Albatrosses are large sea birds which are found in the Southern Ocean and the Northern Pacific. They are not found in the Atlantic although fossils show that they once lived in that ocean. There are different species, but the largest of them all has a wing span of 12 ft. That is huge. They often follow ships as I guess they know various edibles are likely to be jettisoned from the galleys. The Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, was based on the killing of an albatross which was supposed to be unlucky. In fact it turns out that the albatross was often killed for food despite the fact that sailors are some of the most superstitious people in the world. They start breeding later than most birds and have complicated courting dances to entice a mate. They spend a lot of time in the air and banded birds have been tracked circumnavigating the globe in their extensive travels. Apparently the Maori use their wing bones to carve flutes. The albatross is a threatened species; once due to man stealing feathers and today because of introduced species in their nesting areas such as rats and feral cats which eat their eggs. A Laysan albatross, named "Wisdom" on Midway Island is recognized as the oldest wild bird in the world; she was first banded in 1956 by Chandler Robbins. A legend is that the soul of a sailor lost at sea ends up as an Albatross which inspired me to write a poem too.
With wings outstretched
You sail the skies
And, so they say
When a sailor dies
His soul departs
And enters you
To guard o’er ships.
If this be true
Then when you soar
On thermals fine
I pray you, guard
This ship of mine.
Jo WakeTo me, this sounds absolutely delicious. I love syllabubs and the addition of Amaretto has got to improve it no end.
- 2.8 fl oz (80 ml) amaretto liqueur
- 1 oz (25g) caster sugar
- ½ fl oz (15 ml) lemon juice
- 0.4 pt (225 ml) double cream
- 1 (8 oz (225g) ) packet amaretti morbidi (soft almond macaroons)
MethodPour the amaretto liqueur into a bowl with the sugar and lemon juice and whisk using light, rapid sweeping strokes to thicken or thoroughly combine ingredients. You can also use a whisk attachment of a food processor. Whisk in the double cream and whip this mixture until it has thickened but is still soft and billowy.
Crumble 2 little amaretti biscuits into each of the 4 glasses (each with a yield of about 180ml).
Divide the syllabub between the glasses on top of the crumbled biscuits.
Crumble another cookie or 2, and sprinkle this golden rubble over the top of all the glasses to give a fine sprinkle of crumbs on each. Serve the remaining amaretti alongside the syllabub.
Have a great day