The photo above was taken by Cherie Zamecki who kindly brought this photo in a frame to the Chop Workshop in Phoenix at the Arizona Seed Crackers Society, a local bird club.
I arrived Friday night in Phoenix and had dinner with Mary Rose, the President of the Arizona Seed Crackers Society. Our mission? Make some Chop and teach people the basics of making, bagging and storing it.
Elle Michelle drove in Saturday from Tucson and met us for a bird outing at Joe’s Farm Grill in Gilbert, AZ for lunch. I’d only talked to Elle on the phone so it was a blast to finally meet her!
Elle and me with JC, I think…
Club members go there on occasion to have lunch and get their birds out in the sun to meet and greet patrons of the restaurant. They have an outdoor picnic area under some orange trees where they have lunch. The birds climb in the orange trees and harass the club members below! Or they just hang out on a stand and enjoy being fussed over and eat Chop:
There are some interesting features of Joe’s. You can rent a plot of land and work your own garden. I’d love to see the club do this for fresh produce for their Chop! Here are some examples:
Nice gardens! And the plots are irrigated.
This was the end of the season, so some produced had already been harvested.
Lemons. Yes, lemons!
We ordered our lunch and answered questions from people stopping by to check out the birds. And the birds? They had a blast climbing around in the trees and snacking!
That night I spoke at the club meeting. I was surprised by a wonderful birthday cake created by Priscilla Frost who did a phenomenal job with an African Grey birthday cake for me. It was beautiful!
The meeting was well attended, and members were very receptive to my presentation about the Chop Concept. They had great questions and totally got the idea of Chop and its benefits. People seemed eager to try it and weren’t put off by the work involved. Sunday morning I got geared up in my hotel room for the workshop:
Elle and I headed out to the event and we got going. Mary had already arranged to have all of the beans, grains and pastas already cooked which saves a ton of time.
People began arriving and we were off! I did a brief knife safety demo, explained some basics about cutting the vegetables and handling the food processors and people got chopping.
The beautiful lady in blue on the left is author Maggie Wright.
After a few stumbles here and there, we found our groove and got a good rhythm going.
Finding our groove…
We had a lot of jalapeños, and after all this is the Southwest, so it was a rather spicy Chop!
But I have to say it came out beautifully.
And it was a good-sized batch, enough for everyone to take quite a bit home with them. Maggie Wright said she was going to use it in scrambled eggs for her three Greys that night:
All in all, it was a wonderful day and we created a beautiful batch of Chop. I got to meet a lot of terrific people and there is even talk of people in the club getting together for Chop parties ever couple of months or so to share the cost, the produce the labor and the Chop. It’s more fun that way and you can get a large batch done quickly and economically by doing it at a Chop Party. It’s also more fun! I hope to come back to Phoenix and attend a few of those parties. I’ll bring the wine!
From left to right, Noelle Fontaine, Amber Lynn Puckett, Moi amd Elle Michelle
February 19, 2013 at 11:47 am
Awesome! Love that first pic! Must be a magical place if Macaws can find strawberries in an orange tree. 😉
February 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm
That first picture is funny. Looks like he’s saying “All this is mine”
February 19, 2013 at 12:14 pm
I think this was the start of many more Chop Days here in Phoenix. So exciting! Thank you so much Patricia for coming out for the weekend and sharing with us.
February 19, 2013 at 1:02 pm
Had a blast, so glad you came out for this Patricia, and what a great bird club! Fun, fun, fun!
February 19, 2013 at 1:04 pm
Love the pics, especially the one with the biggest lemons I’ve ever seen 🙂
February 19, 2013 at 1:24 pm
Do you hear me laughing from Texas?! OMG! That’s hysterical! I’m sure I’ve looked like that on a sugar binge at some point …
February 19, 2013 at 1:28 pm
Are you talking about the top photo of the Grey in the Chop? Isn’t it wonderful? I love it!
February 19, 2013 at 2:52 pm
“Beak down, tsil up” goes Romeo (male Ekkie with chop encrusted beak) with his bowl of chop in front of him. He loves the chop. The meeting, the day at Joe’s, and the chop workshop were all great fun. Thanks for coming out Patricia! You too Elle.
February 19, 2013 at 8:03 pm
Thanks Dan, it was great to meet you, and your birds! 🙂
February 19, 2013 at 3:34 pm
Lookin’ forward to helping with Chop at AFA in Raleigh – great photos, can’t wait to retire to AZ someday and join the Seed Crackers!
On Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 8:34 AM, Parrot Nati
February 19, 2013 at 5:07 pm
My larger birds love the chop recipe.( CAG, Amazons and Senegal) But my small birds not so much.(I have 10 parrotlets) so I modified the recipe to what they really like and also added Harrisons high potency mash. They love it. I also add Sunshine factor to both chop recipes. Happy to share the little bird recipe if anyone is interested.
February 19, 2013 at 8:28 pm
And that’s what Chop is all about! You did the right thing Liz, by changing it up and enriching it for your little guys. Hole in one!
February 19, 2013 at 8:17 pm
Wow…I missed a great time. That looks like so much fun everyone had. Nice!
February 19, 2013 at 8:28 pm
wow bird people are AWESOME!!
February 19, 2013 at 10:47 pm
looks like you guys had a great time. .
wish my flock and I could have been there too.
mybee one day when they come out with jet flow cars. (transatlanlic) or ( I find lots of cash.)
lots of love too you all 😉
February 20, 2013 at 3:48 pm
That picture by Cherie Zamecki–unmitigated JOY! That’s why we love these guys!
February 20, 2013 at 3:51 pm
Although my Ekkie loved the chop, my macaw would eat very little and my Galah wouldn’t touch it. Some of my other birds were also being picky eaters. I really want this good stuff in my birds, so I cooked up a small bag of Krazy Korn with a little palm oil in the water and added one small bag of the chop. Just for my macaw, I mixed in a few shelled nuts from “Goldenfeast Premium Nut Blend with NO Peanuts” (Roasted Almonds, Roasted Cashews, Pepitas, Pistachios, Pecans, Walnuts, Filberts, Brazil Nuts & Macadamia Nuts.) that was already in my freezer. My macaw dug in and didn’t stop. So did the other guys.
I plan to try some different blends of chop ingredients in small batches until I find a basic blend that they will all like, with only some species specific toppings or add-in ingredients.
June 18, 2013 at 1:04 am
Love this!! Is there anyone from Sydney Australia who would like to have a Chop party?