these blackbirds are blue

Lagu tiga kupang
Saku penuh padi
Enam ekor burung
Masuk dalam kuali

Bila sudah masak
Burung nyanyi saja
Tentu sedap makan
Beri pada raja

Raja dalam rumah
Buat kira-kira
Suri dalam dapur
Makan roti gula
Dayang tepi kolam
Mahu jemur tepung
Datang burung hitam
Pagut batang hidung!

This was a song I grew up with as a kid. Amongst the very few Malay nursery rhymes I actually remember knowing, that is. It never quite made sense to me, largely due to the fact that I had no idea what “pagut” (pecked) meant, and so I took liberties with the song and sang it as “cabut” (pulled off), which concomitantly changed the meaning of the last two lines to “Down came a blackbird and pulled off her nose!”. Talk about morbid images at a very young age; it’s no wonder this was my least favourite nursery rhyme. And lo and behold, I only realised the actual lyrics upon googling for it today. *slaps forehead*

This afternoon while preparing to indulge in the latest epicurean escapism, the father and the sister (on two separate instances) peered over into the almost-there metal tin, and commented something with regard to blackbirds baking away in a pie. It baffled me to no end, but I kept mum until I was done filling up the mould, dismissing it as one of those family inside jokes which I wasn’t privy to, and will be duly informed by the mother in a matter of minutes.

After pursuing the matter and receiving a houseful of “you-don’t-know-the-nursery-rhyme?!”s, I realised that it’s the same nursery rhyme I grew up with, only this time in English. And since I’m an adult now, of course the song made more sense. Any guesses to what I’m talking about?

Sing a song of sixpence a pocket full of rye
Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened the birds began to sing,
Oh wasn’t that a dainty dish to set before the king?
The king was in his counting house counting out his money,
The queen was in the parlour eating bread and honey
The maid was in the garden hanging out the clothes,
When down came a blackbird and pecked off her nose!

Unfortunately for the father and the sis, there wasn’t any blackbird in this pie. Or any other moving animal, for that matter. Thanks to the can of blueberry pie filling the brother passed me the other evening, this was a hassle-free bake, since I only needed to make the pastry.

Blueberry Tart
(adapted from Lori Longbotham’s Luscious Berry Desserts

Pastry Dough: 
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and diced
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp ice water

1. Rub in butter into a bowl of flour, salt and sugar until it resembles breadcrumbs.
2. In a small bowl, beat egg and vanilla extract. Pour into the flour mixture. Knead until it forms a dough.
3. Add in iced water to firm up the dough, if it is too crumbly.
4. Press the dough onto an 11 inch fluted tart tin and refrigerate for about an hour.

1. Preheat the oven to 220C.
2. Remove the chilled pastry from the refrigerator, and pour the blueberry filling evenly into pastry.
3. Bake at 220C for about 10-15 mins, and then lower the temperature to 180C and continue baking for about 30-35mins.

3 thoughts on “these blackbirds are blue

  1. ovenhaven Post author

    Uhuhhhh… Those were my exact thoughts. Unfortunately, no ice-cream in the house. Oh wells, with or without ice-cream, they were still wiped out clean 🙂

  2. Pingback: Postres Ricos, Ricos « noemozica & her stuff

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