Stuffed Avocado Does Not Scare Birds

Happy National Stuffing Month, Beautiful People (!

When you hear stuffed shirt, you get a mental image of a retrograde, an inflexible old-fashioned conservative, maybe an arrogant poseur with no substance. The latter is probably the closest to the truth, as the idiom was actually born as a literal description of a scarecrow, dressed in real person’s clothes and stuffed with whatever was on hand to create the shape: hay, paper, rags… In other words, no substance. It has done its job, however, scaring away not only crows, but also other potential enemies of the crops.


Scarecrows have existed for millennia but they had not always worn shirts, stuffed or otherwise. In Ancient Egypt, the fields were devastated not by crows but by quail. Inventive farmers would install wooden construction wrapped in nets. Stupid quail would get themselves tangled up in those nets and end up as a farmer’s dinner. Talking about killing two birds with one stone! No shirts, though, stuffed or otherwise.


The Greeks also made wooden scarecrows, but, being masters of sculpture, they carved a really ugly, flagrantly indecent-looking guy called Priapus, an offspring of the beautiful Aphrodite and a perpetually drunk Dionysus. It seems they were cognizant of the effect of alcohol on a fetus because Priapus was so ugly that even the crows flew away when they saw him. Somehow he morphed into a Norse deity Odin, who was just as ugly and quite nasty, and went right on slaying poor crows with a broadsword.


Japanese scarecrows, made to look like people, wearing round hats and sometimes raincoats, made threatening gestures to shoo the birds away. Occasionally, they even acquired weapons to fight the most persistent birds. Meanwhile, the Romans, as usual, borrowed ideas from the Greeks and brought the Greek wooden scarecrow concept to Europe.


German scarecrows, although still wooden, were dressed like witches and were believed not only to scare the birds away, but also to bring good harvest. And it’s the German immigrant farmers who brought the idea of a human-looking scarecrow to the United States, stuffed an old shirt with whatever – mostly straw – and put a final touch, red bandanna around his neck.


They called these guys “bootzamon” which eventually transformed into… boogeyman! So now you know that a boogeyman is actually a stuffed shirt with no substance to him, and you can stop scaring your kids (source for some historical references

There is plenty of substance to stuffed avocados, though, and plenty of goodness, too, but just like the “stuffed shirt” scarecrows, they could be stuffed with anything you have on hand. In my case, it’s tuna.

Stf Avc 1.jpg

Tuna in water, plus some crunchy corn kernels, a nice handful of fresh fragrant dill, mixed with tangy wasabi sauce, and seasoned with salt and pepper – it’s delicious on its own, but wait! We also want to add some finely ground corn meal, for substance!

Stf Avc 2.jpg

Here come two sweet and beautiful, ripe Haas avocados, waiting to be stuffed. We need to put tuna on the side and take care of these guys.

Stf Avc 3.jpg

Cut them in half, discard the pits, and carefully clean up every particle of brown that mars their beauty. Mix the tuna again because some liquid will seep to the bottom, divide the mix in four, and stuff your avocado halves.


Press the stuffing down gently and refrigerate until ready to serve. I usually serve it on a bed of artisan lettuce, garnished with sweet pepper confetti, but go with your imagination – it’ll be an instant hit on your table!
I simply cannot finish this post without giving you a few minutes of the most famous scarecrow in America, if not in the entire world:

2 5oz cans of tuna in water, drained
1/2 cup cooked corn kernels
1/2 cup finely ground corn meal
2 teaspoon wasabi sauce
1/2 cup or more chopped fresh dill
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Haas avocados, cut in half
Sweet pepper confetti to garnish

Open tuna cans, drain well, Add the rest of ingredients, except avocados. Mix thoroughly. Put aside..
Cut avocados in half, discard pits, carefully clean all brown spots.
Mix tuna again, divide into 4 equal parts. Stuff each avocado with tuna mix, gently press down. Smooth the tops. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
To serve, arrange on bed of greens, garnish with pepper confetti.


34 Comments Add yours

  1. This one is for trying, Dolly. I have all except wasabi sauce, but can do without it, I think. Thank you for sharing this and the story 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Irene, if you have hot pepper flakes, you can use those instead of wasabi, and tartar sauce or simply mayo to bind it. Good luck, and thank you for a kind comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great idea, to use tuna salad as stuffing. Love the addition of Wasabi paste in the salad. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear Ronit! It’s a great favorite at every gathering here.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the Japanese scarecrow!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, dear Dorothy! It’s the one that actually waves the sword.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This sounds delicious! It would be great for a light summer meal, and other than the wasabi sauce, I have everything on hand. I love avocado!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You can use tartar sauce or simple mayo instead of wasabi sauce to bind it, and hot pepper or chili flakes to give it some heat. Thank you for a kind comment, dear friend!


  5. Avocados are a favorite here, i’d never thought of stuffing them. What would a vegetarian/vegan do to stuff an avocado?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I stuff avocados with anything at hand, as long as it has some crunchy and/chewy texture, to contrast with creaminess of avocado and something spicy. Well, in Mew Orleans, you know all about spicy – who am I to tell you!
      In my recipe, you can use fake ground beef without changing anything else, dear Mimi.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. spearfruit says:

    Great recipe and interesting story! Thanks Dolly

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Gary!


  7. purpleslob says:

    Stuffed avocado does not scare birds- funny!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What do you think, you’re the only one with a license to be funny, my favorite purple person?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Joëlle says:

    Excellent, Dolly! Loved the history behind the scarecrow, the photos (that Japanese scarecrow is so elegant!), the Wizard of Oz video and the recipe 😋
    I have had the hardest time finding fans of plain tuna and water — seems there is always some kind of acid added 🙄. We love the tuna-avocado-corn combination, so thank you 🙏🏻 !

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear Joelle! I also like the Japanese scarecrow. Interesting that I buy plain tuna in water, without any additives, at Aldi’s. It’s a German store – do you have it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Joëlle says:

        Actually we do, but I was talking about here in the U.S. where we are for the next two months. We ended up finding plain tuna at Trader Joe’s, for a reasonable price. It still blows my mind how it’s the simplest foods that often cost the most!
        Oh, and I forgot to mention the modern version of a scarecrow in our French garden: hanging old CDs on the branches of the cherry tree! They reflect the sun and move in the wind. It works for a while, until even the dumbest of birdbrains figures out that they’re totally harmless 😄

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Ah, so you are here. Aldi is becoming quite popular in the US, with more stores opening everywhere. The first Trader Joe just opened here on South Beach, and I haven’t had a chance to investigate it yet.
        I love your modern scarecrow – so creative and fun!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Michelle says:

    This is so interesting! I’ve always loved scarecrows. I love the witch scarecrow the best here. And of course the most loved scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz! Now I want to watch that again. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Michelle! Isn’t the witch so expressive!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reblogging, Jonathan!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Great food for thought and the tummy are your posts!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are very kind!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Only proclaiming the truth about a fellow beloved blogger! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Awww… You’re a much beloved blogger yourself! (I am blushing all over the internet)

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Awww…it’s nice to hear so!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Once again, a delightful and informative post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Anna.

      Liked by 1 person

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