A View from the Past -- "Plover Pie"
Snowy Plovers of the Pecho Coast
A story by Mrs. McAbee of the Spooner Ranch
as told b
y Docent Joyce Cory
Los Osos, CA

Docent Joyce Cory contributes this interesting story about Snowy Plovers in the early 1900's at the Spooner Ranch in  Montaņa  de Oro.  More "Living history" docent-related work by Joyce

Mrs. Thompson, being quite the authority on birds, was asked to write a short essay on the snowy plover, but alas she was overburdened with household tasks.  Having little time to spend on frivolous pursuits she asked for my help.  While she was preparing the noon meal for Mr. Spooner, the boys, and several hands, I quizzed her on the plover.  The following is what I gleaned from a conversation in the kitchen with Mrs. Thompson (bless her soul).

Snowy plovers are tiny birds that dash along the sand eating tiny things (she didn't know exactly what it was they were eating).  They are gray and white, have a black bill, and are hard to see when they are not moving.  During their breeding season they have sooty patches on their neck, forehead, and by the side of the eyes.

They are not smart as they nest on the beach in areas where Mr. Spooner and his boys like to gallop their horses.  In spite of the trials and tribulations these tiny birds face during their breeding season, they are quite abundant come fall.  Enough so that on occasion, Mrs. Thompson. is able to make her famous "Plover Pie." 

Gut and clean 12 plovers.
Crush the bones with a rolling pin. 
Simmer for 15-20 minutes. 
Place the plovers into a pie crust lined pan, add onion, potato, carrots, and some of the broth. 
Cover with pie crust, punch a few holes with a fork, bake until golden brown.

Now doesn't that sound delicious?  Mrs. Thompson said, "Plover Pie is a ladies dish and best served at a luncheon."  If anyone wants to know more about the snowy plover they will have to go out to the ranch and talk to Mrs. Thompson in person.

Mrs. McAbee

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