Time to wind up the kitchen mischief, I think. I don’t want to overplay my hand.
The human male needs lemons. I’ll have him look in the cold box and not find them. Yup, no lemons to be seen here! He’s dashing out to the store for buy a couple.
Now the female, newly arrived home from the herbarium, has noticed meal prep in progress and has picked up the dropped reins of the same recipe. She’s making a thorough rummage through the bottom-back of the left hand crisper drawer and TA DA!! Two lemons!
The male has returned and now there are four lemons. They don’t need four, so the extras will get shoved–you guessed it!–bottom-back of the left hand crisper drawer…
It’s always good to plan for future mischief.
Which leads me to point out some mischief I set up long ago and which has just now borne fruit. Or, rather, borne bulbs. In her quest for lemons, the human female encountered a brown paper bag with something lumpy inside. This, in and of itself, is nothing unusual. She is a squirrel-like gardener and is always stashing away seeds and what-not and forgetting about them. I know for a fact that, right now, there are several dozen out-of-sight-out-of-mind jujube and persimmon seeds undergoing cold stratification in there, all snuggled up in damp shredded newspaper. (Will they ever get planted? Who knows!)
But in this particular brown paper bag are….
Two soft, aged, slightly moldy, very, verysprouty onions.
Questions abound. Just how old are these? When were they bought? Why were they in a paper bag? She knows she didn’t buy them. The human male is just as flummoxed. He doesn’t recognize them, either. All onions purchased for culinary purposes have been duly consumed. Were they obtained in some other way? The female is calling her mother to ask if they were perhaps extras from the feasting in El Paso and sent back here after the visit in December, so as to make room in the female’s mother’s fridge. Her mother is disavowing all knowledge… Ehehehehe! The explanation may never be found!
Who knew you could created such chaos for under a dollar?
I think I have wrung all the cabbage-related shenanigans out of the menu for this week that I can, but I’m still in the mood for menu-related mayhem, so…
The human female has been craving chicken-potato-onion hash, the one that also has apples in it. That is a fine recipe, one that is perfect for chilly weather. It got added to the menu for tomorrow night.
The human male recently took stock of everything in the big freezer, and there was a bag of shredded chicken in there left from some culinary project or other, so meal prep tomorrow will be cinch, right? We just need to get the chicken out today so it can thaw.
Ehehehe! The humans forgot that they let ME label the freezer bag that one time. Upon closer examination, their “shredded chicken” turns out to be what looks like pork stir-fry with carrots and broccoli!
Guess it gets to stay in the freezer for now, with a giant question mark on it for later.
The human male has also retroactively amended the menu idea list.
I want it on record that yesterday I was very good and did not add any mischief to the cabbage goop the humans made for dinner. Aside, that is, from filching some of the toasted almonds–but that didn’t affect the finished dish, so it doesn’t really count.
Confession time, though… There were some Loki fingerprints on the operation.
You see, the humans–demonstrating organization in one facet of their lives, at least— make up their shopping list for the week on Monday nights. They decide what they’re going to eat for the week, TAking into account what they’ve been craving, what they already have on hand, what the weather is going to be, any specials the stores are having, and any activities they might be doing. They even keep a running list of meal ideas, including new recipes they want to try.
Last week, the human male had come up with two recipes that looked worth trying, the Caramelized Cabbage and Walnut Almond Pasta that they actually made:
and this one, which was also Brassicaceous in nature:
But when they were making the list, they were both really tired–they both taught a class Monday night, and it was late, so it was laughably easy for me to befuddle them. With a nudge from me they got the two recipes confounded, resulting in this:
See that? Just below my godly hand? That’s the human female’s writing. It resulted in this:
Ehehehe!Extraneous tofu! It was meant for the salad recipe, the one they didn’t make. They could have made it, yesterday, but they also had the leeks, which wouldn’t keep as well and which take up a ton of room in the fridge, so they made the other cabbage goop.
Now they have to figure out what to do with 14 oz of bean cheese.
This messing with the menu is fun! I think I’ll do it again tomorrow!
The humans have been cooking again. Often, Sigyn and I like to help—or at least observe closely. Sigyn, because she is a fledgling foodie; me because cooking offers so many opportunities for mischief.
But from the looks of things, this is might be one recipe I’m glad I didn’t have a hand in.
You can bet I’m not helping with the cleanup. This kitchen is a disaster.
What IS this goop?? Whatever it was, it made enough that they could have fed Volstagg and still have had leftovers.
(sniff, sniff) My highly-sensitive nose detects leeks, garlic, butter, and a few leftover caramelized onions. That’s not too bad, I suppose. But what is all the non-leek green stuff?
Oh. It’s cabbage. There must be nearly a whole head of cabbage in here.
And what are the pasta-y bits?
Whole wheat spaghetti. At least it’s nutritious goop.
And we have the remains of a bag of shredded parmesan cheese, as well as some toasted almonds for the top.
Sigyn and I both adore toasted almonds. (munch, munch, munch)
Do you feel brave enough to taste the leftover whatever-it-is, my love? I think I want to see the recipe first.
Oh, so that’s what it was supposed to be. The New York Times strikes again! And that explains the almonds. The human female is allergic to walnuts.
(nibble, nibble) You know what? This isn’t half bad! The caramelized cabbage is a little nutty, and it plays well with the cheese and the leeks. And there is so much left over that we can have it for lunch tomorrow. I think we’ll call this one a success.
Just to throw a little more mischief into the ongoing saga of home repair for the humans–you know, the one that started ten months ago with walnut-sized hail on the roof–I arranged for the gutter-putter-upper people to finally show up. Randomly. Unannounced. There was a knock at the door and Surprise! Gutters!
There were a few hours of metallic screeching and some thumping, and the felines wandered around with eyes like saucers, ears pricked and listening for every bumpety squeal, but eventually the job was done.
Habemus pluvia tetigisset domatum fistuli!
The new gutters look quite nice. They are actually white again. The old ones had acquired a patchy patina of algae and grime, and the human female–unsurprisingly–had never gotten around to dragging out the ladder and an old toilet brush and a bucket of soapy water to scrub them. Now she’s gloating that she doesn’t have to.
I can’t have that! I have arranged a little surprise.
I have seen to it that the gutter-putter-uppers decamped with enough alacrity that they did not police the yard quite as thoroughly as they ought to have done. The human female, the first time she mows the lawn, is going to find some goodies in the grass. Let’s go see what they left behind.
What do you think of this one, Sigyn?
That ought to make a satisfying WHANNNNNNG! when the mower hits it, don’t you think?
And then there’s this. I wasn’t quite sure what the workmen would leave, but I’m really impressed by this one!
Not only does it have sharp edges, it’s pointy. I bet it could go through a shoe. Whether she steps on it or hits it with the mower, there’s sure to be some drama.
I write a lot about my furry minions and the mischief they perpetrate at my request. They have some delightfully devilish natural inclinations, but I also like to encourage them to try new things. What kind of a boss would I be if I didn’t foster the development of new skills?
I’m especially pleased with how Taffy Cat is progressing. With her long, lithe build, she is just the right shape for conducting archaeological investigations.
Exploring the middens left behind by primitive civilizations is important and rewarding work—especially if they microwave turkey bacon and dispose of the paper towels.
She is also turning into a very enthusiastic and creative Document Security Specialist. She learned from Flannel Cat but has far surpassed her instructor in a very short time. No paper is safe from her! Leave something lying about, and there is a near 100% chance that it will come under her scrutiny and be reduced to very finely cross-cut shreds. Everything is fair game for chewing and spitting out. Grocery lists, calendars, memos-to-self, edges of papers peeking the littlest bit out of books. On the chairs, on the floor, on the dining room table; it doesn’t matter. Have teeth, will travel.
Observe the start she has made on the envelope containing the human female’s latest botanical manuscript.
The envelope is certainly now unsalvageable, and she is just one or two good mouthfuls from embarking upon the document itself.
All right, human female, I have had enough! You have been coughing and snorting for six weeks now and I am beyond tired of listening to you!
I don’t care if it’s bronchitis. I don’t care if it’s a cold. I don’t CARE if it’s one of your stupid, all-pervasive allergies to every sort of plant material. I DON’T EVEN CARE if it turns out you have lung flukes!
It’s NOT the plague:
Okay? You’re not dying! So just get over it and get over yourself and give the rest of the people in this house some flipping peace for a change!
It is traditional, when visiting the Big City to the South, to stop at the Large Market the last thing before going home. Intheory, this is because going home takes two hours or so, and there’s no reason to make any cold food we buy here spend any longer in the ice chest than it has to. I suspect, however, the real reason is that if the food purchases were made at the start of the expedition, the human female would graze on them throughout the day and none would arrive home at all. (She has certainly been known to commence depleting the population of sour gummy candy octopi before leaving the parking lot.)
The produce section is its usual bold swath of color. The heirloom tomatoes, if they also came in blue, would be a rainbow unto themselves.
(sniff, sniff) I know that they’re edible green, but it just doesn’t smell right.
I think there’s a stripey imposter in there…
There is some sort of Citrus Festival going on.
Everywhere you look, hesperidia!
The sign says these are “finger limes”.
The human female says they’re full of hundreds of tiny pink, yellow, or white juice sacs. She’s too cheap to actually buy some, but I think I’ll stuff a few into my pocket dimension and take them home to sample. Happy Birthday to me!
Now these look similar, but they aren’t citrus.
Tiny kiwi fruit. Tiny, baby kiwi fruit! Tiny, baby, BALD kiwi fruit! They look a lot less like seasick hamsters than the big ones do.
Oh, now wait just a minute! These can’t be real. Pink “strawberries” with red achenes? That taste like strawberry and pineapple and pear?
I actively disbelieve! Surely these are some kawaiI thing dreamed up by the Japanese. Special erasers or phone charms or something. At the price they’re charging, I’m not inclined to buy a carton and find out.
It wouldn’t be a trip to the Large Market if Sigyn didn’t stop and say hello to the critters in the porcelain menagerie. This time, it’s the penguins who are welcoming visitors.
I think they have made Sigyn an honorary penguin. Let’s see your cute little waddle, my love!
And here we are in Sigyn’s other favorite section–the floral department!
Some of the floral materials are distinctly vegetable-like:
Sigyn isn’t usually a big fan of purple, but she thinks these lavender-leaved ornamental cabbages make a lovely bouquet all by themselves. (And if you get sick of looking at them, you can plop on a little ranch dressing and you are good to go. Slaaaaaw!)
The local species of Veronica that grow around the house have tiny, single flowers. The flowers of this cultivated Veronica are still pretty tiny, but they grow in long, pointy clusters.
Sigyn wants to just nestle down among the flower spikes. I’m fairly certain the floral employees wouldn’t like that, but you know what? I don’t care. You go ahead and nestle all you like, my treasure!
Meanwhile, I’m going to check out this mysterious beauty.
I did not know that Scabiosa even came in nearly-black! With this and some really dark roses and some poisonously-green greenery, I could make the Lokiest bouquet ever! And I deserve it, because it’s my birthday.
It’s been a good day. I’ve seen some fun things— and some very weird things!—and had some good food and now I’m stealing myself some flowers. Tomorrow, though, it’ll be time to get back to some mischief.