Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How My Week Went 3 (guest post)

I've blogged before about my action-packed weeks, and I gather from the deluge of email Sheila gets that you are all quite eager to hear more about my exploits (Ed. Note: there has been no email on this topic whatsoever). To that end, I have commandeered the keyboard in the middle of the night in order that you should know what a fabulous life I lead. My life, I must emphasize, is quite fabulous.

I am calling this post How My Week Went 3 because I am an orderly cat and this is my third post in the series. My first post detailed the gripping saga of me against some particularly trying budgies; my second post detailed my battle with a Playmobil Caesar and how I emerged victorious. Now I am going to regale you with some amusing escapades, involving the slaves I own people who call me Toffee. My life requires much subterfuge, much cleverness, and much agility, none of which I possess but my owners humour me greatly.

I like to start each morning by chewing on someone's hair. You might like your Omega 3's - I like hair. Each to their own potion.

FDPG and Max are the most obliging in this respect, although Max's hair has a tad too much gel in it for my liking.

After that I like to go to the salon for some grooming. I have several slaves to do this for me, but it is rather exhausting training them. Good help is so difficult to find. FDPG has such a short attention span.

After my comb over I like a cup of coffee.

I find that sitting looking pointedly into the mug generally gets good results.

Not ALWAYS, but usually. Sometimes I have to resort to turning on the television.

That always brings them in.

After coffee I like a little read. This book came highly recommended by the Fat Persian down the road but I have to tell you: it's NOT about dogs. I assumed, by the title, that it was. Now THAT is what I call misleading advertising.

Last time I listen to a Persian...

At this point I usually have a nap. My life is SUCH a whirlwind.

Sometimes I even have two naps. There's a reason they call it Beauty Sleep.

Every so often I like to skulk in the garlic beds, because there is a particularly toothsome snake living in them. I don't know how Sheila knows I'm here, but she usually comes out and shoos me away. It's very annoying. That snake looks quite fat and juicy.

This week there was the Incident of the Butterfly Drinking Bowl (Ed. Note: aka A Photo of Toffee's Big Fat Behind), but we won't get into that. It's all SO undignified. I hate it when unflattering pictures are taken of me, don't you?

Besides, what am I to do when I have a thirst for butterflies?

They are so wonderfully crunchy.

Instead I will tell you about my Catwalk Moments. I know, I know, not only do I have a wild and crazy social life, I ALSO model. What can I say? Some of us have it. And I clearly have it.
I'm too sexy for this blog, too sexy for this blog, too sexy for this blog, poor blog blog blog.

And with that I bid you adieu, sweet peons. If you ever have the urge to come and groom me, do visit.

I will make my humans give you tea.

Or something.

Lorquin On My Finger

A friendly Lorquin's Admiral landed on my finger this week, not once, not twice, but three times. And he obligingly sat for photos. What a charming butterfly. He's quite fond of mud-puddling near the lemon trees.
Speaking of lemon trees — one is almost ready to pick. There's a touch of green still on the underside, or maybe I'm just too chicken to actually remove it from the branch. After all, it has been there for a long time.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Struggles With Strawberries

It started with this: a deluge of strawberries. An avalanche - a surplus - an overabundance - an excess - a plethora.

A glut, even.

This happy state of affairs comes from not doing what I should have done last year (and the year before), which was pruning off the suckers the plants sent out. And because I am unable to dispose of a plant once it's in the garden (unless it's a weed), I did something rather unadvisable: I left them to multiply all over the garden.

This is great when you're going from 20 plants to 40 plants; this is not great when you're going from 150 plants to 300, which is more in line with what we've got going on out back. People come over and tell me "Wow, you really DO have too many strawberries."

This is me with my strawberries.

We picked them once; we picked them twice; we even picked them three and four times. But they keep coming. The kids have started to hide when I say "Hey, guys, can you help me —?" The freezer is filling up with strawberries in various states of mush and slice; there are 15 quarts of jam on the pantry shelves. We all have Strawberry Arm, too: a condition resulting from too much time immersing one's arms amongst strawberry leaves, resulting in a mild, itchy rash-like condition stretching from the wrist to the elbow (don't know if you'll find it in medical terminology dictionaries, but it DOES exist, trust me).

So I've started to do something I don't normally do: I'm trying variations of recipes.

We had strawberry shortcakes, with whipped cream and heaps of sliced berries. Our shortcakes ranged from hard and biscuit-like to soft and spongey.

We had meringues and fool, which are so good you might actually die of delight, according to Dominic. This dessert involves individual meringues baked in the shape of a giant Kiss, then side-dressed with a gently folded mixture of whipped cream and the foam you get when you skim (strawberry) jam.

We ate them in smoothies. We ate them by themselves. We even watched the squirrel nesting in the pine tree carry them off. No one stirred at this point. We were all relieved to see someone else picking them, I think.

Then I had a brain-wave, brought on in part by the lack of sun this summer: I would make strawberry popsicles.

These are easy, provided you have popsicle molds. Simply purée the berries, add some sweetener (I used icing sugar), maybe some yogurt (tried both ways, prefer it without), then pour them into the molds to freeze.

You will end up with this, a glistening, glittering, shimmering mass of glowing ruby redness.

It tastes good too.