Someone gave me something beautiful the other day. And I ate it.
A woodcock is a small game bird, with a wondrous long beak. Its plumage is designed more for camouflage than for showing off, but that beak is amazing. Long and slender, it is used to probe and search for earthworms, and the top half of it is flexible. You will never see them for sale so a gift from a hunter is a rare prize.
This is one of those birds that you can, apparently, eat insides and all. However the Orvis website suggests that you need to have three Martinis first – maybe to face up to the innards – and that you cook your bird for 25 minutes in a moderate oven. The Shooter said he wouldn’t eat the bits himself and I decided that neither would I. Roasted for twelve minutes in a hot oven it makes a meal for one person, with a taste that is rich and deep but not over gamey. Maybe the only time in my life I will get to taste it.