Sunday, April 4, 2010

Backyard beauties

We know that when you open a business it's all about location location location. We took over the very successful bird feeder franchise in front of the dining room window from the precious owner. We really had no idea what a gold mine we were sitting on. The clientele is very versatile and loyal and comes from all over. We easily go through a feeder a week. We thought we would capitalize on the success and branch out to a lesser known area, over by the kitchen window. If you want to make it in this business you gotta have cojones, right. So we bought a new feeder, filled her up and waited. Not a bird in sight. But I know that the most gentrified areas of Brooklyn were once industrial wastelands and they will come. Sooner or later, they will come. It starts with the starving artists and the hipsters follow. As a marketing ploy I spread some seed on the ground. And check it out:

When we showed up on saturday morning the new feeder was empty. I wonder what the first bird who discovered it thought. Probably the same thing I thought when I first moved to the Williamsburg area in the mid 90's - OMG how do I keep this secret to myself. 

A lot happened in the yard while we were away this week. (Lots happened in the city too -  it was doc week for Linda. I worked on a documentary about FDR right across the river at his home on tuesday and wed-thurs was a documentary about Fran Lebowits directed by Martin Scorsese. He hung out with us on a balcony for an hour or so while shooting Fran peeking her head out at 6 o'clock on the Grand Central Station clock.

Marty was very dapper and jovial but there's unfortunately no real story here. My story of the day was when Lisa the DP and I were in the back of Fran's old checker cab with a camera driving through Times Square at night. She is an old school driver alright and was laying on the horn cursing everyone else on the road. It was a little scary but mostly just hilarious.

So back to what happened on Maple Ave...

This is the flower bed outside the dining room that we uncovered a week ago. Just in time!

This is the kitty cat bud tree in full bloom. Aaaahhhhhh.... 

It smells amazing! I would love some ID help with it!

This is the next tree to go.

And the chestnut.

This tree has unfortunately split down the middle, probably happened in the big storm, and most of the buds have died, but I'm following this one closely. If we can at least get one flower.

We needed to try our home brew to make sure we are on the right track. It should still age for another 2 weeks but we wanted a sneak peak.

The author enjoys a 2 week old Fat Robin Pilsner.

And you know what - we got beer. It's already pretty tasty. 

Today was yard work and fish tacos. I totally cheated and used fish stick for filling, just fried them up in a lot of oil in the pan. We love fish sticks over here so that was hardly a negative. For fixins I marinated cabbage in vinegar and lime juice and some salt and pepper. And cut up some tomatoes and red onion. And then this sauce:

1/2 cup plain non fat yougurt
1/2 cup mayo
juice from 1 lime
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp  ground coriander
1/2 tsp dill weed
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp minced capers (kapris)
1 tbs chopped fresh cilantro

Mix it all together and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours. Darn good. We sat outside on the patio and drank Micheladas with the meal. !Muy Bueno¡



  1. Härligt! De blåa är Scilla, iallafall här i Svedala. Den gula busken är Forsythia, fast det kanske du visste. Vi sitter INTE ute och dricker bira. Vi tänder en brasa inomhus och öppnar en vinare. Visserligen några härliga soltimmar på trappen under helgen men med tjocka jackan på. Ser skönt ut. Kram!

  2. Härligt är ordet! Elizabeth stopped by and she had heard of Scilla so that's what it is. Rosemary says our pretty white flowered tree is a star magnolia.

  3. It's all pretty fabulous - happy birds, pretty flowers, and tasty beer. What more could you ask? (okay, other than to have work that doesn't require a 90 minute drive...)

  4. "Waiter! I'll have a Fat Robin!" - Thanks for letting us taste it yesterday, it was yummy!!! Didn't I tell you it'll turn into beer?! ... :-)

    Off to the flower section:

    The little blue ones look like scilla siberica (aka Siberian squills). Paretty!!! They're perennials, just like the crocus (12th picture from the top, but you knew that).

    I have seen the white flowering bush many a times, but don't know its name, but you can try researching it at which is a pretty cool site.

  5. Your backyard beauties are truly BEAUTIFUL!
    I see Star Magnolia and the gorgeous classic pink Magnolia that I grew
    up with ,even in Brooklyn. The little blue star flowers I see all over but
    do not know their name. Rosemary

  6. Can't wait to try the fish taco recipe!