Yesterday, a lady who was in my line started telling me “hey, look at the bird. Look at the bird.” I thought she was a customer who had heard me tell others I had parrots and was kidding around with me. I looked where she was pointing and sure enough, there was a little sparrow sitting underneath the cart. It flew off so I yelled at one of my coworkers to watch were it went and make sure no one stepped on it or bothered it till I could get there. For some reason the first instinct is to run and get a broom and try to sweep it out. Then after that doesn’t work, there next step is to come and get me because I have parrots I must know how to deal with wild birds too.
In this case, I do but it’s mostly just common sense. A bird who feels threatened is going to fly up and stay high to get away. A bird who isn’t feeling threatened is going to stay as still as possible so as not to attracted a predators attention. When the bird goes still is when you can find a way to gently pick the bird up and take him outside. That’s what I did. I took off my vest and gently approached the bird, telling him I just wanted to help. As soon as I got close enough I gently dropped my vest over him and scooped him up and headed for the door. I am sure people thought I was nuts walking around talking to my cupped hands but I just wanted to reassure the little guy I meant him no harm and was taking him somewhere he would be safe. I put him down in the bushes. He looked at me then flew away. I felt like I had done a good thing.
I have been making a lot of spice blends to give as gifts lately. It’s a pain looking through about 350 recipes to find the recipes I need ( I found some of my recipes are not indexed. I am working on that.) so I thought I would gather them all in one place.
I would like to introduce you to the newest member of my flock, his name is Jonas. He is a little blueish grey parakeet. He came to live with me last Monday. It is always fun to get to know a new animal but it has been a long time since I got a new bird and an even longer time since I got such a young bird. I had forgotten how much work the little ones are.
Slowly, Jonas is revealing his personality to me. I have already learned Jonas is pretty fearless. When I took him out of the box he came home in, he immediately jumped on the big cage and introduced himself to everyone. Instead of needing a few days in a separate cage to get used to eveyone else, Jonas just climbed inside the big cage and took over a perch. Jonas is starting to let me pick him up and hold him without having to chase him around the cage. I should be able to start finger training him and training him to stay where I put him soon.
It has been brought to my attention that I didn’t link to my homemade taco seasoning recipe in my pressure cooker taco soup recipe. I went to link to it only to discover, I have never posted my taco seasoning recipe at all. I guess after almost 3 years of blogging and 300 recipes I am allowed to be a little forgetful. Ha. Ha.Ha. So here at last is my taco seasoning recipe.
Mix all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
To use: Brown 1/2 pound of ground meat until no longer pink. Drain the grease. Add 1 -2 TBS taco seasoning and 1/4 cup water. Cook 10 – 15 minutes until the meat is cooked through and the sauce thickened.
If you went to India and asked someone about finding some Madras curry powder no one would know what you were asking for. Madras curry powder doesn’t actually exist in India. It was created by the British in the 18th century to help them recreate the curries they had in India when they come back to England.
If you like your curries hot, this is the spice blend for you. If you like milder curries go easy on this spice blend. You have been warned.
English Style Madras Curry Powder
1 TBS coriander seed
2 tsp cumin seed
1/2 tsp whole cloves
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
5-7 dried red Thai chilies
1 tsp ground tumeric
Mix everything together except the ground turmeric, and grind in a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle. The texture should be similar to course ground black pepper. Add the tumeric and mix well. Store in an airtight container for 1 month.
I am not a stranger to making my own spice blends. However, this blend is the first time I have ever made a spice blend grinding whole spices. All I can say is WOW!!!!! IT SMELLS AMAZING!!!! I am sorry for yelling but I don’t have scratch and sniff posts……. yet. Seriously, I could wear this stuff as perfume. I am very excited to try this blend in my next recipe. Mr. Iyer suggests using this blend instead of store bought curry powder in any recipe with curry powder. I used a mortar and pestle to grind my spices but you can use a dedicated coffee grinder to do it too. The first recipe using this spice blend will be posted on Monday.