When I graduated high school, Mom and Dad gave me a really nice sewing machine, and Aunt Helen, Mom’s sister, gave me my first cookbook.
She Cooks By Ear was written by my Uncle Buddy’s cousin, Frances S. James, and Aunt Helen got her to autograph it for me.
There is great cooking advice and many great recipes between its covers, but, as you can see by all the stains, this is the family favorite. Most often it was made just as a chicken gumbo, but we did make the full recipe for company and special occasions. (Except for the oysters. Oysters are nasty.)
Today I made the full recipe (with the previously noted exception) as a celebration for the bright-and-shiny New Year 2021. We had our requisite black-eyed peas yesterday, but this tastes way better.
I decided I want to make friends with crows so they can bring me bright-and-shiny presents.
I told Steve I wanted some kind of feeding platform in front of my writing window, so I would be able to see the crows when they come to eat the peanuts that I read would lure them. He kindly obliged.
We did not get crows, but we did have blue jays visit.
What I didn’t consider was how interested Gracie would be in the peanuts. I thought she was just guarding the backyard from the squirrel invaders, until I saw her eating off the board when she thought I wasn’t looking.
Obviously, an alternate strategy was called for. So, I bought a hanging feeder.
Steve dismantled the low platform, found the shepherd’s hook, and we were good to go. Except the birds stopped visiting. Back to the drawing board.
After some engineering and hard work on Steve’s part, we now have a new feeding platform.
Within a couple of days, we started having visitors!
This titmouse pair are now regulars at the feeder. I put out about ten peanuts when I first sit down for Morning Pages, and they almost always show up before I’m done.
This morning was especially exciting, because the jays have finally returned! Not only that, but in addition to my titmouses and the jays, a woodpecker stopped by, and I saw a cardinal pair watching the goings-on from across the yard. I may have to start buying more peanuts.