On the Fifth Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me.....

By GabbyPA Latest Reply 2011-12-16 16:27:41 -0600
Started 2011-12-16 08:37:49 -0600

… Five golden rings

The Five Golden Rings on The Fifth Day Also Refer to Birds

Given the changing customs and changing word meanings over the centuries it is not surprising that our interpretation of the song has also changed.
Just as the four collie birds in the fourth stanza of the song have morphed into the more understandable, but non-existent, four calling birds, in newer English speaking nations, the five golden rings in the fifth stanza have also changed.

While the fifth day’s gift remains five golden rings, the image in modern peoples minds and in most illustrations accompanying the lyrics is of five gold rings for one’s fingers. However, the five rings referred to five ring necked pheasants. Again, food was not as plentiful and as easily available as it is today so gifts of food were more common.


Golden Roast Pheasant

1 Orange
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/4 ts Paprika
3 Sprigs parsley
3 Slices bacon
1/2 c Golden raisins
1 Pheasant,2.5lb
1/2 ts Dried sage
3 Garlic cloves
4 tb Butter, room temp
1 c Dry white wine

Preheat oven 350 degrees F Squeeze juice of 1/2 the orange into cavity and over skin of bird. Rub bird inside and out with blend of next 3 items. Cut remaining orange in half and place in cavity with garlic and parsley. Spread butter over breast of bird and place, breast side up, in shallow pan. Place bacon over breast. Cover with foil and bake 45 min. Heat wine to boiling over high heat. Add raisins, remove from heat and let stand for 45 min. Remove foil and pour wine mixture over pheasant. Bake uncovered, basting frequently, until juice runs clear when a thigh is pierced (about 45min) Remove pheasant with bacon to platter. Spoon some raisin sauce over top and pour remainder into sauce boat. Serve immediately.

You may want to watch the raisins in here, but there are not too many. I could see this served with some roasted root veggeis and some rich pumpernickel bread with orange butter.

I have only seen one live pheasant in my life. I have never eaten one. How about you? Any hunters in the family that still can bag a beautiful bird like this one?

13 replies

granniesophie 2011-12-16 12:51:22 -0600 Report

Pheasant is very tasty, albeit very scrawny, so you must get alot! Used to hunt them in Montana when I lived there.
Funny story-one day we were driving along the back road to the AF Base and home, and there was a whole bunch of pheasants out alongside of the road. I wanted to just open the car window and reach out and grab a bunch of them by the throat and drag them into the car! Easier than hunting them-standing targets-no sighting involved, no flying-no big deal! Everybody in the car thought that was so funny-apparently you can't do that! Whyever not-same result, just easier way to get dinner, still have to clean them and defeather them-so whats the big deal?? Jail time!! :)

pixsidust 2011-12-16 11:04:54 -0600 Report

I went to Spain where Pheasant was a specialty. We ate at the top restaurants there. One was 800 years old by the remnants of a Roman aqua duct running through the city. It was the equivalent of being 10 stories tall and very magnificent. At its base was a famous restaurant where Ernest Hemingway loved to eat. They served baby pig which was fabulous and pheasant which did not taste good at all. We also had it in another city. The taste was kind of dirty.

Nothing tastes as good as the memories we attach to the food, flavors and scents of the season. Along with that are the faces of loved ones past and present…and all of you…

Young1s 2011-12-16 11:38:20 -0600 Report

Christy, was it because it fresh and you were not used to that? One of my husbands oldest friends started raising chickens about 5 years ago. The first time he cooked one for us, I didn't like it at all. It didn't taste anything like the birds we buy and cook from the supermarket. It's an acquired taste and I'm glad I don't have to get used to it. But I bet those who have been raised on farm fresh feel the same about the store bought.

jayabee52 2011-12-16 14:40:48 -0600 Report

for a boy raised on family killed farm fresh meat, or raw milk right out of the bulk tank 0r or raw honey just out of the honeycomb and chewing a big wad of the wax cappings, it does take a while to get used to the grocery store fare.

Sausage never tasted so good to me as when it was fried up mere moments after it was ground.

Young1s 2011-12-16 14:50:29 -0600 Report

James, that's exactly what I figured. I was really surprised that I didn't like the fresh. You would think that the lack of chemicals in the meat would make it more tasty to me but it wasn't. I'm all about eating as much fresh foods/ingredients as possible but that was a little too fresh for me. :)

Caroltoo 2011-12-16 15:20:48 -0600 Report

You have been eating chemicals for years, Patricia. You've probably gotten used to the flavor. Besides, critters that have to run around and find their own food are also more muscular (read tough). Even so, I go with chewy and chemical free cause of all my allergies.

jayabee52 2011-12-16 15:20:45 -0600 Report

I used to kid when I was eating out and they asked me how I like my steak cooked "oh just turn a steer loose in here and I rip a hunk off him when he goes by!" About as rare and fresh as one can get! LoL. There is also a big difference I am told between feedlot fed and grass fed beef. I have never knowingly had the two types side by side. It would be interesting, though,

Caroltoo 2011-12-16 15:23:13 -0600 Report

There is. We have a supply of grass fed beef from Maui that is sold here. I really like it and am willing to eat less so that I can buy it. It is more costly.

Old-n-Grey-n-Wiser 2011-12-16 15:39:02 -0600 Report

Years ago I was in charge of getting the hamburg for a camping association, I got it from the local slaughterhouse, one of the members remarked how tasty it was, my reply was that it was real fresh, it was still mooing the day before!

Old-n-Grey-n-Wiser 2011-12-16 16:27:41 -0600 Report

Slaughterhouse hamburg is made from the sweetest meet from a cow, the trimming from the boning process, usually 95% lean, with no grizzle.

Gemm 2011-12-16 10:44:19 -0600 Report

They are delicious. We used to have a pheasant farm about a mile or so from us when I grew up in rural nw PA on a farm. They would raise them until they were large enough to hunt/eat and breed, then let them loose to help repopulate that area with them. I haven't had one in many years but the thought is a good memory of going to the back field with my daddy when I was younger to hunt those, quails, squirrels and rabbits. Pheasants, as with many poultry, do taste similar to chickens but also have what many people call a 'wild' taste - it is simply the natural taste of an animal left to graze or feed on it's own rather than being fed a controlled diet in captivity.

Only the male pheasant has the ring and colorful plumage. The female, as with many birds has brown/black shading marking to match the foliage in the area they live. Both are good for eating but as with many hunting lores, the males are prized for their embellishments. :)

Caroltoo 2011-12-16 14:51:58 -0600 Report

I've seen some beef grown from cattle who feed in grasslands rather than feed lots, with a label stating a caution that the meat may be tougher (they do get exercise finding food) and have a stronger flavor. Personally, it took a little getting used to but I'd rather not have grain fed beef because of the Omega 6 overload in our diets.