For the birds!

ICT_Yum Yums-edited
Chef Joey creates yummy bird treats, too!


Text and recipe by Chef Joey

It’s kind of ironic – we have a “Leap Year” and we skip winter!  As we leap into spring – not sure about the lion’s roar – but one thing is certain, the birds are chirping, the squirrels are running and the woodpeckers are making new homes much earlier than usual.

All this unusual weather is such a blessing to us New Englanders!  We were ready with our plows, snow blowers, shovels and double allowances for shoveling and “BOOM!!!” – no snow!  Our city’s first storm was a disaster, the rest were triple clean, ok all three of them, but the savings must be phenomenal! Free sports next year for families with kids?

On a serious note, what makes this time of year special is celebrations. We have Easter and Orthodox Easter five weeks later; spring break and most of all Green, not Saint Patrick’s Green, but real buds on trees, tulips and dandelions pushing through the dirt and withstanding last Monday’s storm. 

Easter is all about a religious celebration at the origin, but it can be also the most cathartic time with the “Short Ones.” You cannot deny coloring eggs makes you smile! And the ease and alacrity of age make it better each time! My sister is convincing her boys, soon to be 12 ad 14 years old, that she needs an Easter Bunny photo. 

So this column, for food, I choose to write about a different kind of yum yum.   Bird food to be exact. 

Joey’s backyard bird house. pic:R.T.

I recently started putting out half oranges on branches in my backyard. The Baltimore Orioles are migrating and, as they fly, they see orange and dive down and hang out with us for a few days! Their song is wonderful and their colors are great in our grey backdrop. The balance is Goldfinches, and a little flaxseed keeps them around, and the bright red Cardinal males enhance the “orangier” female. 

Nothing like sunflower seeds to keep your yard a buzz!  $20 can buy you a 50-pound bag of pure heaven. Buy bird seed in a garden store versus a chain or a supermarket – you get more and pay less, and support local. Shephard’s hooks are great for feeders and with a Vaseline rub are great squirrel deflectors.  Finches love flax, as do hummingbirds.
Your old bread scraps are a welcome gift from nature, as well as cooked plain rice.

So as you celebrate the rebirth of Christ, celebrate the rebirth of spring and contribute to our songsters! The station is always different, and the songs never get old!