Manolo's Food Blog Manolo Loves the Food!

November 26, 2007

Slice and serve

Filed under: Holidays — Mr. Henry @ 10:03 am

Mr. Henry is not consumed by jealousy. He is happy when others pipe up with opinions about food, especially so when Mr. Henry concurs with these opinions.

While traveling during Thanksgiving holidays and unable to post, he read two excellent Manolosphere entries: Twistie on Christmas gifts and raincoaster on turducken, a fresh new Frankenstein monster for holidays.

Remember to partially thaw

Ayyyy! Mr. Henry recalls his very favorite recipe from the old Joy of Cooking, a recipe not included in the updated version (!). Found in the frozen food section near the back, it is an Eskimo recipe for stuffed walrus, one that often comes to mind during discussions of stuffings at Thanksgiving. Here he quotes from memory:

“Gut your walrus. In its cavity place one flock of small birds after having first removed one wing feather from each wing. Sew the cavity closed, cover the walrus in snow, and leave it outside to freeze for the winter.

Come spring, partially thaw, slice and serve.”

Please don’t try this at home.


  1. Oops, too late!

    Comment by raincoaster — November 26, 2007 @ 12:49 pm

  2. And exactly how many birds make up a flock?

    It will be a disaster if I don’t have the right amounts.

    Comment by Glinda — November 26, 2007 @ 7:43 pm

  3. Why, pray tell, remove only one feather from each wing? I mean, if we’re going for the benefits of cartilidge, we may as well go whole hog – or walrus, as the case may be.

    Comment by Sarah — November 26, 2007 @ 9:27 pm

  4. How many birds in a flock? Why only remove one feather? In the Arctic, these might be silly questions.

    Should he ever find himself faced with such practical cooking issues, Mr. Henry would surely elect to follow the recipe as written. He is not about to mukuluk around with genuine Eskimo cuisine.

    Comment by Mr. Henry — November 27, 2007 @ 8:30 am

  5. The Inuit have 29 words for “sushi.”

    Comment by raincoaster — November 27, 2007 @ 4:17 pm

  6. How many birds in a flock? I was thinking maybe a flock is 4 and 20, you know like “Sing A Song Of Sixpence”? Why only remove one feather? Well, this unbalances the wings so if the birds try to escape, the most they can manage to do is fly in circles.

    Hey, it might be true.

    Comment by gemdiva — December 3, 2007 @ 5:34 pm

  7. I love house-sitting; you get to read everyone else’s books.

    Including an old copy of The Joy of Cooking, which has this very recipe. I present it here for your future use:
    We are indebted to an Arctic explorer for the following Eskimo recipe for a frozen dinner: “Kill and gut a medium-sized walrus. Net several flocks of small migrating birds and remove one specific small feather from each wing. Store birds whole in interior of walrus. Sew up walrus and freeze. Two years or so later, find the cache – if you can – notify clan of a feast, partially thaw walrus. Slice and serve.”
    Simplicity itself.

    Comment by raincoaster — December 10, 2007 @ 11:03 pm

  8. raincoaster, you are an angel.

    Mr. Henry had forgotten to wait “two years or so” before serving. That must be the secret to tenderness.

    Comment by Mr. Henry — December 11, 2007 @ 5:31 am

  9. Yes, you wouldn’t want to eat underripe walrus!

    Comment by raincoaster — December 11, 2007 @ 5:54 pm

  10. Mr. Henry, I got you a Christmas present. On Christmas day I was at the house of friends, and it turned out that one of their friends, also present, had eaten this very dish, although it was made with only one flock of birds and a seal. He said it tasted almost exactly like blue cheese, and was very tender, almost buttery. But no, he is not eager to try it again.

    Comment by raincoaster — December 27, 2007 @ 4:55 am

  11. Ah ha! The answer to the salient question of how on earth the Eskimo could survive without the singular taste of cheese.

    This is one artisanal cheese that might not make it past U.S. Customs.

    Comment by Mr. Henry — January 7, 2008 @ 8:40 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress