Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Hush, Mockingbird, Hush!



Our sweetie-cakes is bored.

How do I know Miss Molly by Golly is bored?

"Break time," she mewed. She hopped up on my desk, walked back and forth on my keyboard, and checked out what was on the computer, then plopped down in front of me, insisting that she be petted.

Molly rarely comes upstairs into the office in the morning on her own volition. (Ooooh, big word. Could my ability to recall vocabulary be coming back? Take that Menopause!) And, the only reason she normally doesn't care to seek out my attention at this time of the day is because she's enjoying herself in the Mama's garden.

So, why wasn't she there on this gorgeous summer day? Unfortunately, summer brings back her seasonal harasser—the mockingbird. Every time, Molly the Cat goes outside, the bird suddenly appears and screeches at her. Molly just sits and looks at it, as if saying, "What's your problem?" The mockingbird then swoops at her and as Molly retreats to the house, the bird tries to peck at her back.
When we hear the mockingbird, the Husband or I go out to chase it away. The mockingbird, alas, is no longer scared of either of us.

This year, the mockingbird has a partner, and they have made a nest either in the tree in the front yard or one of the persimmons in the back. Sometimes both of them are going at Molly. Poor baby.

I tell Molly that she needs to stand up for herself, to hiss and show them her claws. I even demonstrate. For a moment, I can get that mockingbird to scram, but it's more like we're arguing with each other. Molly mews at me, as if saying, "That's so undignified. I just want them to leave me alone."

So do we.

Hopefully, the mockingbird babies will be born soon and the family will fly away to their next port. Then, Molly can get back to her morning roaming and relaxing in the back yard.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Socks, Lovely Socks


I drew socks the other day because I bought some socks for the Mama and me. They are just as colorful as the ones in the picture. The Husband bought socks, too. He was the instigator, which meant he needed socks and the Mama must have forgotten to give him socks for Christmas. Actually, it was more like she forgot to tell me that she wanted to buy his annual Christmas bunch of socks. I should've remembered, but I haven't been good in that department either.

A couple weeks ago, I forgot about the Mama's doctor appointment. At least, I remembered the following day and called the doctor's office. We went on Friday for his five-minute examination to make sure she is still ticking. Yup, she is indeed. Her blood count actually went up,  and her blood pressure is that of a spring chicken. The Mama also gained a pound. She'd been losing a pound every four months for the past two years so I was very happy to hear the nurse say she was 110. The Mama's reaction. "I'm eating too much." Yeah, right. What she is doing is eating regular servings of food more than usual. And, now that it's summer, she's snacking on fresh fruit more. Yay, fresh fruit!

Every day, the Mama comes in with a couple of apricots that have dropped from up high. As she hands them to me, I make a mental note to go with the Husband to look up high into the tree to see where the apricots are hiding. Of course I forget. As I'm writing this I now remember that I planned to prune the butterfly bush yesterday afternoon. All I can say is that last night I finally cooked the eggplants, okra, and leftover roasted chicken into a stew for dinner.

Let me get back to the subject of socks. I can't remember the last time I bought an article of clothing for myself, unless the Mama's Christmas clothing gift for me counts. She gave me a cute pleated denim blouse that we both agreed look nice on me. Our tastes in clothes are quite different. She likes structured, tailored clothes while I like mine free and flowing. This bunch of socks amazingly had styles and colors that match our tastes.

The Mama told me to pick my socks first, but I said nope to that. Making choices is difficult for her, even picking socks. But, she did it, with Molly the Cat watching intently. The Mama gave me the socks I like, which were the orange and blue colored socks. I knew she would like the red and black colored ones.

Molly the Cat? She only wear socks in my imagination. Though, maybe she wouldn't mind wearing socks upon her dainty paws, especially when she's traipsing around the Mama's boxes of sprouting vegetables. Maybe then she wouldn't leave evidence of having been where she is not supposed to be. The other day, the Mama asked Molly, "Was that you who pulled the flowers off the eggplants?"  Molly the Cat merely walked away, without saying a mew. I wonder if she'd like to wear a sock on her swishy tail.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Eggplant, Tomato, and Sausage Pasta


The other night, I made the kind of red pasta sauce for which I have been hankering for the longest time. Hurrah! The photo shows the leftovers I ate for breakfast.

Getting that "perfect" taste was by accident so I have no idea if I will be able to do it again. Booo!

I'm one of those people who likes to read cookbooks but modifies recipes while cooking and doesn't pay attention to how things are being changed. I also rarely measure amounts, and, when I do, I'm eyeballing amounts. That's probably why my chemistry experiments in school usually failed. Ha! on the person who copied my answers.

Ingredients I Prepped
  1. Slice 1/4" circles out of two long Japanese eggplants
  2. Destem a handful of cremini mushrooms and slice them into halves
  3. Mince two fist fulls of chives (which is from the Mama's garden)
  4. Smash and mince 6 to 9 garlic cloves (assorted sizes of small to medium)
  5. Dice a small yellow onion.
  6. Slice 1/4" circles out of two basil-mozzarella sausages  (already precooked)
  7. Defrost a cereal bowl of frozen tomatoes, probably 10 to 14 small and medium size (which we had picked last year at a U-Pick organic tomato farm)
  8. Boil 8 ounces of  fresh garlic-basil pasta.
How I Cooked the Sauce

Saute the onions for a couple of minutes, then add the mushrooms, garlic and chives. Stir. A minute later, add the defrosted tomatoes. Stir. A few minutes later, add the eggplants. Stir. A minute later, add dried basil and black pepper. (I don't add salt because the Husband is on a low-salt diet.) Let it all simmer for about 5 minutes, gently stirring now and then to make sure the eggplants get cooked in the juices. Finally combine the sausages with the concoction. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes, stirring to make sure nothing gets stuck on the bottom of the pan. That happens to me a lot. (Note:  If the sausages weren't precooked, I would have added them after sauteing the onions.) Oh, at the last minute I threw in less than a handful of leftover snap peas.

The Verdict

I served the dish by first putting a layer of noodles on the plate, next a slice of provolone cheese, then a layer of the sauce. 

The Husband told me what he thought about the dish before I could ask. "Yum," he said. "This is like eggplant parmigiana."

"I like the eggplants," said the Mama. She ate most of the sauce, picking out almost all of the eggplants.

Molly the Cat turned away from a sampling, but she did give it a good sniff.