Sunday, December 12, 2004

Birdie Num-Nums

When the hostess genes were handed out to the children in my family, my sister got them all. Her Labor Day barbecues and New Year’s Eve bashes are legendary. She even catered her own wedding. Thirty minutes after saying “I do,” she was bossing me and my brother (her de facto minions) around, issuing orders about the proper way to circulate through the throngs of guests with the pee-wee creme puffs.

The most that can be expected of me is that I might manage to invite a couple of friends over to dinner half a dozen times a year. Tonight was one of those nights. I am not a gourmet cook. I do enjoy eating schmancy food prepared by professionals (or just about anyone more accomplished than myself), but whenever I see words like “ramekin” and “brunoise” in a recipe, a debilitating fatigue overcomes me. I just can’t bring myself to read any further. It is at that point that I fall back on standby recipes like Birdie Num-Nums.

Lest you think that Birdie Num-Nums is some sort of flavorless millet and sunflower-seed breakfast hash beloved of canaries and cockatiels, let me assure you that it is not. It is a recipe for humans given to me by none other than that most vaunted of hostesses--my sister. She and I share a fondness for the 1960s Peter Sellers movie The Party, in which Sellers plays a Bollywood actor set adrift at an exclusive Hollywood party. Sellers is persona non grata at this party and roams from room to cavernous room until he finds a pet bird and a canister of its food: Birdie Num-Nums. As can only happen in a Blake Edwards-Peter Sellers film, Sellers ends up inadvertently broadcasting the words “Birdie Num-Nums” in his Indian accent over and over again on the household intercom system. You’ll have to take my word for it that it’s hilarious.

So anyway, that sort of (but not really) explains how it is that my sister's recipe for macaroni and cheese with a phony German accent has been dubbed Birdie Num-Nums. I served it up tonight to our friends JD and KK. To their credit they laughed heartily as soon as I told them we were having Birdie Num-Nums, although they had no idea at that point what it might turn out to be. Both had second helpings even though Birdie Num-Nums is neither trendily low-carb, low-fat, vegetarian (certainly not vegan!), kosher, dairy-free, or wheat-free. We are omnivores, if not gourmands.

In case you’re wondering--Birdie Num-Nums consists of the following unapologetically Middle American ingredients: macaroni, kielbasa, red pepper, green pepper, mushrooms, caraway seeds, German mustard, milk, white flour, salt, pepper, and Swiss cheese (1 full pound!).

Low rent, high fat, and nummy!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...but whenever I see words like “ramekin” and “brunoise” in a recipe, a debilitating fatigue overcomes me."

I LOVED this! Really good description. I have this happen to me often, in many arenas. :P


11:48 AM  
Blogger Rozanne said...


Glad to know I'm not the only one!

4:24 PM  

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