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Archive for June, 2009

Tweet Retreat

BODO

Posted by Linda Bodo of Absolute Bodo
July 2009 Edmontonians

A cappella ensembles harmonize at daybreak just outside my bedroom window with unsolicited wake-up calls. By breakfast time, the aria is a full blown concerto as feathered migrants seeking temporary room and board congregate. My admission to this performance is relatively ‘cheep’. Feeders, suet, bird houses and a fresh water supply provide the musicians with well deserved compensation. One could say these winged whistlers got a sweet summer retreat for a song.  

To celebrate the 5th Anniversary of Lively Lifestyles, I decided to reward my feathered friends who have entertained and inspired me while I toiled over my columns. Since the majority of my projects involve wood, it was relatively easy to tie into the traditional fifth anniversary theme.
Water can be scarcer than food in some environments—especially in this unseasonably dry period—and birds spend a great deal of time searching for fresh supplies. Adding a water feature to your backyard increases bird traffic and attracts species that don’t normally visit feeders.
The ideal birdbath should contain no more than three inches of water at its deepest point. A shallow-edged vessel will ensure easy access and an ample lip guarantees a comfortable perch for preening and drying off. Running or dripping water will instantly bring the crowds (they love the sound) and replenish any evaporated or splashed water. You can purchase commercial bird baths outfitted with a drip feature or hose attachment that create a fine mist, or you can opt to create your own with a garden hose outfitted with a valve or tie into an existing nearby drip system. Fill the basin often and clean weekly with a blast of water from your hose and forgo algae-controlling chemicals which can be harmful. Place the bath away from feeders where seed hulls or droppings can pollute the water.
Position the water feature where you and the birds can enjoy it, preferably in light shade rather than full sun or dense shadow. Offer security from predators by placing your water feature under a tree where branches offer a safe haven in case of danger.
This tweet retreat offers a spa-like destination for birds with an organic twist. Recycle, repurpose and reuse materials for under $30.00 to create a sanctuary guaranteed to please the most discerning songsters. I foraged through the trees in our yard for gnarled and kinked branches to envelope the basin which will offer plenty of resting spots for zealous bathers.

 MATERIALS
5 gallon plastic pail
2 – 24” x 24” coconut liners
Shallow bowl or large terra cotta plant saucer
Several boughs and branches, 1” – 2” in diameter
10’ – 2” x 4” pressure treated or cedar planks
1 ½”, 2 ½” and 3” deck screws
Stones/rocks (optional)

TOOLS
Jigsaw/handsaw/chopsaw
Drill, ¼” and 1/16” drill bits
Pruners
Measure tape
Marker
Heavy-duty stapler, 3/8” staples

STEP-BY-STEPS

  • Remove handle from pail and drill several 1/4”-holes in bottom for drainage.
  • Cut 2” x 4” planks into lengths 1/4” shorter than inside height of pail. Attach to pail by screwing 1 ½” screws through plastic from the outside.
  • Line up coconut liners with bottom of outside pail and fold excess inside. Cut with scissor to fit. Affix with stapler. Screw two 1 1/2” screws through liner and pail into each 2 x 4.
  • Place bowl or saucer on pail and begin attaching branches to outside of pail with 2 1/2” and 3” screws, penetrating the 2 x 4s. Leave some branches longer than the pail height to cup the bowl and create perches. Trim branches with pruners.
  • Place in desired location and fill with rock or stone if bowl is deeper than 3”. Fill with water and enjoy. If possible, place bath near an irrigation system and tie into it so bath automatically fills when the drip assembly is on.
    PASOS
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Posted by Chef John Berry of MenuMagic
July 2009
EdmontoniansHappy 5th anniversary, Lively Lifestyles.

BERRY

 

 It seems like yesterday that we were turning out our first copy. Five years of exploring new trends and ideas, investigating cuisines, and discovering new recipes.
Since this is our fifth, wood is the theme. Linda Bodo, Barb Deters and I were quite impressed with a new product that hit the shelves just in time for summer: Seasoned skewers and Cedar wraps. They add a new dimension to grilling in your backyard.
The concept is quite simple. Take a flat, wooden skewer and infuse it with different flavours. Under the Compliments Sensations banner, Sobey’s has developed these aromatic items—citrus rosemary and Thai coconut lime skewers—that simply take the kabob to a whole new height.
We soaked the skewers in white wine while we prepped the food. I alternated tiger prawns, cantaloupe chunks and lemon pieces on the Thai skewers, and sprinkled a little Cajun spice over everything. I love rosemary, especially with my chicken, so the citrus rosemary skewers were perfect for the second batch. I cubed a chicken breast, and combined it with yellow pepper, purple onion wedges, white mushrooms and chunks of zucchini.
The completed skewers need to rest in the refrigerator so the flavours in the wood can permeate the foods: the shrimp for at least 15 to 20 minutes; meats like chicken and beef take up to an hour. Before grilling, you can brush each one with a little olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
A lot of us have tried cedar planked salmon on the grill. Now Sensations allows us to get terrific cedar and maple flavours in small, convenient packages. These wood wraps (six per pack) are paper-thin and aromatic. After soaking in water, wine, or juice at least 20 minutes, they can be wrapped around salmon, chicken, pork or vegetables and secured with string that’s provided in the package.
You place the wraps over a pre-heated grill set on medium and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your food. And herein lies the only shortcoming of this new product: They are 5 1/2” wide and almost 7 inches long. Note to manufacturer: they’re wonderful for small portions, but a John Berry-size piece of salmon, is just too big to wrap. So for a man, you’ll need two wraps.
In an uncharacteristic move, our creative trio chose to follow the Sensations recipes on the packages. We were intrigued by the Maple & Peppercorn Salmon Wrap because the main ingredient of the marinade was maple syrup (Barb really would have liked to add a shot of Appleton’s rum). We also made the Cedar Wrapped Veggie & Goat Cheese Bundles—an incredible vegetable side dish.
The entire meal was delightful. But, when the jury was in, it was a unanimous decision on the best. The Thai coconut lime skewers with the tiger prawns took it hands down. The infusion of flavour was amazing. Our next favourite was the glazed salmon in the maple wrap.
All-in-all, a great way to enjoy a summer meal and toast our 5th anniversary. 
Happy 5th anniversary, Lively Lifestyles.
It seems like yesterday that we were turning out our first copy. Five years of exploring new trends and ideas, investigating cuisines, and discovering new recipes.
Since this is our fifth, wood is the theme. Linda Bodo, Barb Deters and I were quite impressed with a new product that hit the shelves just in time for summer: Seasoned skewers and Cedar wraps. They add a new dimension to grilling in your backyard.
The concept is quite simple. Take a flat, wooden skewer and infuse it with different flavours. Under the Compliments Sensations banner, Sobey’s has developed these aromatic items—citrus rosemary and Thai coconut lime skewers—that simply take the kabob to a whole new height.
We soaked the skewers in white wine while we prepped the food. I alternated tiger prawns, cantaloupe chunks and lemon pieces on the Thai skewers, and sprinkled a little Cajun spice over everything. I love rosemary, especially with my chicken, so the citrus rosemary skewers were perfect for the second batch. I cubed a chicken breast, and combined it with yellow pepper, purple onion wedges, white mushrooms and chunks of zucchini.
The completed skewers need to rest in the refrigerator so the flavours in the wood can permeate the foods: the shrimp for at least 15 to 20 minutes; meats like chicken and beef take up to an hour. Before grilling, you can brush each one with a little olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
A lot of us have tried cedar planked salmon on the grill. Now Sensations allows us to get terrific cedar and maple flavours in small, convenient packages. These wood wraps (six per pack) are paper-thin and aromatic. After soaking in water, wine, or juice at least 20 minutes, they can be wrapped around salmon, chicken, pork or vegetables and secured with string that’s provided in the package.
You place the wraps over a pre-heated grill set on medium and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your food. And herein lies the only shortcoming of this new product: They are 5 1/2” wide and almost 7 inches long. Note to manufacturer: they’re wonderful for small portions, but a John Berry-size piece of salmon, is just too big to wrap. So for a man, you’ll need two wraps.
BODO BERRY
In an uncharacteristic move, our creative trio chose to follow the Sensations recipes on the packages. We were intrigued by the Maple & Peppercorn Salmon Wrap because the main ingredient of the marinade was maple syrup (Barb really would have liked to add a shot of Appleton’s rum). We also made the Cedar Wrapped Veggie & Goat Cheese Bundles—an incredible vegetable side dish.
The entire meal was delightful. But, when the jury was in, it was a unanimous decision on the best. The Thai coconut lime skewers with the tiger prawns took it hands down. The infusion of flavour was amazing. Our next favourite was the glazed salmon in the maple wrap.
All-in-all, a great way to enjoy a summer meal and toast our 5th anniversary.

Read Full Post »