Thursday, July 26, 2007

Life Is Too Short For . . .

I used to say, "Life is too short to stuff a mushroom."

I learned that lesson after I decided in a moment of insanity to serve hors d'oeuvres that included crab-stuffed mushrooms one night. My recipe called for mixing up a crab paste and then adding in the chopped-up stems from the mushrooms before filling the mushrooms. Never again. What I gained in hostess points, I lost in patience.

I've just expanded my definition to read, "Life is too short to stuff a mushroom OR to medicate a cat."

I ended up taking Bobbin to the vet Saturday morning where he received an antibiotic shot, and I received a fourteen-day supply of oral meds for his burgeoning case of bordetella.

It's freaking amazing how powerful a twenty-pound cat can be when he doesn't want to do something. IF YOU CAN EVEN FIND HIM.

My old-standby method has always been to wrap the cat in a heavy bathtowel (strait jacket style). With the feline legs (and claws) restrained, dealing with the fangs is not such a big deal. You simply pull the head directly backward, and the mouth pops open. Works every time.

Bob quickly sussed out my medication schedule (7:00 AM and 7:00 PM). Since I served cat breakfast and dinner at 6:30 AM and 6:30 PM, he'd eat and run. For several days, I spent thirty minutes morning and night searching for him under beds and inside bathroom cabinets (he stands on his hind legs, hooks his claws into the top of the cabinet door seam and pops the cabinet open. Fortunately he hasn't yet figured out that he needs to close the cabinet door behind him).

Being flexible, I reworked the eating schedule to medicate first, eat later.

Of course, that change in schedule upset Tribble and Dinah, who are now maintaining a Greek chorus of complaint while I'm trying to medicate Bob. Sensing their support, he began howling like a banshee each time I carried him toward the table on which I usually medicate him.

What makes it worse is that Bob really does adore me. He follows me around like a dog and, when I sit at my laptop, he worships at my altar by licking my bare toes or my fingers when I reach down to pet him.

I'll get the antibiotic into him, give him a dog liver treat (don't ask), feed everyone and head for my computer. Half the time, he ignores his food to follow me to my computer and try his own version of the rite for reconciliation. He starts by rubbing against my bare legs, then stands on his hind legs and bats my elbow with his head and, finally, jumps up into my lap. He stands on his back legs and rubs my cheek with his face as if to say, "I don't know why you're so angry with me, but I love you anyway."

Makes me feel like a heel.

Only eight more days to go.

Read on. This is a two-post day.


Mitz said...

Oh, Maya
How funny.
I could see what you were going through - and as a cat-momma myself, "feel" it.
Hope you and Bob are doing better.

Maya Reynolds said...

Mitzi: When I adopted Bobbin, he was 3 1/2 pounds and only about twelve weeks old. He had the worst case of bordetella I'd ever seen. I used to run the shower at full hot blast to steam up the bathroom in the middle of the night to help clear his congestion. You really bond with an animal when the two of you are sitting there at 3 AM.

David Roth said...

Couldn't help but think about that bit going around the 'net called How To Give A Cat A Pill when I read this. TOo funny.

However, you're going about the mushroom thing all wrong. First you need stuffing mushrooms - the ones big enough to have a sizable hole left over after you cap them.

Then you put all your ingredients in a food processor - shroom stems, crab, shrimp, lobster, onion, garlic, radish, celery, shredded parmesan, a wee bit of lemon juice, dash of Worcestershire, a few drops of liquid smoke. Not too much of any of that or you'll make the mixture too wet, and you don't want it to quite be a paste. Coarse - like horse radish is best.

Next you fill the shrooms and press a half inch cube of velveeta into the middle.

Place them in shallow baking dishes (if making individual side dishes, or a large shallow pyrex disj if making a lot of them. Cover with sliced monteray jack cheese. Bake at 350 until the monterey jack is melted, slightly browned, and starting to bubble.

Another way is to get some cream cheese and soften it. Whip in half a package of hidden valley ranch dip mix and let it sit about an hour for the flavor to infuse. Fill the shrooms with this. In a second bowl, mix about a cup of bread crumbs, the rest of the dip mix, and 1/4 cup of parmesan. Roll the stuffed shrooms in water or whipped egg white (my preference) and then roll in the breadrumb mixture. Bake at 350 until they start to brown. Mmmmmmm


Next time you're gonna be in 'da burgh, let me know your preference and I'll make them for ya.

You know you're gonna wanna buy my cook book when It's finally ready


Maya Reynolds said...

David: Forget the cookbook. Find me a friend who cooks like you do and who doesn't mind the tip/tip/tapping of a laptop day and night :)

David Roth said...

I don't mind, but I'm sorta spoken for :o)

Me said...

Life will never be too short to read about other people's "life is too short" experiences. Thanks. I was curious about the mushroom-stuffing (and the Greek dish that is dolmades) but now I know not to bother.

Boring John

PS Good luck with the latest book - if you need it, that is!