Monday, December 19, 2005

How to Stuff a Lory During the Holidays

Fijian (Solitary) Lory, Phigys solitarius. Known as the Kula Bird by the locals.
(Click image to see a larger version in its own window).
Photograph by Ryan Photographic, who kindly granted permission for it to appear here.

Some of you, dear readers, might know that I have lived with lories for most of my life. Lories are small- to medium-sized parrots that feed on nectar and they are endemic to the islands of the South Pacific Ocean. As companion pets, they also are very curious and active and can cause a lot of trouble in a short period of time if not closely supervised. This recipe for how to prepare a holiday meal while in the company of a lory has been circulating "out there" for awhile, so I thought I'd rewrite and revise it and then share it with you here, just in time for the holidays. The lories pictured below are some of the many species that I bred, hand-fed and lived with at some point in my life.


Sweet Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes with Gravy
Green Beans
Cranberry Sauce
Hot rolls and Butter
Relish tray
Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream
Wine, both red and white, and lots of it
Hot Coffee


Get up early in the morning and have a cup of coffee. It's going to be a long day, so place your lory on a perch nearby to keep you company while you prepare the holiday meal.

Remove your lory from the kitchen counter and return him to his perch.

Prepare dressing, then remove your lory from the edge of the dressing bowl and return him to his perch.

Stuff the dressing into the turkey and place the turkey into the roasting pan. Remove your lory from the edge of the pan and return him to his perch. Have a glass of wine to steady your nerves.

Remove your lory's head from the turkey cavity and return him to his perch, and then restuff the turkey. Quickly place the turkey into the preheated oven to roast.

Prepare the relish tray, and remember to prepare twice as much as you need so there will be enough servings for your guests after your lory has eaten his fill. Remove your lory from the kitchen counter and return him to his perch. Have another glass of wine to steady your nerves (it is the holidays, afterall).

Prepare the cranberry sauce, discarding the berries that your lory threw to the floor.

Peel the potatoes, then remove your lory from the edge of potato bowl and return him to his perch. Whip potatoes.

Arrange the sweet potatoes in a pan and cover with them brown sugar and miniature marshmallows. Remove your lory from the edge of the pan and return him to his perch. [Note: caution should be used when carrying out this maneuver because lories are especially fond of sugary substances. They may viciously attack anyone who dares to separate them from such food items]. Replace missing marshmallows and hide the sweet potatoes in the oven. Have another glass of wine with your guests as they begin to arrive.

Brew another pot of coffee. While it is brewing, clean up the torn coffee filters. Pry the coffee bean from your lory's beak, then have a cup of coffee with your guests to counteract the effects of all that wine (oops!). Remove your lory from the kitchen counter and return him to his perch.

When serving the meal:

Place a stick of butter out on the counter to soften - think better of this idea and return it to the refrigerator.

Place the roasted turkey on a large platter and cover your lory's beak marks with strategically placed sprigs of parsley.

Put the mashed potatoes into a serving bowl and rewhip at last minute to conceal beak marks and claw prints.

Place the pan of sweet potatoes on the sideboard -- since you are out of marshmallows now, forget about "presentation" because there's no way to hide those marshmallow-free areas from your guests.

Put the warm rolls into a decorative basket, then remove your lory from the side of the basket and return him to his perch. Remove beaked rolls from basket and serve what's left.

Wipe down the kitchen counter to remove mashed potato claw tracks. Remove your lory from the kitchen counter, wipe the mashed potatoes from his feet and return him to his perch.

Serve dinner to your guests.

Cut the pumpkin pie into serving sized pieces. Wipe the whipped cream from your lory's beak and return him to his perch. Place large dollops of the remaining whipped cream onto each pie slice. Serve intact pie slices to your guests, reserving the beaked-out slices for the yourself.

Place your lory inside his cage and lock the door.

Have another glass of wine and sit down to a nice relaxing dinner with your guests - accompanied by shrill cries of "WANT DINNER!" or "FEED ME!" from the other room.

tags: , ,

Included in the

Christmas Eve Carnival of Recipes (71st edition).

Included in the first

Carnival of Christmas


© 2004, 2005, 2006 by GrrlScientist

7 Peer Reviews:

Blogger Miranda said...

That was very funny, GirlScientist! Almost makes me (almost) nostalgic for cooking a holiday feast with three pre-schooler aged sugar-fiends underfoot.

11:36 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...


Sorry, I'm tagging you with the Wierd Habits meme

6:16 AM  
Anonymous Dave Harmon said...

Very cute... Those lories are gorgeously colorful birds, but your photos give no sense of scale. How big are they? Also, how available are they commercially? Not that I'm about to get one (I already have a cat), but I can dream....

9:04 AM  
Blogger GrrlScientist said...

Miranda, suger-hyped kids are very close to what a lory is like.

Matt, do you mean to tell me that this little essay is not full of enough weird habits??

Dave, the bird at the top of the page is small .. not more than five inches long. the others pictured within the text of the essay are larger, approximately 12 inches from beak to tip of tail.


12:13 PM  
Blogger Zoe Brain said...

We have a number of (wild) rainbow lorrikeets that regularly get totally blotto on the nearby grape vines.
If you wish to destract a lorry, a piece of white bread sprinkled with sugar keeps them amused for hours. Well, minutes. Well, enough so they don't peck at the keyboard when commenting...

12:40 AM  
Blogger GrrlScientist said...

Zoe Brain; the wild lories help you write comments? or do you have a pet lory?

7:01 AM  
Anonymous Irene said...

Loved this story. I own a black cap lory and he talks very well. Any tips on screeching?He does this when he cant seem me inside the house from his cage. He spends a lot of time outside when it's good weather,but inside he tends to get a bit noisy.I spend a lot of time with him usually and talk to him and he has quite a vocabulary, but only talks when he feels like it and then you cant shut him up! I am assuming its a male as he always tries to bite my husband and hisses at him when he goes near the cage,but allows me to do whatever with him. love the little critter to bits

2:32 AM  

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