Way back in the depths of winter, I bought a bird feeder. I stocked it with nutrient-dense black sunflower seeds. I hung it up outside. I watched it. And watched it. And kept watching it.
And nothing ate those seeds. Not a single bird came to that feeder for months.
This is the coolest little feeder – clear plastic, with suction cups so I can sit at my dining room table and watch the birds while I eat. Well, I can now that they have finally discovered the feeder.
Of course, getting a picture of them was and still is an exercise in patience.
Patience, of course, not being one of the virtues that I have in abundance.
But I swear to you, those birds know when I have my camera next to me, and they refuse to sit still on the feeder together when I do. If my camera is next to me, turned off, or on the other side of the room, they will perch perfectly for me, happily nibbling the seeds.
As soon as I stealthily (like a cat….or, better yet, a ninja), I will reach for the camera and as soon as I do….POOF!
I can only get one at a time. But, I’ve not given up hope yet. There are still plenty of birding days left in the season and I eat every day, which means that I will be there, birds. Watching you.
That sounded unintentionally creepy, didn’t it?
Speaking of eating. Remember I mentioned that sauce/dip/dressing I made?
Yeah. That one.
I like to make my own sauces and dressings, partly because who knows what all goes in to the ones at the store, partly because of the whole gluten/dairy not-being-able-to-it thing, and partly because it is way cheaper.
But mostly, I do it because my sauces are just far superior to the crap from the store.
Crap is such a funny word, isn’t it? I use it daily. You should, too. That’s your homework for the day: Use the word crap in a sentence. In public. With a straight face. And then report back. You loved it, didn’t you?
I have a pretty simple formula for these sauces and dips. I’ve made them so often, that I can whip up a batch off the top of my head in minutes. (Thanks in no small part to my Vitamix.)
It goes like this: some kind of vegetable base (peas and cauliflower are current favorites) plus some kind of fat (tahini, avocado, nut butter, oil, etc.) and a spice or several. Then I puree until it is smooth and add salt to taste.
Sometimes, depending on what I intend to use it for, I’ll add vinegar or lemon juice, but usually I leave that out and will add it separately if I use the sauce/dip/whateveryouwanttocallit as a salad dressing.
Which is exactly what I did with this stuff. It was too thin to be a dip, and didn’t really have enough “heft” to be a sauce. So, I’ve been using a bit of this, along with some apple cider vinegar, as a salad dressing.
Caribbean Corn Dressing/Sauce/Dip
- 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
- 1/2 cup steamed yellow squash (optional, but it adds a little extra flavor and chills out the corn taste a bit)
- 1/4 cup cashew butter
- 1-2 T Caribbean Spice Blend (the one I used seems to be discontinued, but Mrs. Dash also makes a good one)
- salt, to taste
Blend everything until smooth. Store in a jar in the fridge and use often. On everything. Salads, meats, noodles, eggs, etc. etc….
You really can’t go wrong with this formula. I’ve perfected it over the years. You can go sweet or spicy, mexican or asian, thick or thin, fatty or not-so-fatty.
Do you make your own sauces or dressings? I used to be one of those dressing on the side girls, mostly because I didn’t like most sauces and I hated wilty, wet vegetables. Now, however? I’m a sauce hoarder. When I dip, I DIP. I don’t go in daintily. I don’t mess around.
Is there anything else that you make so often that you just have a “formula” for? Not really a recipe, but more of a guide?