Inland Northwest, High Desert
An Illustrated Guide to Attracting Birds
I looked high and low for a book to tell me which birds were most likely to visit my garden and, most important, what they wanted to eat until I found An Illustrated Guide to Attracting Birds, by Bill Oetinger and Lois Lovejoy (Sunset, 1991; $10). This book includes a color photo of each bird featured, tells how to identify them and what their voices sound like, and describes their behavior, natural foods, and nesting habits, along with each bird's feeder preferences.
The book also includes a map that shows where each bird winters, breeds, and might be found all year. The authors provides lists of plantings that will attract birds, organized by region. This is an excellent book for the backyard birder.
I learned the original version of these potatoes from a recipe of the same name by Rosie Daley, Oprah's cook. This version is much simpler and not as spicy.
2 large baking potatoes
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
pinch of salt and Cajun spices (such as cayenne)
Heat the oven to 400F. Cut two large baking potatoes into quarter-inch strips and put them on a greased baking sheet. Spritz them with olive oil and sprinkle them with a combination of salt and Cajun spices, to taste.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the "fries" are as crispy as you want them. Turn them every 10 minutes or so with a spatula to make sure they cook evenly and don't stick. Serve immediately.