Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Today's cat lesson- Not EVERYTHING that falls on the floor needs to be eaten

So, when I went to the grocery store the other day, I bought a ginormous pork roast that was on sale. Seriously, this sucker weighed over 7 lbs BEFORE cooking. And as much as I dig the pig, the prospect of eating all that was a little daunting. Since it was marked down, it needed to be cooked quickly or I would have saved it to take to my parents for Sunday dinner.

Anyway, last night I studded that bad boy with almost an entire head of garlic. Then I got out my herbs & spices. I threw a merry, mad concotion (italian seasoning, Trader Joe's 21 seasoning salute, fines herbes, & 5 spice powder- sounds weird, but it worked) together and decided it needed a liberal dose of fresh ground pepper. My mill was almost empty so I had to stop, kick a cat out from underfoot (Malkin), root around for my peppercorns, kick the cat out of the way again, and then try to fill the grinder.

I rarely allow the cats to have people food. Most of the time they get bits and pieces of meat that fall to the floor when I've gotten overly-enthusiastic stirring something or chopping, or that have fallen out of an over-stuffed sandwich. The unofficial rule is, if it hits the floor and they get to it before I do, they can have it. They usually beat me to things on the floor.

You know where this is going, right? I spilled some of the peppercorns while filling the grinder, and they went bouncing all over the kitchen floor. Malkin was quickly joined by Nightshade and they proceeded to go on a seek and destroy mission for those little beads...and quickly discovered that NEITHER of them like the taste of fresh peppercorns. Now I have two spitting, sneezing cats stumbling around my feet and wailing to the heavens that "You Fed Us Something Nasty and WHY Did You Do THAT?!?"

Got the brats calmed down, liberally rubbed my roast with the spices and some olive oil, and popped it into the oven. It didn't take long for the aroma of roasting herbs & meat to fill the house. I looked around after about an hour and realized both cats were perched in front of the oven, waiting to get at the source of that good smell.

Nightshade, bless her furry little heart, really is her mama's girl. I can't eat anything pork based without her doing her damndest to get some of it. She likes it all, if she can get it, but especially bacon. I literally have to stand in the middle of a room to eat it in peace, and even then she tries to climb me like a tree to get some. Sitting, I can expect a furry little paw to dart from over my shoulder, trying to hook a bite of my food. They've taken to tag-teaming me- one cat will launch a frontal assault and when I hold the plate away from them- say off to the side or behind me- the other will attack.

When I took the roast out a few hours later, both furkids were dancing happily around my feet. Oh was it a beauty! Crispy crackly skin, an aroma of meaty goodness mixed with garlic and herbs...couldn't wait. I hacked off some bits of the crackling and a bit of meat from the end & proceeded to burn the hell out of my tongue. Then I cut a little more off and tried to dice it. I should have let it sit for a bit longer before I cut it (there's a reason that you're supposed to let roasts rest for 5-10 minutes before carving), and sure enough wound up dropping a few bits on the floor.

Did my idiot cats learn their lesson from the peppercorns? Did they, hell. They dove right onto the meat, which was still too hot and burned THEIR little tongues. More wailing ensued.

We did all finally get to eat some cooled roasted pork. It tasted as good as it smelled. Can't wait to go home tonight and have a roasted pork sandwich on rye...or some chopped pork in gravy w/rice...or scalloped potatoes and pork....mmmmmmmmm

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