I'm going to apply to whomever one should apply to, to get funding for research! In the weekend papers I read about a research being done in Britain and New Zealand using crows as the subjects, to discover the depth of the crows' intelligence. I could have told the university scientists for half the price!
I was readying myself to return to work for the evening shift one afternoon, when I was living and working in Gympie before my move to Mount Tamborine. Any meat scraps from the restaurant kitchen in which I cooked, I'd bring home for my family of free, native birds. My backyard soon became the neighbourhood eatery for kookaburras, magpies, butcher-birds and, of course, a couple of crows stood by as sentries. Glancing out my bathroom window this particular afternoon, I noticed a crow swoop down to scoop up a huge bundle of meat in its beak.
I called out to him, "You're being greedy! You'll never get off the ground with that load!"
Ignoring my words, of course, to my surprise he cruised to the boundary fence where he proceeded to bury his load, covering it over with some dead grass. He then flew back, picked up more meat in his beak and flew off to wherever his home was, no doubt to feed its young. The crow obviously buried the meat for safe-keeping and it would come back for it at a later time....amazing nature. That was pretty smart, cluey thinking, I thought.
On the subject of food, I'm having a couple of friends over for lunch this Saturday week. I'm planning to serve Prawn and Avocado Salad as an entree, to be followed by honey/soy/hoisin duck. I've not decided on the dessert as yet. I've still time up my sleeve to come up with an idea or two.
Prawn & Avocado Salad
1 lb cooked medium sized prawns,remove tails
1 medium sized tomato, seeded and chopped
3 shallots chopped
1 large clove garlic, pressed
2 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 large firm avocado cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoon chopped pumpkin seeds (roasted pinenuts or nuts of choice...optional)
1 tablespoon chopped rocket or watercress
salt & pepper to taste
pinch red pepper flakes
1 head small Cos lettuce, outer leaves removed
extra virgin olive oil to taste
Make sure shrimp is completely unfrozen, if you buy it already cooked, and patted dry with paper towels.
Assemble all ingredients with shrimp in a bowl except lettuce and mix. For optimum flavor, marinate in refrigerator for 15 minutes or more. It is still very good served right away if you don't have the time. Serve on bed of chopped romaine lettuce.
Combine soy sauce, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, crushed garlic and some Chinese Five-Spice powder in a jug. Stir until well combined. Place a duck in a large bowl and pour over the soy mixture. Cover and marinate in fridge, preferably overnight.
Pre-heat oven to around 200C. Place drained duck, breast side down on rack in baking dish, reserving marinade. Place marinade in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over med-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Place 2 6cm cinnamon sticks in duck cavity. Brush the duck evenly with the marinade. Cook in pre-heated oven for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 180C. Turn duck over and sprinkle breast evenly with salt. Cook, brushing occasionally with the pan juices, for a further 55 minutes or until the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a skewer.