Kitchen hacks? Why in the world would this be a subject for a website on birds? Well, when you have a flock of birds, there’s a hell of a lot of work in caring for them. They’re cool. But they are a lot of work. Let me rephrase that: It’s a lot of work of you’re doing it right.
Keeping birds involves a load of work cleaning and feeding. Anyone who works with an adoption organization and has a large number of parrots in their care will tell you that the majority of their day is taken up with the cleaning and feeding.
If you have some nice hacks that simplify your life or speed up the process of good care, things get streamlined. This doesn’t mean you’re taking shortcuts. It simply means that you’ve found a better or easier way to get something done. And who doesn’t love that?
And because the work involves cleaning and feeding, the work is centered in the heart of the home: The kitchen. Bring on the hacks!
1) Hotel shower caps in the kitchen? Absolutely! These work great on bowls of food or even leftovers. The elastic provides a tight fit and they’re reusable. Simply wash and air dry.
2) Cutting board sliding around on the countertop? Place a damp dish towel underneath the board to prevent sliding.
3) Cutting up a squash,melon or pumpkin to feed your birds? After you cut the fruit or vegetable in half and use a small ice cream scoop to remove the seeds.
4) And don’t throw those seeds out! Lightly oil some foil on a foil covered, greased cookie sheet using a parrot-healthy oil such as coconut oil or flax seed oil and spread the seeds and slimy guts over the foil.
Bake in a 350 degree oven. Allow them to brown and you have a wonderful snack for your birds. Or you. I happened to love them!
5) Need an easy method of removing the pit of a peach or apricot? Insert a knife and cut the fruit into two equal halves. Twist the fruit halves in opposite directions and separate the halves.
Use the tip of the knife to discard the pit. Bird shouldn’t have the pit as they aren’t good for birds.
6) Hard boiling eggs as a treat for your birds? Add aluminum-free baking soda or vinegar to the water before boiling them. Both of these pass through the shell and assist in releasing the egg white from the shell.
7) Cut birdie bread without causing crumbs. I hate it when I bake a beautiful batch of birdie bread and have it come out in shreds. The birds don’t care, but I do. Grease the loaf pan and then place two strips of greased parchment paper at the bottom of the pan to form a cross with the ends hanging over the sides of the pan. Once the loaf has cooled, simply run a knife around the edges of the loaf ensuring you don’t cut the paper and lift the loaf out of the pan. Let the loaf cool completely and slice it to the desired size with a serrated knife.
8) Use a pants hanger to hang a recipe or cookbook from the kitchen cabinet. No more bending over to read the recipe and the book, recipe card or paper will remain clean and splatter free.
9) Use the technique of “MIse en place” pronounced “meez on plauce.” In French, mise en place literally means: “putting in place.” By measuring, chopping and doing all of the preparation work before assembling the ingredients you will speed up the process of putting together a dish.
10) A great idea for keeping your dry mise en place ingredients organized is to use paper coffee filters for the ingredients. They’re inexpensive, get the job done and you’ll have fewer dishes to wash. This also saves water.
11) Is fresh corn in season and you’d like to give your birds some corn for a treat? You can always give them the entire cob which is fun, but you can also cut the corn kernels off the cob and incorporating them into a recipe like bird bread or Grain Bake. Simply insert one end of the cob into the center of a bundt pan and carefully slice the kernels off with a knife. The bundt pan itself acts as a container when the kernels fall off the cob. And don’t forget to give slices of the leftover cob to your birds as a toy! Many parrots love to play with them.
Kitchen hacks: You have to love them!