Today has been a rough day. It started with a trip to the vet with my beautiful Budgie, Annie, to confirm what I already suspected. My Budgie boy has fatty liver disease. Annie’s liver cells are slowly, thank God, being replaced by fat cells which will eventually cause liver failure. There is no way to stop it or treatment to slow it down. All I can do is make sure to trim Annie’s beak when it over grows ( a symptom of fatty liver disease is an over grown beak. Healthy parrots never need their beaks trimmed), so he can continue to eat and make him as comfortable as possible when the end comes. Right now you couldn’t tell Annie is sick, he is eating and squabbling with his cage mates and doing what happy Budgies do. So I am going to keep on caring for him and loving him just like I always have.
It’s always hard for me to mentally deal with a sick animal. I always feel like it’s my fault they are sick. I could have done something to prevent their illness. In my head, I know that isn’t true but it takes longer to convince my heart that there is absolutely nothing I could have done to prevent Annie from getting fatty liver disease.
So after getting home from the vet I sat with Annie for awhile and gave him a special treat then I went to kitchen and started cooking and baking. I don’t know why but the kitchen is my happy place. When I am there nothing seems too overwhelming or out of reach. The kitchen is the only place I have total control. I made a batch of birdie bread for the birds, gerbils and rats and a wonderful dinner for me. The dinner included these wonderful roasted Brussels sprouts. I am going to include them is my Thanksgiving dinner. I didn’t have balsamic vinegar so I substituted apple cider vinegar. You could substitute any vinegar for it, except maybe, distilled white vinegar.
Balsamic Honey Brussels Sprouts
3/4 – 1 lb Brussels sprouts
1 1/2 TBS olive oil,
1/2 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 TBS balsamic vinegar
1 tsp honey
Preheat oven to 425°F. Trim off the outer, dry leaves, cut the bottom off and slice sprouts lengthwise. In a large bowl, toss Brussels sprouts with 1 tablespoon olive oil, kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to coat thoroughly. Transfer the Brussels sprouts to baking sheet and roast until tender and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Place Brussels sprouts back in bowl. Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey and toss to coat evenly. Taste and season with kosher salt if necessary and serve.