Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hormones, apples, and baking

Thomas and I returned home Sunday afternoon (after another trip to the apple orchard) to find a very wet Beeps. This guy loves his baths!

In the comments from a few days ago, Doodle Bird asked essentially if I thought hormonal female caiques were worse than hormonal male caiques. Unfortunately, I can't give a good answer. First, as always, I have to add that each bird is an individual, so even things that generally are true about a certain type of parrot may not be true for every specific example. Both of my caiques as males, so I don't even have any anecdotal thoughts. I know that Sonja has a female caique that was going through some hormonal issues last year.

In my house, I have three male birds (Beeps, Calypso, and Rocky) and three female birds (Max, Stella, and Daphne). Way too small of a sample to draw any conclusions; plus the males are all new world species whereas the females aren't. That being said, my males tend to get aggressive during hormonal times, whereas my females tend to get nesty, destroying toys like crazy, but retain their sweet personalities towards us.

Last Friday was another pickup of our fruit CSA. As usual, lots of apples and pears.We have an overabundance of apples in our house right now. I have ordered a food mill that should be arriving by the end of the week; I hope to make applesauce this weekend.

In the meantime, I decided to make another apple cobbler. This one was even more delicious than the last one! The crust was better mixed as I decided to follow the recipe and use a food processor instead of thinking I could dirty fewer dishes and mix by hand. I also greatly decreased the sugar (using only 1/4 c. instead of 1 c.), which allowed more of the apple taste to shine through.

We finished the last of it last night, so I'm going to try to leave work a little early tonight so I can make another one.**********************************************
I have recently begun participating in a forum with an Iron Chef component. A different food item is proposed (like winter squash) and members make dishes using that ingredient. This month was a bit different, with the challenge being to cook something from Cooking Light instead. I still haven't convinced myself that cooking is as much fun as baking, so I made these Lemon-Cheese Bars. I changed a few things from the recipe, but they also turned out well. Now, if only I can focus my attention on meals instead of desserts!
I have mentioned before that Max doesn't really like apples. Actually, that is an understatement. Ever since she was a wee chick, she refused to eat apples. As I was making the cobbler Sunday, she would not stop saying "want some!" as I peeled and cut the apples. I kept telling her she didn't really want some, but she was insistent. I gave her some to prove her wrong.

And then she shocked me by eating it. A still photo:(I love how Stella is keeping an eye on her)

And a video:

Calypso is still not back to normal after our trip; it's taking much longer this time than in the past. I suspect hormones are to blame. However, he made it very hard for me to leave for work this morning.

As I was saying goodbye to everyone and letting them know I had to go to work, he started wolf-whistling at me, making kissing sounds, and crouching down into his begging posture. I walked over and started scratching his head through the cage bars. He grabbed my finger with his foot and held hands with me for almost 5 minutes. He'd preen me occasionally, but it seems like he just really wanted to be in contact with me. He's done this before, but rarely.

Yeah, I might be leaving work early today.


Sammi said...

Your blog is a terrible thing to read right before lunchtime!
The apple video--I think the dramatic music in the background adds a bit of humor to it. =3

Meg said...

Oh, jealousy, it does wonders! Do you think if I made a carrot cobbler at least one of my guys would start eating a dread carrot?

Also, the cobbler looks delicious! I also like my fruit desserts with less sugar, so you can taste more of the real flavor. Plus, I don't feel quite so bad if a feathered someone swipes a bite!

Mary said...

Sammi -- I have been in such a Beethoven 5 mood lately. I think Thomas is about ready to hide my CD!

Meg -- good luck with the carrots. They can just be so stubborn! But then they'll shock you one day, perhaps.

I'm really trying to reduce the sugar in my diet. I try to be healthy, but do I ever love candy!

Best in Flock said...

"Want some!"... aw, how cute. Reminds me of the book I just finished, "Alex and Me" by Dr. Pepperberg. Greys are so smart I wonder if he ate the whole thing (despite hating it) just to be stubborn and have the last word.

Sugar Selections said...

Applesauce sounds good. I have a couple bags of apples that I'm going to use to make apple butter. I found a recipe for apple butter where it cooks all day in the crock pot, you puree the results, and then can. The main problem is that I can't find any canning jars.

DweezelJazz said...

Jazzy would be proud of Max! :) Only bananas rated higher than apple for her.

Sammi said...

Tell Thomas that he just doesn't appreciate good music. =P
(I personally like the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's performance of Beethoven's 5th. Classical music meets rock 'n' roll.)

Mary said...

Best In Flock -- I think she really enjoyed the apple. Of course, I've tried other types since then and she won't eat them. And the type she ate was an heirloom one from my apple CSA that I'll probably never have again!

I don't think she's as devious as Alex was. She'll often say "want some" for something and change her mind once it's offered :)

Sugar Selections -- As I put in today's entry, I want to try to make that, too. I found a few recipes online. Good luck with yours!

DweezelJazz -- she has since spurned apples, so it was a momentary thing. Bananas are high on Max's list, though.

Sammi -- we bought a CD that was rock-ized classical music. It was great! It's in Thomas's car. I'll have to reclaim it, now that you've put the idea in my head :)

Sonja said...

Hey there!

I've been out of touch for awhile, my computer blew up and I lost all of my contacts and bookmarks! I haven't written on my blog for awhile either, I got fascinated by Facebook.

Anyway, my caique Gizmo went through the same thing again this year...layed an egg, sat on it for about 2 weeks, LOUDLY SCREECHING the whole time. It almost drove me crazy, literally, I had to escape to a room in the opposite end of the house to keep my sanity.

She's OK now though. I have never had a male, but I'm not sure I would get another female. She's very sweet the rest of the year, so it's worth it, but while the screeching is taking place, it's hard to remember that!!!