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October 2005

October 30, 2005

WCB: Kiri's birthday and a special surprise

This weekend's cat blogging is special because it's Kiri's birthday! His beautousness is all dressed up in a jumper and tie (I swear that cat's on nip, check out that last picture) and ready to party, Kiri's got lots of friends hanging around. Complete guest list is at Kiri's slave's place (sometimes known as Eat Stuff).

The furling, who has finally been named—but we'll get to that in a moment—had to rest up before the party and chose one of her favorite spots.

The local food bank was collecting donations today, and since we sometimes donate to the food bank in honor of someone's birthday, it seemed like good timing. The furling checks out the bag to be sure it's a good collection.

Pasta, fruit, no problem, but there's tuna in there! Did I say you could give away tuna?!?

There are treats to share too. The remnants of the roe from the homemade caviar are the furling's offering. Too bad it won't squish through the Internet, it was apparently really yummy.

Any good party has games, and the furling is playing her side of tethermouse. Kiri, smack it back!

Now on to the naming portion of our day.

Cats should pick their own names—or so goes the wisdom around our place—and while this isn't as straightforward as many other methods, it just might be the most accurate. The nameless furling has been with us or just about a month now and until just about a week ago, she's mostly been known as "the little kitten," as in "It's too quiet, have you seen where the little kitten is?" (Believe me, like with a toddler, silence is not golden, it's worrisome. The last silence accompanied a demonstration that a roll of toilet paper could be unrolled onto the floor 30 feet away without any auditory indication.) As we've watched her get used to living here, her personality has begun to express itself a bit more definitively in a number of ways.

She is, by and large, a good-natured furling who can often be seen scurrying around the house burbling to herself in a manner highly reminiscent of R2D2 or the little bots on Farscape. Gurgles and coos waft down the halls in her wake. On other occasions, she sounds like Kenny from South Park—and we can almost decipher what she means. However it's identified, she is a talkative little thing, even if nobody but her knows what shes saying.

There is apparently an on-off switch buried somewhere; she goes from being the sweetest, gentlest, snuggliest kitten to a bundle of terror incarnate—and back—in a flash. With any luck, we'll discover the triggers before our forearms and jeans are reduced to shreds. When she's in kill-mode, she has a special relationship with gravity and serious hang-time.

Another thing: Houdini has nothing on this furling. At least once a day I search the house for her—and the areas that are not protected by closed doors are neither huge nor heavily furnished so this shouldn't be that hard—and, after failing to find her anywhere, blink and she's at my feet. In the middle of a room with nothing to hide under in it. I am thinking she is a half-breed, perhaps elf or pixie, or something that accesses additional dimensions to tesseract's the only explanation.

Like many kittens she is frequently competing with our feet for floor space. Luckily, having had a few cats who did this, we're used to it and step lightly. Plus, the hardwood floors mean she slides easily while escaping from the great crushing human feet. Of course, that also means she slide a lot of other times too, but we have to get our laughs somewhere.

After living with the furling for a few weeks, we started trying out names to see what fit. Poof, in honor of the great appearing act, was a hot contender for a while, but it was a small slice of a multi-faceted kitten so we moved on. Many possibilities were examined and discarded, although an early decision was that she might need more than one name. That didn't make this easier.

Eventually we came to a decision. Once we had done so, we found ourselves saying things that made a lot of sense if you knew who she was named after, which must indicate we chose wisely. Given all that, got any guesses?

Oh, it might help to know that our last two cats were named Wesley and Moufasa, both after movie characters. The first got her name from some kids who were visiting us when the cat—a stray—adopted us. The kids were watching "The Princess Bride" and upon seeing the stray cat lurking around the yard, insisted on feeding her...while giggling, "Eat well Wesley, we'll most likely kill you in the morning." (Okay, so it was Westley in the movie, the kids were 3 and 7 and they said Wesley, so Wesley it was!) Moufie got his name because he this rather hulkingly low-to-the-ground orange and white fluffcat who was an adorably ferocious 6 week old when he killed his first critter; The Lion King was on our radar for some reason, someone said "he wants to be the King" and the name stuck. There was also a tiny grayling stray who briefly adopted us and was dubbed Shadow Underfoot—clearly her elven name.

Last guesses? ...the furling's new name, on the other side of the jump.

Continue reading "WCB: Kiri's birthday and a special surprise" »

October 29, 2005

Homemade caviar


Maybe I should call today's post Deep End Cooking (with apolgies to Deep End Dining) or Mage, Don't Make It! (wih a nod to Steve). At least I can be thematic with all the Halloween horrors out there.

I think I've eaten caviar three or four times in my life and, while it was okay—particularly
the Columbia River sturgeon caviar at the Herbfarm—I wasn't sufficiently bowled over to pay the rather steep price. So when a friend dropped by the other day with a fresh salmon and several skein of salmon eggs and asked if I wanted to make caviar I thought, "Ummm, errr, sure...?"

Continue reading "Homemade caviar" »

October 25, 2005

Taming the wily leek


I didn't get in much of a garden this past summer, and a bit of what I did manage to get planted was either late or a gift from a generous friend with too many starts—or both. One of the late group of vegetables was leeks; a packet of seeds emerged during the move and, since they were dated for 2002, I tossed them into a bare patch of dirt to see what happened. Well, what do you know, leeks happened!

The leeks are just getting large enough to selectively harvest and, lacking scallions for a recipe the other day, I pulled half a dozen from the soil...along with an awful lot of the soil. Which brings us to the point of today's post. Leeks can be intimidating to the uninitiated, what with all those dirt-collecting layers. Cleaning them can be a challenge: if you cut them up much at all, they fall apart and while you can wash them, cutting is a pain; if you don't cut them up, there's no way to get them clean. What's a cook to do?

Continue reading "Taming the wily leek" »

October 23, 2005

Weekend Herb Blogging: Borage

Kalyn, of Kalyn's Kitchen, has started an irresistible—well, at least to me—meme: Weekend Herb Blogging. Lacking in cats and dogs, but not garden, Kalyn dreamt up WHB as another option for food bloggers at play. Play? In an herb garden? I am so there!


For my first foray, I am showcasing a bit of an aberration: a pink borage flower. As you can see from the picture, the densely-clustered flowers are a lovely periwinkle blue. When I went out the other day to snag a few pictures of the herb garden in late fall, I discovered one pink flower amongst the sea of icy blue. I've been growing borage for at least a decade now and it's the first pink flower I've seen so I was pretty jazzed. (What's that you say? I should get a life? laughs)

Continue reading "Weekend Herb Blogging: Borage" »

WCB: Still nameless, but very much at home


She's still nameless, although we have a few contenders, but she's very much at home...and apparently bored by what TV had to offer.

Every weekend, food bloggers share their favorite felines via Kiri's person Clare at Eat Stuff. Some weeks the cats, being the political aware animals that they are, even give us a cat-related cause to support.

Next week is Kiri's birthday so start planning costumes and drugs for the cats--because Clare, I am not sure what you feed Kiri, but my cat looks at some of Kiri's pictures and then at me as if to say, "try that and you'll be typing with one hand!" I think I'll have to photoshop something in.

Check out this week's collection and enjoy the cats. This week's group so far:

Check out the cute glinda in a kitty sling! I so want one for Kiri!!!! at Anne's Food
Check out the growing little kittens who are taking over Boos house at Masak Masak!
Check out the pusses who ardusting to their new found celebrity status at The Food Pornogropher
Check out Tigger basking in thew sunlight at Look hunny, I cooked
Check out the newly renamed Bowser setting in at A cat in the Kitchen
Check out Trina hanging out in the window at Indyfoodie
Check out the Phi Phi Island asian lucky cat at Les Carnets de sbmarie
Check out Baily the cute fluff ball at The Moveable Feast Food Blog
Check out the guest kitty Kitties at Kayaksoup
*Pause for a moment for the lost Minnaloushe* I am so sorry for your loss Barbara,
but we welcome the new kitten on the blockMei-Mei Ari the adorable fluffball at Tigers & Strawberries *Cute Kitten alert*
Check out Le Chat and P. I. T. A. (LOL!) at Heather's Space
Check out Bussi enjoying some "Aromatherapy".... HA! sure... at Basic Juice
Check out Smudge, the AMAZING SELF RESCUING KITTY! at Farmgirlfare
Check out Mrs Domino the wcb foster kitty rolling around at Farmgirlfare
Check out the ever fiesty Mrs Kitty  who is keeping her strength up at Belly-Timber
Check out Wellington the gourmand at Modern Girls Kitchen
Check out the Vodka Cat Recording device at Cel's Home page

October 21, 2005

sushi drive

Somewhere out there, at the convergence of food and technology, people are making weird stuff to tempt...well, you. Yes, you may just be the targeted demographic for a line of USB thumb drives. They've got premium price tags, which they admit to, saying "The stratospheric price is a reflection  of the expense of mock food." but I am thinking one would make a great gift.

They also have a USB extension cable in the form of a plate of spaghetti. How often do you see ad copy like this? "...if you own a USB Shrimp Drive (sold separately), you can place it on the fork in order to connect to your computer." If you've got 269 bucks burning a hole in your pocket, rush on over to Dynamism and snag one.

OFVP: last rays of a sinking sun...

...or is that a rising earth?

October 19, 2005

Recipe: Blueberry Habanero Chutney on Poached Fish


I’ve been talking about this recipe almost as long as I’ve had this blog, and for good reason: it’s delightfully scrumptious stuff, with a dstinct heat that's a perfect counterpoint to the decidely summery-tasting berries. (Blueberries do taste like summer to you, don't they? I think I have a peculiarly foodist form of synesthesia. Blueberries are August and giggling children.)
Anyway, where was I? Oh, that's right. The chutney. It's been served on chicken, fish, and meat, as well as alongside a blue cheese cheesecake that was smeared on thin slices of homemade baguettes. All yummy. It’s also been blended down to a puree and smeared on a rack of pork ribs. (Why do they call them “spareribs” anyway? I bet the pig doesn’t think they are exactly “spare” parts)

We had some of this chutney last night, on the seemingly inevitable fresh salmon, and it was the perfect counterpoint to the meltingly tender fish. The salmon was almost an impulse purchase—don’t you pick up a whole salmon while standing in the checkout aisle? They do stock them where you shop, don’t they? Right there next to the candy bars. No? Oops, sorry. So sad for you. You should come visit. impishGrin

I can hear you thinking, “But, Mage, what does salmon have to do with chutney? Wasn't there supposed to be a recipe here somewhere?” Well, actually, yes there is. Click on and you shall see...not necessarily immediately, but I promise we'll get there.

Continue reading "Recipe: Blueberry Habanero Chutney on Poached Fish" »

October 17, 2005


Just for my new sheep, Larb, sourdough focaccia topped with rosemary, pinenuts, and parmesan.


In case you've missed the name the sheep contest over at FarmGirl's (who I might add is the best sheep-tender of any of my friends, perhaps the best in the world) you really should go look. And lobby for Larb! I can hear her now, calling her own name as she wanders around the bucolic landscape, "Laaaaarb! Laaaaarb!"

October 16, 2005

Dine Around Seattle -- 25 for 25

Unfortunately for me, I don't live in Seattle in November--not that I want to live there all the time, mind you, but November is special. It's the time for all lovers of good food to indulge themselves with a three-course lunch or dinner at a number of very good restaurants for the not-so-bad price of 12.50/25.00 depending on the time of day.

I looked around for a master list of the participating establishments and came up empty. The behemothCreditCardCompany that sponsors it didn't even have anything. What I did find is a couple of participants: Serafina, Ray's Boathouse. But that's about it.

Anyone know more than this?

UPDATE: Ha! Found the site with the information. Go here and drool over the possibilities.

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