Have you checked out Love & Hisses yet? & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & &   Lately, I’ve been trying out new recipes to have for lunch. I have to make something early in the week to have for lunches for the … Continue reading “10-9-08”

Have you checked out Love & Hisses yet?

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Lately, I’ve been trying out new recipes to have for lunch. I have to make something early in the week to have for lunches for the rest of the week, otherwise when lunchtime comes around I’m left poking sadly through the fridge and the pantry to find something to eat and eating something like Cup o’ Noodles, which is not in the least bit healthy or nutritious and doesn’t really contain protein, which is supposed to be a cornerstone of the post-WLS patient’s diet.

A few weeks ago I happened upon canned clams (from Maine!) at Big Lots (don’t judge me!) for $1.50 a can. I don’t know what the usual cost of canned clams is, but it seemed that $1.50 a can sounded like a good price, so I bought three of them. After hemming and hawing and putting it off, as is my way, I finally buckled down and did a search for a simple clam chowder recipe, came across this one, and decided it looked good enough to try. Last week, I finally gave it a try.

Making the “Cliff House Spice Blend” was a pain in the ass, and when it came time to eat the chowder it was good, but there was something in it I didn’t really care for. There were so many spices in the “spice blend” that I wasn’t sure what it was, but I think it was probably the sage. I don’t think I like sage.

I ate a serving of it for lunch that day, and I ate a serving the next day, but whatever was in it that I didn’t like the first day, I really didn’t like the second day, so the pigs got what was left.

Earlier this week I made it again, this time using two cans of clams instead of one, a little extra clam juice, and left out the “spice blend” and just used salt and pepper instead. It was pretty good, actually, but it gave me the most wicked gas. What I’d failed to remember, because I was so busy hating the sage, is that too much dairy gives me gas and makes me bloated. You’d think two and a half years after surgery, I’d remember that sort of thing.

So I gave the rest of the clam chowder to the pigs (who apparently gave it two (four? eight?) hooves up) and went through the big pile of “recipes I haven’t tried yet”, a pile that grows larger every day.

I decided to give this crab quiche recipe a try.

I LOVE seafood, perhaps I’ve mentioned?

So I got everything I needed, and I cut down on the calories by using skim milk instead of whole and light mayo instead of full-fat. I bought the pie crust already made from the freezer section because I’ve never made a pie crust in my life, and I don’t intend to start now.

It was pretty easy to throw together, and I have to say – that is some GOOD stuff. I used canned crabmeat (I don’t like the imitation stuff at ALL), and best of all, it’s giving me a week of lunches. A piece of quiche and a small salad, and I’m set for lunch time.

I think that next time I make it, I might do it without the crust completely. I don’t particularly care about pie crust one way or the other, and if I can cut out the carbs and calories and not even notice, I might as well, right?

So anyway – the clam chowder: good, but not for me. The crab quiche: VERY good, and I’ll definitely be making it again!

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While I’m thinking of it, I used bacon in that clam chowder, but I ended up using slices from a pack of bacon I bought several months ago, and split up into two-slice packages and froze.

“Robyn,” you are saying, “Did you not recently have your very own pigs slaughtered so that you could feast upon their flesh and don’t pigs provide bacon?”

The thing I didn’t know about this whole pig raising-and-slaughtering thing is that apparently not all slaughtering houses will cure bacon for you. So, we got several packages of sliced bacon from the slaughtering houses, and the guy who processed the pigs for us told Fred that fresh bacon was very good, so I fried up some bacon, and while it’s true that fresh bacon is not bad at all, it also very much doesn’t taste like bacon. At all.

Sue me; I like my bacon to taste like bacon.

(The sausage, on the other hand, is VERY good. It’s fattier than we’d like, which is why god invented colanders, so one can drain the fat from sausage and not immediately die of a sausage-induced heart attack as your arteries slam audibly shut.)

So Fred decided to do some experimenting and he took some bacon and rubbed something on it, I don’t remember what-all he rubbed on it, but I know there was salt. Because after he let it sit for a while and then rinsed it off, and then I cooked it, it was salty. It was VERY salty. It was so salty my tastebuds went on strike and I spent the rest of the day guzzling water to try to recover.

The next time he tried messing with the bacon – last weekend – he rubbed it with brown sugar, pepper, and just a tiny bit of salt. We let it sit for a few hours, then I wiped some of the brown sugar off, and fried it up. And holy CRAP that stuff was good. I thought I was going to have to divorce Fred and marry the bacon.

But anyway, we don’t have any bacon that tastes like bacon just sitting around, Fred spices it up when we’re ready to use it, and so I had to use the two slices that were in the freezer for my clam chowder.

And that was a fascinating tale, wasn’t it?

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Tuesday evening, Fred and I walked out to give the pigs their nightly snack (for the record, Fred does not like the girl pigs as much as he liked the boy pigs. He says they have no personality. I think they have plenty of personality, but I think he just misses his annoying boy pigs.) and as I walked out the back door to meet Fred in the chicken yard

(I really think that 15 year-old Robyn never would have expected “the chicken yard” to be in 40 year-old Robyn’s life. Or pigs, for that matter.)

I saw Joe Bob crouched in the back yard in that far-too-familiar position. I rolled my eyes and pointed him out to Fred, and then we went out and gave the pigs their snack.

When we headed back to the house, I glanced at the back yard and saw Joe Bob in that position again (I say “again” rather than “still” because he was in a different part of the yard). This caused concern, because back when Joe Bob was our foster cat, he had an issue with a urinary tract infection, and I know that cats with that issue tend to have the issue repeatedly (although now that I think about it, both Spanky and Spot had UTIs only once and never again, so maybe I’m making that up.)

Fred and I talked about it, and part of what we discussed was that we weren’t sure whether he was trying to go Number One or Number Two, so was he constipated, or dealing with a UTI? We decided to give him a dollop of cat laxative just in case, and to keep an eye on him to see what was going on.

The question was solved pretty quickly – I walked into the laundry room a while later, and Joe Bob ran over to the litter box and hunkered over and I went over to see what was going on, and he peed three little droplets of urine and then went along his way.

This is such an appetizing topic, isn’t it? I draw you in with talk of clam chowder and quiche and then hit you with litter box talk. Sneaky!

So yesterday morning Fred called and made a 9:00 appointment for Joe Bob with the vet 5 minutes up the road, and when I got up I got out the cat carrier and put it in the computer room so that the cats would initially freak out about its presence and then forget it was there, and then a few minutes before 9:00, I could snatch up Joe Bob and pop him in the carrier and be on our way. Joe Bob is such a good boy that when I went to put him in the carrier, he fought a little bit, but gave up pretty quickly and gave me a baleful look but didn’t meow even once during the trip to the vet or his appointment.

Long story short (too late!), the vet looked Joe Bob over, did some blood work, and decided that he has a Urinary Tract Infection, big shock. They gave him a couple of shots, a bottle of pills, and a bag of the special prescription cat food (which is okay for all the cats to eat).

Poor Joe Bob. When he was hanging out on the staircase right before I snatched him up, he had no idea he’d be suffering such indignities in just a little while.

(Note the troll under the stairs, sound asleep.)

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It was raining so hard yesterday that Newt stood at the side door and howled ’til I let him in (he NEVER does that), and he was soaked, so I dried him off with a towel, and he was so grumpy he climbed into this box, licked himself the rest of the way dry, and slept most of the day away.

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2007: Further proof, in case you needed it, that I’m a dumbass.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: I’ve SEEN Deliverance, and I have no desire to be forced to squeal like a pig.
2002: Well, duh.
2001: No entry.
2000: We like our fast food, we do.