought that I would send you the picture.  They are funny looking critters indeed and very hard to peel.  You don’t see rosella jam on any commercial shelf for just that reason, they are incredibly labour intensive and are a country kitchen sort of deal and the jams are generally made by Mum or Granny and found at fetes etc.

Speaking of huge guys chopping wood, here is one doing just that:

Scary enough for you?

And, just in case someone says to you, “How would I know? I just came in on a load of pumpkins!” This is what he came in on:

Okay, okay, I don’t know the difference between a pumpkin and a squash.

However, some of these look suspiciously like pumpkins to me:

Rather large too.

Here is the jar of Rosella Jam which Ali left with us:

It is sweet, but not too sweet. It is tart, but not too tart. The flavour . . .  well, I simply can’t describe it. It is, however, not like anything I’ve ever tasted before. I have eaten only a little of it. I’m saving it carefully refrigerated until my sense of smell returns.

Here is a closer look at the clever label:

But wait. There’s more. Ali wrote a poem for us.

Rosella Jam

By Alison Raynor – 2010

The Rosella is a spiky, little crimson flower fruit
With a tarty type expression and a sour kick to boot
You must add a lot of sugar to the brew.

It is really quite a “bottler” and the darling of our jams
Never found in supermarkets, only in a grandma’s pan.
It’s a jam of love- that’s made by precious few.

A little bit like mulberries it’s a country backyard crop
And it’s only in the autumn, that the luscious fruit will drop,
You must hunt them down- if you should choose to stew.

Rosellas are related to the flowers of tropic beauty
Hibiscus might be pretty but our ugly friends are fruity
It’s in the eye of the beholder” -That is true.

It isn’t quite a flower, not a veggie or a bird,
There are no parrots in Rosella Jam…That’s simply quite absurd.
We make sure to sieve all feathers from the brew.

It’s a flavour to be savoured, a rare delicious taste,
You’ll never find it mass-produced, it’s never made in hast.
It’s a gift from nature’s garden- just for you.

– – – – – – – – – – – –

And, with my good wishes for you today, I shall say goodbye.

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