On the Third Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me
. . . supper?
Well, frankly, I’ll take that in a heartbeat! As long as I don’t have to shop for it, cook it, serve it, or clean up after it.
Chickens—French hens or otherwise—have been domesticated for centuries but until more recently, served many non-culinary purposes. Think of cock fighting, fortune telling, as symbol of fertility (hen) and virility (rooster).
As the legend goes, the relationship between human and poultry began in the fifth century BC in Greece, when
Athenian general Themistocles, on his way to confront the invading Persian forces, stopped to watch two cocks fighting and summoned his troops, saying: “Behold, these do not fight for their household gods, for the monuments of their ancestors, for glory, for liberty or the safety of their children, but only because one will not give way to the other.” (Smithsonian Magazine 2012)
Okay, that really doesn’t say much for the intelligence of cocks.
But anyway, it wasn’t until the 20th century that chickens became a major source of food. Before that, people kept a few chickens around for eggs and the occasional meal.
At the time The 12 Days of Christmas was written, hens would have been part of feasts—particularly when the hunt for game birds didn’t go so well—with three primary varieties of chickens in France.So in the spirit of France, consider fragrant lavender.
If you love intensely floral teas, brew this French lavender straight up.
For just a touch of floral flavor, add a bit of lavender to another tea blend.
Once brewed, enjoy the intoxicating lavender aroma. This herb yields a pale cup, shown here with lavender foliage.
Lavender available from TeaHaus.
See earlier posts:
Partridge in the pear tree
Two turtle doves
Lawler, A. and J. Adler. “How the chicken conquered the world,” Smithsonian Magazine, June 2012.
Nugent, C. “On the third day of Christmas,” Hub Pages, December 22, 2016.
Filed under: Musings Tagged: rooibos