Sunday, March 6, 2011

Claudia, Claudia, and Cookies

Just a note about the large funky-looking toy in the last post- Claudia has demolished the colored slats on it! Interestingly to note, she went immediately for the natural slats, tested several, made a few dents, but then tried the colored ones and just didn't look back! She has since tried the natural ones again a few times, but they are a different kind of wood and she just doesn't seem to get into them. I got the slats as a free gift during a sale from here; now to get them un-dyed! I can get that from the couple that makes them, but she is recovering from surgery so there is currently a 3-4 week wait. Worth it, after seeing Claudia go for this wood!

In another story about Claudia (hasn't she been busy this week?) she has once again shown that however "slow" she may be compared to my other birds and indeed other ekkies, she is still, as the saying goes "not stupid!" Few of us are, really, but that is another subject....

I regularly rotate the foraging toys Claudia has in her cage. Several of those foraging toys are these. This week, I put one of those toys in her cage; one that looks like this one:

(Just as a note, NEVER give this toy to smaller parrots that can fit their head in the track where the rings slide. They can hang themselves)

I know Claudia has not seen this toy in at least two and a half years. Still, when I hung it up, with the treat already in it, it took her under 8 seconds from "launch" to get the treat out. No messing around! She went straight from her perch, across the ceiling of her cage and, hanging upside down since I don't make my foraging toys easy to get to, she immediately grabbed the bottom ring, turned until it dropped, and then repeated with the top ring. She must have even remembered what position the handles are in when the notch is lined up so it will drop, since mine sticks (clean, just doesn't meet right or something) and you have to tug (or push if you are operating bat-like) it at that moment to get it to drop. She wasted no time, no mistakes, absolutely flawless, and all from memory! Now I can't say that competes with an elephant's memory yet, but ask me in another 50 years!

As my final story, I will answer the question I am sure you are all wondering, or if you aren't, you may start wondering now: what exactly was in that snack rack that Claudia wanted so badly? It was the parrots' new obsession, the thing they will currently defend to death from any number of creatures, including all the eagles, ospreys, hawks, owls, coyotes (you get the picture) outside. Seriously.

They are lovely pink mish-mash cookies!

My own invention, and I am ever so proud of them! I have never made anything so well and universally liked! I desperately wanted a pic of Linus, or at least Ava, eating these, to show that even they adore them, but they weren't co-operating. I did try for a while, really! No luck, so just take my word for it.

Unfortunately, I did not measure a thing, which is how I usually cook and even bake. I thought it would be like my usual "creations"- liked some, but not something you need to remember how to make ex-act-ly-as-it-was. So as soon as I realized what a gold mine I had hit upon, I sat down to try and remember what and how much I put in. Fortunately I have a pretty good picture memory, but since much of the stuff was added in little piles, not even each ingredient all together in one big pile, it was hard. Still, I think I am pretty close, and I will definitely be measuring next time, so I can work towards getting the exact measurements for perfection! And in case anyone is interested in trying for themselves, here is the recipe as I think it was!

Oh, and just to add the extra caramel sauce (or whatever your favorite topping is) these cookies smell absolutely beyond fantastic!! Seriously. Really. Good. They left the kitchen perfumed for the rest of the day, and now, after a few days in the fridge, they still smell amazing every time I open the container!

- I made this recipe to use up a couple different kinds of dried foods I had. They were dehydrated low-temperature, so essentially raw before cooking, at least.
- I tore my mango into pieces roughly 1/4' square, perhaps a bit bigger at times, and the sweet potato I crushed, so size varied.
- ALL ingredients are guesstimates, and your guess is as good as mine as to whether the actual amount was that, or a bit more or less.
- the rice flakes are similiar to oatmeal, but drier, but oatmeal would make a fine substitute
- The dough should be similar to oatmeal cookie dough, but barely sticky at all, and if anything, er on the drier side. Hopefully the last mixing step won't be needed in the future!

Pink Mish-Mash Cookies!
- 3/4 c chopped dried mango
- 1/2 c dried sweet potato
- slightly packed 1/2 c goji berries
- 2 cups pure no sugar cranberry juice

- 1/2 cup minced broccoli stem
- 1/2 c coconut
- a tablespoon at least dried ground ginger

-3/4 cup flour, half corn, half rice
- heaping c of rice flakes

- red palm oil from sustainable sources that do not endanger people, forests, or orangutans (I get mine form Tropical Traditions) OR other oil for coating pans

Mix together the mango, sweet potato, and goji berries. Bring the cranberry juice to a boil and pour over fruit (it should nearly cover it). Cover fruit and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

After fruit has reconstituted, add the broccoli, coconut, and ginger and mix. Add dried ingredients and mix well. Adjust dry or liquid as needed and mix again.

Coat pans very well with oil. Make dough into patties about 1/3" thick and 3" across, or any diameter you like as long as they are all the same. Bake until they are ever so slightly brown and look fairly dry, or drier anyway. For 3" cookies, this was aorund 12-15 minutes in my oven. Allow to cool slightly on pan before transferring to rack to cool completely.

Enjoy the wonderful, wonderful aroma in your kitchen!


DPS bird cages said...

Awesome treat recipe, thanks for sharing.

Quick question though: when you say "NEVER give this toy to smaller parrots that can fit their head in the track where the rings slide." Do you just mean "between the two rings" or do you mean fit their head into the center of the toy? Because my conures can get their heads far enough into the center of the snack rack to grab the treat, even if only one of the rings has dropped. It doesn't look dangerous or like they can get their head caught, but I want to make sure I understand.

Meg said...

I was actually referring to the space between the two "bars". I don't think there is particular danger in grabbing the treat out from the top, or more than with anything else.

As an example of one dangerous situation with the toy, smaller birds may stick their head in the open space between the two bars when the rings are on the top part, and accidentally drop a ring on their head. That can effectively hang them.

Hope that makes sense!

DPS bird cages said...

Ah, I see. The "bars" are the vertical pieces that hold the whole thing together. Hmm, I can see what you mean. If that ring dropped on the neck of a really small bird, that could cause injury, but the rings don't seem that heavy. Even though my conures could probably fit their head in that bottom space, I think they'd be more annoyed than hurt if one of the rings dropped down. But I'll be sure to watch them. Thanks for the tip.

Meg said...

I know of a Senegal that was nearly killed in this way- his owner found him unconscious. Fortunately he was checked in time. If they were on a perch, I don't think it is much of an issue, but he had slid off his.

DPS bird cages said...

Oh my goodness. How scary! Is the sennie ok?

Meg said...

He recovered just fine, thank goodness! It was a good thing she got home when she did.

Anonymous said...


HungryBird said...

Those cookies look great! I should make some for my birds!