Sunday, 16 November 2008

Pink doves!

The feral flock of doves are fed at about 8.00 am and again in the afternoons, at this time of year, at 2.oo pm. I have been trying to reduce the number of the flock to manageable and affordable proportions, but despite cutting down the amount of grain given I still have about 80 doves and pigeons arriving to be fed!

Most days, just before dark, a little group of doves - from 1 to 10 - gather, hopefully, on the roof and I, unable to resist, have been feeding them a little extra supper. Initially, it was only a small group of 3 or 4 and as they started to wait regularly after the main flock had flown away, I wondered if they were always the same doves. I pondered how I could somehow mark them so I would know and decided to flick a small quantity of food colouring to stain their feathers while they ate. This worked, and the same doves - a big male and a female, plus one or two smaller doves who I took to be their young, were there every day. Now a few other doves have cottoned on to having high tea, but I won't feed them if there are more than 10. Mr. and Mrs. Pink Spots always wait no matter how long it takes for the others to give up and fly away.

Fennie, a blogger who commented on my last dove blog (Pigeons in War - see below this one) suggested (very frivolously, Fennie - lol) that perhaps my doves could be fed the same sort of food as flamingos and thus become pink! I searched Google images for a picture of a pink dove and was surprised to find that this is actually happening at Winwick Hall in Northamptonshire.
Find the beautiful pink doves under the section entitled 'Stables'. I'm tempted to try it in the summer, but where could I obtain krill from?

Maybe I will just satisfy myself with making some pink dove biscuits with my dove cutter (bought on Ebay) and this recipe, kindly sent to me by another blogger, Unpeuloufoque.

Oven 170/325/Gas mark 3

30z butter
1 egg
10 oz plain flour
2 oz golden syrup
4 oz soft brown sugar
Large shake of cinnamon or ginger

Sift flour and cinnamon into a bowl. Add butter and cut it up. Rub into flour with your finger tips. Break egg into a bowl then beat and add golden syrup. Mix until smooth . Make hollow in flour, pour in egg mixture mix until it makes a ball. Put in plastic bag in fridge for 30 minutes. Get it out of fridge. Sprinkle flour on a table and on your rolling pin - roll out to about ¼” thick. Cut out biscuits, put on lined baking tray, cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. Take out of oven and cool. Ice with 4 oz icing sugar mixed with about 1 tnsp of hot water. Spoon a little onto cool biscuits and spread with a wet knife.

For pink ones I'd have to use a little colouring, obviously.

I haven't tried this recipe yet, but apparently it is great for making the kind of cookies you thread a ribbon through can hang from the Christmas tree.


Fennie said...

Had to be first to comment on this, Faith, but you are on a hiding to nothing I fear with your flock of doves. Soo they will be turning up for breakfast as well! But do let us know how you get on with your pinking experiments.

Cookie recipe sounds great. Too good for the doves!

Edward said...

I was at school with someone whose uncle kept fan-tails, and he used to dye them all colours of the rainbow. At the time I thought this was mega-cool - I guess it would depend on what kind of dye he used.