Category Archives: JeffreyW
C&W Rustic Hollow is a shelter in Nashua, Iowa that provides a forever home to cats infected with FIV/FeLV. St Francis had a few cats that were infected that required them to be quarantined from the rest of the cats. A local donor ponied up the $1000 per cat that Rustic Hollow asks to accept them into their operation so Mrs J volunteered her time and drove all four of them up there, along with a friend.
There are six buildings in their complex that are set up as if they were actual homes that people live in: Couches, tables, and chairs, kitchens and living rooms, porches and basements. Rugs and pillows and cat trees are everywhere, and, of course, lots of cat beds. The cats are turned loose and have a free run of the houses but they are permanent inside cats – never allowed outside.
The FIV cats are said to lead fairly normal lives if they are cared for but the FeLV is usually a death sentence – the shelter acts as a hospice for those poor kittehs. The Cornell link above mentions that some cats can come to terms with the virus – “… some FeLV-infected cats develop an effective immune response, which controls the viral infection and results in a transient viremia instead of a persistent viremia. In these cats, subsequent FeLV tests will show that the cat no longer has virus in its blood.”Mrs J reports that they have about 400 cats at present. They don’t take walk-ins but if you have an infected cat your local shelter may be able to help you arrange an accommodation.
Mrs J drove into town to do her part at the shelter so I fiddled about in the kitchen. I knew breaded meatballs were a thing but I’ve never tried any until today. The meatballs were basic Italian sausage with lots of Parmesan, chopped parsley, garlic, bread crumbs, an egg, a splash of milk and salt and pepper. I knew the breading would burn if they had to cook for a long time so I made mine fairly small – about an inch or so. Smaller than golf balls, anyway. I tried one rolled in just the breadcrumbs and it did OK, but the rest of them were floured, dredged in egg, and then rolled in the breadcrumbs.I used olive oil and watched the heat, keeping it medium low, and tried to roll the meatballs to keep any one side from getting too brown. You pretty much need to stand over the pan the whole time. This skillet is pretty full because it’s the last batch and my legs were tiring.This is the photo the whole effort was leading up to. I buttered both halves of one of my buns and toasted them before adding the meatballs and spooning on sauce. After grating Parmesan over it all they went back into the toaster oven for a minute or two.
I like green beans cooked this way: Parboil the cleaned beans for about 4 or 5 minutes then dump them in an ice bath to quickly stop them cooking. I drain them and put them aside until right before dinner is due then saute them in oil with garlic and ginger. I use olive oil with a wee drop of sesame oil for the flavor, and add a dollop of oyster sauce right at the end before plating. The sesame seeds are a garnish, optional.
For the lo mein dish the chicken marinated in soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, and a spoonful of chili garlic paste with some cornstarch. I make a brown sauce that is pretty much the same as the marinade plus a slug of chicken stock. To prepare the dish, heat some oil in a wok, add chopped onions and frozen peas, garlic and ginger, and add the chicken with its marinade. Leave it alone in the hot wok for a minute or two without tossing and it’ll brown nicely. Add the cooked and drained noodles and stir to combine, add the brown sauce and stir and toss as it thickens.
These two diving ducks showed up on the front pond yesterday, I didn’t know what they were but went online and a nice fellow told me they were both female Common Goldeneye ducks. Thanks, Mike!Mrs J maintains a suet feeder that woodpeckers like a lot. This one is a Red Bellied Woodpecker.These are a pair of Downy Woodpeckers. The male has the red patch. Downys are our smallest woodpeckers.Canada Geese are frequent visitors and can really honk up a racket when the dogs show themselves. I took this one through the window of the truck as we returned from an expedition.Spring is turtle roaming season. Homer is keeping a wary eye on this one as he heads back towards the pond.I include this one of a deer, taken by an automatic camera that overlooks the spot where Mrs J scatters corn and other seeds, because of the groomed look of her hair. I’m guessing it results from walking through thick vegetation – maybe that’s why they call it brush.
I’ve been buying fresh jalapenos at the store and keeping them in the fridge for use in Tex-Mex dishes. When they start to get limp I’ve been slicing them and dropping the slices into a jar of dill pickle slices. In a few weeks they become interesting. I have some of those dilled jalapenos on this burger along with a nice slice of sweet onion and a squirt of hot mustard atop a slice of provolone.
I was thinking a mushroom swiss burger when I started the mushrooms in butter and olive oil but changed my mind and went with the gravy over the fries. The gravy is an ad hoc mixture of stock and various other oddments. I cooked the burgers in a toaster oven so the drippings from the beef weren’t available but it turned out well enough.