Saturday, December 17, 2011

Day 4: The Twelve Days of Christmas

Greetings!  I hope you have been enjoying each post about our ongoing Twelve Days of Christmas. And I hope you have been able to make some of the recipes. My husband has sure enjoyed eating each and every one as they've been made. I could tell you some really funny stories about some of them.
Day Four:   On the Fourth Day of Christmas My True Love brought to me:

Four Calling Birds
All these years we've been singing 'Calling Birds' when in reality its 'Colly' birds. And a 'Colly' bird is a European black bird. Colly apparently means black coming from the word 'coal + ie.'  Therefore a dark, black bird looked like black coal and was called a 'coalie' or Colly Bird. So in this song it is referring to four crows. Back in the medieval days crows were considered a delicacy.
To replicate the four 'Calling Birds' I decided to make them from bread  dough. And this is how they turned out.
Aren't these just adorable. And you know they taste just as good as they look!

 They really are quite easy to make. And they are just fun to eat. My granddaughter couldn't wait to get her hands on one. YUM! Here is how you make them. I hope this helps you to whip up a batch of these cute little savory birds for your dinners soon.
First we start with Texas size Frozen Rolls. However if you want to make your own roll dough that would be great too.

Remove the rolls from the package and put on a greased baking sheet. Follow the package directions for defrosting.

Here is a roll thawed but still COLD.

Roll the cold roll between your hands to make a long piece that is 9-10 inches long. Make the ends larger than the middle. The ends will form the head and tail. The middle will be the body.

Here I have twisted it and tied a knot. Notice how I left the tail long and at the other end you can see how its starting to shape into the head.

The bird is now formed with the head round and I have  pressed down the tail making it flat and rounded.


With a pair of scissors or sharp paring knife cut tail into 4 or 5 pieces as show above. Separate them.

You can see how it should look here.

Beat one egg well for eggwash.

With a pastry brush, brush egg wash well over the entire body and wings. Note: Do one at a time and then season it (see next two photos) as the egg wash dries fairly quickly and you need to have the pepper, seeds or herbs to stick to it before it dries.

I have ground some fresh black peppercorns to cover the body after I have given the bird an eggwash.

It became easier to just grind the fresh pepper right over the bird. NOTE: You could use poppy seeds or other herbs to make the little birds look black. Black Pepper might not be for everyones taste so use what suits your liking.

These are whole peppercorns that I pressed into the head to make the eyes. Do this BEFORE baking.

These are whole almonds that I sliced in half. It's the look I wanted for the beaks. However you can use slivered almonds too. I add these AFTER the birds are baked. Follow directions on package to bake your dough birds.

Isn't he adorable. And he tastes good too. If you want him to be a darker black then I would suggest you using poppy seeds if you like them.


 I put them on a white plated 'nest.' They turned out SO cute! We all loved them!!

 I put two of the calling birds on some boughs of greenery. Notice that their little beaks are not perfect. A little chip here and there, beaks and tails not perfect but can't you just feel their character and personality! I almost want to give them names. (smile)

And here they are all sitting on a branch with berries and pinecones. Just as happy as larks.Oops I mean Calling Birds. (smile)

Thankyou  for joining me for Day 4of the Twelve Days of Christmas. It’s always nice to have you visit. 

From my table to yours, 


I participate in the following. Please join me at:

Thriving on Thursdays

Potpourri Friday

Foodie Friday

Wow Us Wednesday

Tabletop Tuesday

Newbies Party

Seasonal Sundays

Metamorphosis Monday


sweet violets said...

NOW that is ADORABLE!!!!! Thanks for sharing....Merry Christmas to you!!!

Anonymous said...

These are just the cutest things I have ever seen!!!! Perri

Donna said...

Those are darling Nancy! I love them!!!

On Being Paula said...

Love this idea! First of all, I love that you start out with TEXAS rolls! haha

CJ Foss said...

I'm not sure I'm up to this, but I'm going to give them a try! Super cute, and I love all things birds. Thanks for sharing! Merry Christmas. ~CJ

Unknown said...

Those are adorable!!

Snap said...

I'm loving your 12 days of Christmas...the 4 calling birds are too cute!

Maryjane-The Beehive Cottage said...

Hello Nann!

Wonderful to met you and welcome to bogland! Looks like you have found your nitch and your blog is darling! You are quite the cook too. I love the "doves"! Looking forward to seeing many more posts from you!

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

I used to make birds (I mean turtle doves) just like yours for Easter. I think I got the recipe and directions from a child's book.

They sure are cute! Always fun stopping by to visit with you!
Kindly, Lorraine

Unknown said...

Totally Darling!

Your Bloggy Friend,
Aimee from

Sonia said...

How cute are those little Calling birds! You are so clever and creative! Love how they look on the tree! This is adorable! What a great idea to do the twelve days of Christmas...I'll be following from now on!

Merry Christmas!
Miss Bloomers

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Hello Nann, So very nice to meet you. Thanks you for stopping by my blog and leaving such sweet comments. I know we all go through so much to make things special. I love, Love the calling sweet~ I can see how creative you are...I will be checking out more of the Twelve Days of Christmas. I tried to follow you, however I am getting an error, try back later. I will keep trying until I am locked in as your follower. Merry Christmas..One hint! Turn off the word verification in Settings, then comments, scroll down and turn them off. It usually turns off people, when leaving comments.

Susan @ Oh My! Creative said...

I love these - so cute! Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Tablescapes By Diane said...

Hi lovely Texas lady.
I love the Four Calling Birds and so sweet looking.this would be great for a dinner party thanks so much sweet lady.

I would like to also Thanks you so much for your sweet comment on my Christmas Blue Tablescape. Right now I'am putting my new Tablescape together. I hope you have a wonderful week with your family.
XXOO Diane

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

How pretty and festive! Love the calling birds! I am enjoying following along and can't wait to see what's next! :-) Merry Christmas!...hugs...Debbie

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

I love your calling birds, Nann! You do such beautiful work. Merry Christmas!!

Delicious Dishes by Debbie said...

So cute and I learned so much from reading the history of this "4th" day.

Anonymous said...

These are so cute!!! I am going to have to make these for the kids!! Dee

Nann said...

EVERYONE...I just HAD to share this with you. It was on my facebook wall. After reading this please read the next answer.

It's official...Your creative cooking can not be duplicated! Questionable Calling Birds! My husband wanted to try to make these, I think they look like baby seals with burnt pecan beaks. Ha Ha...He had fun doing it, we'll try again and really pay attention to directions! Merry Christmas — Peggy Calhoun

Nann said...

To Peggy: (She had posted a photo of 3 bread calling birds)

Peggy you are SO funny. No my dear at least one of them (the upper left hand corner) DOES look like a 'calling bird' resting. Peggy I am sitting here at 3am Christmas Morning ROLLING off my chair laughing. You two are SO SO FUNNY. I love it absolutely LOVE it. Yes I do have to agree with you both that they do look like 2 beached seals with burnt beaks. And I treasure, TREASURE that he actually tried to make them.Oh my stars my sides hurt. Not bad for a first try. But next time add the beaks... a f t e r... they are baked. Then you will have 2 beached seals with unburnt beaks. (HUGE SMILE). Hey I love you girl. And I adore your husband too. Eat, enjoy and have a wonderful Christmas Day. You two are just too, too cute for words!!

Peggy Calhoun said...

Hello.....Is anybody in there?

Bliss said...

OK, I took your advice and read the 12 days, and hands down these birds are my favorite!


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