Salmon Cakes!

I once worked with a bunch of people who were all about these things called “Salmon Patties.” They ate them on bread, like a hamburger. Well, I like burgers and I like salmon so I should like a salmon patty. I went out and bought a can of salmon…because that is what you make these salmon patties out of.

I get home. I open the can, and OMFG it’s like they took the fish cut off a can sized hunk and stuffed it in there, bones and all. But that’s okay, because I’ve filleted a fish before…albeit ages ago when I was very little and with my dad when he used to perch fish, but the fact still stands I have gutted fish before! A can of fish, I should be able to handle.

I stood over my sink, up to my fore arms covered with fish water and weird slimy fish scales as I tried to remove the scales and back bone from the meat. Each bone I pulled out I gagged, and then gagged a bit more until I almost vomited. I am not the kind of person that is going to gag from preparing raw food, something about this fish in a can was just too much for me to handle.

I walked out to Husband who was working in the garage, he looked at me and knew right away we were not having salmon patties for dinner by the way I looked. I announced we would be ordering pizza and he needed to go pick it up. I gave up.

A few days later I was relating my story to my salmon patty eating co-workers where they looked at me and said “What? Did you think it was going to be like a can of tuna?”

Uh…yeah, I kinda did.

And then I found the salmon of all caned salmon…Costco canned salmon. It seems at the one we shop at they no longer carry the Kirkland brand canned salmon, which makes me sad. That stuff was like tuna fish, hardly any water, nice thick chunks of salmon. And the best part their cans of salmon are missing the bones and scales. It’s not a chunk of meat paste but real formed sections of meat, in a can. Glorious.

So, with the discovery of fantastic canned salmon from Costco I give you Salmon Cakes! Much better than salmon patties and no to be consumed on a bun but with a spicy mayonnaise caper sauce.

2 7 oz cans salmon – it should look like a tuna can
1 egg – lightly beaten
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dill
1 teaspoon Frank’s Red Hot (or hot sauce of your choice), a few shakes will do.
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Lemon-caper Mayonnaise
*This recipe comes from Cooking in Style The Costco Way and is by far the best mayonnaise sauce I have ever had for salmon or crab cakes.
6 table spoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons capers
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1. Make the mayonnaise sauce by combining all ingredients, cover and refrigerate.

2. Create the salmon cakes by mixing all ingredients together in a large bowl.

3. Heat two table spoons oil (I prefer olive) in a pan. Form the salmon mixture into patties and place in oil. Cook until just browned on both sides.

Serve with mayonnaise and lemon wedges.

A few notes:
I find the the mayonnaise mixture is much better if prepared the day before, however the hot pepper flakes will add quite a bit of heat to the mayonnaise if left to sit. If you have a sensitive spice pallet and choose to make the mayonnaise a head of time add the pepper flakes when starting to cook the salmon.

Husband doesn’t eat the mayonnaise instead sprinkling each patty with a bit of fresh lemon.

I’ll typically have a side of green beans, salad and a box of long grain and wild rice.

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Turdface has returned!

Yay, the cat is back. She is still just as bitchy as ever. 

She was discovered in the church Sunday morning just after they started their service. A guy found her hanging out in their lobby and shoo’d her outside, the guy mentioned to a lady that there was a cat in their lobby. The lady seeing my multitude of posters asked what the cat looked like and then told the guy to run outside and see if it’s the cat on the poster. They decided that the cat on the poster did look an awful lot like the cat that was in the lobby of the church and the lady called me. 

The church is located directly across the street from the my house. When I called the lady back she stepped outside, I was in my driveway. She walked out and then said “Oh! is that you right there?
 

Yes, yes it would be. She then filled me in that they had found the cat in the lobby and they chased her outside. Where she ran down to a back door and then vanished. We searched under the bushes and no cat was found. The lady suggested I put out a can of tuna because a cat that hasn’t eaten in a week would be very hungry. I don’t know why I didn’t even think about that but it was a genius plan. This lady obviously knew cats! 

I put the cat box out with the can of tuna in it where the cat was last seen, then sat in my kitchen and waited, and waited and waited. Yet, still no cat. We put the kids to bed, still no sign of the cat. Then as Husband and I were finishing out lunch I said that I would walk over to the church to see if there was any sign of her since it had quieted down before there was a rush of people leaving. 

I walked up to the cat box, nope, the tuna had not been touched and no sign of the cat. Then all of a sudden I hear a “meeeaawwwwo” 

“Meaawo, meahow, meahow, meahow, meahow!” 

“Turface?”

I can’t see her, but I can hear her. I keep calling her, then all of a sudden her little head pops up. Still meaawohowing as loud as ever. She’s about 50 feet away from where I was standing. I get up and start walking towards her. She is refusing to move but practically meow screaming at me. I get to her and scoop her up, still meowing as I walk her home. She was so lout that Husband could hear her in the house and walked outside to see what was going on. 

When I put her down in the driveway she was trying to get in the window closest to the ground, like “let me in this house, NOW!” She ran in as soon as we opened the door. She ran up to the dog and seemed so happy to see the dog, rubbing all over hear, purring and bumping her head on the dogs face. She eventually made it to her food and ate a bit then lounged on the floor. 

She later wanted to go outside but not without a person. She wouldn’t go any farther than the stoop unless we were with her, and even when she was on the stoop she continued to bitch at us. 

The Husband said maybe I just went crazy thinking someone took this cat and she was actually living in the church for a week, however, I still think someone took her and dumped her either in the church just after they started their service or she somehow ended in there after trying to get home, and here’s why…

The church is a pretty busy church. It’s not as if they show up one day a week and no one crosses it’s doors for an entire week, but first off the cat went missing on a Saturday night. That means an entire Sunday where the church is full of people, and yet no one noticed a cat prowling around the inside of the building. It’s pretty easy to tell if any animal is living in an enclosed space for even a little while. She would have been stuck in the church for over 12 hours by the time church time would have started. Animals do things…like go to the bathroom, and that is pretty obvious, also the church has get togethers and what not after their service. People are there until well after 2pm…and no cat spotted? 

On Monday the lady who cleans the church cleans it (It’s one of my neighbors). The church has recently started renting space to a Hispanic congregation, they had some teen night on Tuesday. Wednesday night is band practice, which lasts from about 6 pm – 10/11pm(ish). Thursday this week was a huge hoopla for the Hispanic half of the church. The place was packed! They didn’t end until well after 10pm and had the street lined with cars. Saturday is Hispanic church service, and that’s not any of the other coming and goings of anyone that works at the church, like the music director or office people – which are in and out on and off during the week. So, with all that going on, all week, no one, not one, saw a random cat or sign of a cat that was living in the church for an entire week, and just shows up in the lobby 10 minutes after the start of service. 

Because that cat was not in the church all week. 

Not only that, the cat wasn’t hungry, that’s why she didn’t go for the tuna I put out for her. The church cat lady was right, a cat that hasn’t eaten in a week would have been all over that tuna, instead she found a hiding spot where she could see the cat carrier (and me) but no one could see her, unless he wanted them to. 

When I brought her in I split up the can of tuna…still thinking that she would like to eat it. The two dogs, and other cat where all over the tuna. I had one cat on the counter trying to get it and two dogs behind me dancing around trying to get some tuna. Turdface was snacking on her dry food. I divided up tuna giving each animal a portion. I set Turdface’s portion next to her. She looked at it, snubbed it and then trotted off. This cat does not stub tuna, ever. It’s a fancy nice treat that they might get a pinch of if I’m making something with tuna, and even then it’s pretty sparse. Turdface, typically when I open a can of tuna is on the counter and in my face before I’m even finished opening the can. 

I’m fairly sure that someone picked up my cat and had her for the week, or at least a good portion of the week. As she was not hungry, no more than her normal anyway, snubbed tuna and had no weight loss for the week. She either escaped and was trying to come home and somehow ended up in the church or whoever had her dumped her off in the church. She may have wondered into the church if the doors were propped open when people were coming in for service…and ending up in the lobby. 

There is also the lady and the dog. A dog and lady, matching the description of who/what I saw in my yard shortly before the cat went missing were out walking Sunday, the day after the cat was gone. We were out in our yard. I saw them and had the hope that they would walk by our house, as I’ve seen the dog quite a few times walking by our house. I wanted to ask if she had seen the cat, and if she saw her wonder off. The lady looked right at us and did an about haste heading off in the other direction. It was just odd. Could have very much been a coincidence. Another strange coincidence is that after Sunday last sunday I have not seen this dog anywhere in our neighborhood. I used to see the dog almost daily. It’s just a little odd. 

So now Turdface has returned and is back to peeing on the doors. 

Pets are gross and you will do gross things for them.

Living with animals is gross, you give up a whole lot of personal and household hygiene. The house suffers it the worst at least, for most part, people shower. Think about all the dander and hair and dirt they track in, and just look at their eating habits. No wonder studies have show that children living with pets do not get sick as often, they have already been barraged with various germs and nastyness that comes with animals.

Now, does that mean those of us that live with the filth magnets love them any less or would give up having a pet for a cleaner house, nope. It’s just part of the package, you learn to live in it and live them for it, even when you’re cursing them because another vacuum but the dust.

Well, tonight I think I did one of the grossest things regarding a pet. And I didn’t even think twice just did what needed to be done because the dog couldn’t do it herself…although she made a valiant attempt.

Chloe has had a bump on her rump for years now. I’ve known it was there but it never bothered her so I just attributed it to getting older. She is a nine year old dog now, that’s old lady dog. Old dogs get bumps and random skin growths, just like old people. Then today we’re out for a walk and I notice that her hair where the bump was located looked like it had been chewed off. I took a closer look and saw that she had a bit of oozing. Ok. Gross. Decided to check out the area later that night when she would have been nice and sedate.

After inspection I found it was oozing, and could be expelled. I told Husband he had to hold her down. (He really didn’t) I expelled her cyst. Yep, gross. She didn’t mind. Let me trim all the hair up, push on it and then clean her all up. So it must have been a bit of a relief. Bit it got me thinking would I ever do this for a person. No, I would not but my pet no problem, not even a second thought.

The Crazy Cat Lady

The other night I saw a neighbor out with her kids, who we occasionally have play dates with, and I informed her of my cat conundrum. She told me that I needed to talk to the lady across the street as she was “The Crazy Cat Lady who collects cats.” Neighbor then went on about how the other lady searches out cats and takes them to the shelters.

I was all like oh dear god she stole my cat!

The Crazy Cat Lady didn’t look like she was home so I went and grabbed on of my fliers, then walked over and knocked. As expected no one was home, I left the flier.

Tonight I got a phone call from one crazy cat lady. I thought for a moment it was someone returning Turdface, but no. She just wanted to let me know that she was on the look out and she had her friend on the look out as well. We ended up talking for 20 minutes. She is in fact Crazy Cat Lady, but only that she just really cares for animals, but not the weirdness over the top. So, no more crazy cat lady than myself and it was really nice to talk to someone who understands being upset and doing everything I can to get Turdface home, even if it does seen a bit on the neurotic side.

My Cat was Stolen!

My cat (Turdface) was stolen! 

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I’m very upset about this. Way more than I thought I would be. We started to let her outside a bit hear and there due to her peeing in the house. I know that outdoor/indoor cats have a tendency to vanish. This was something I was trying to reconcile with myself before this even happened. I would check on her religiously when she was outside, calling her if I didn’t see her, and she always came back right away. She didn’t always come back inside but at least back into the yard.

So, how do I know she was stolen and not just wondered off. Well, we were out in the yard with her on the day it happened. She was lounging with us in the garage as I watched the kids and Husband worked on the Jeep. Turdface even caught us a small mole and brought it home. Then Husband asked me to help with the repair on the Jeep because his hands were too large to get into the small area. The job was extremely annoying. As I was helping with the Jeep I watched Turdface walk up to the front porch and around the corner. 

No big deal, she hangs out on the porch all the time just laying there. 

Then I saw some people walk by and I heard someone make a comment about there being a cat. Now, remember we’re in the garage, but a Trail Blazer was parked in the drive way. I could see them as they walked by one of the kids was running back and forth down the drive way, it’s not as if we were hiding around the back of the house being super quite. I thought about walking up to the front of the house but then figured that our cat would be fine since we were right in the driveway…and I was at that moment hanging upside down under the dash of a Jeep. 

After that was finished I walked up to the front of the house looking for the cat. I didn’t see her. Odd…but thought maybe she was just out of eye sight. Something seemed off to me and I started to get the feeling she was missing. I grabbed her bag of treats – which I use when she’s being extra stubborn about coming in – and shook it. Still no cat. 

I then went to Husband and said, “I think someone took our cat.” 

He thought I was being paranoid. We then took the dogs for a walk. I had to cut the walk short early because Kiddo fell and scraped her hand, which was very traumatic. We returned for a band-aid, and I started the search, just because that little nagging voice was really starting to bother me. I walked up and down our street shaking the treat bag and calling her. Still, no cat. 

It was now about 6:30 pm, and it was only about an hour since I noticed she was missing. The Husband and I were going out to dinner and I actually thought about canceling to start canvasing the neighborhood, but Husband and my mom (who was there to watch the kids) both talked me into going and said my fears that she had been taken were silly because she must have just wondered off stating, “she does go outside now” 

We came home from dinner, still no cat. My mom had not seen her. It was then that my husband believed me that she was pilfered. I walked all over that night, the neighborhood was unnaturally busy so I ran into a few people asking them if they had seen the cat, but to no avail. 

The next morning I went out again looking for her, just incase she really wasn’t taken, also I hung up signs all over the immediate area, figuring if someone walked off with her they must be located fairly close by. I have yet to hear anything and it’s now Monday. 

I alerted my neighbors to the missing cat, all the ones I spoke to had not seen hide-nor-hair of the cat, which to me just confirms that she was taken and is now being held in someones house. Someones house that is nearby. 

I feel more violated that she was taken than if something else would have happened to her, because even as a cat she is part of the family. If she were truly “just a cat” to us we would have gotten rid of both the cats last year when they completely ruined our house. And I do mean ruined, it smells like a damn litter box. We’ve had to completely re-do rooms in the house because of these cats, costing us not just their normal food and health costs but thousands of dollars in housing repairs. 

It’s also been awful to deal with the older kid, who is almost three now. She’s starting to get a better understanding of the world. The first day Turdface was missing she didn’t seem to care, saying that she was outside but that was it. Each day since it’s gotten worse, she’s now asking where the cat is and telling me that she needs to see her. To the point where she’s getting mad when I tell her she can’t because we don’t know where she is. Kiddo is also going out in the yard or the door and yelling out it “Turdface, come home, come home NOW!” When she sees a photo of her (because I’m making flyers) she demands to see the photos and starts wanting to know where she has gone. It’s not like I can say that something happened to her and he’s over because she’s seeing me put in all this effort to find the cat. 

I am doing everything I can to find this cat. Today I loaded up the kids, got a ton of flyers printed, ones to place on signs around the neighborhood and local business, others specific to veterinary offices and another set that I am planning on putting on every house in the surrounding area – it will take roughly 400 flyers, I have 225 currently. (I went to google maps and counted the buildings on the roads I think should be targeted).

I drove to almost all the vets in the SW area and dropped off a flyer and hit most of them in the SE area as well. I am faxing her information to the North side vets and calling every vet that I can find to let them know that she was taken. If this cat ends up in a vets office matching her description they should scan for a microchip.

She is listed as lost at every on-line lost animal site there is, including the various rescue agencies. She’s has a microchip and is up-to-date on their files. That was the very first thing I took care of, making sure that in the event she does end up someplace where they will scan for a chip we will be notified immediately. 

After I finish peppering the neighborhood with my fliers there isn’t much more I can do but wait. Wait for her to show up in a vet’s office and hope it’s not too far out that they forget to scan for a chip (most of the offices I talked to said that it is their policy to scan any new patient which was heartening to hear). Wait until she escapes from wherever she is and makes it back home – a most likely scenario, which could be days if not weeks, or wait for her to show up in a shelter. 

If you want to help please post here informationImage

 

Or, if not the spam the internet with missing cat photos I did find a prayer for missing pets. 

Father,
We ask you to help us find Turdface,
our dear pet who is now lost.

We know that you placed animals on the earth
for many reasons, including companionship for man.

We therefore ask you to help us find our lost companion,
and pray that You will keep her safe
and protect her from harm until she is found.

We join our prayers with St. Francis,
St. Anthony of Padua, and all the saints,
and pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

I’ll take all help I can get, including good vibes. 

CAT(s)!

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We have a cat that lives with us. People call her the “fattest cat I’ve ever seen!” She’s really NOT that fat compared to some other cats I’ve met in my life but she is fat, and not only is she fat but she holds her weight really strangely for a cat. It’s all in her belly. Her belly hangs way down and is all wobbly, like she needs a tummy tuck but her front portion is normal cat looking. When she sits down she looks like a Heresy’s Kiss. She is also a gray stripped cat just adding to the allusion.

This is the cat that has been marking in the house. Husband says that he wants to get rid of her…well both the cats, or so he says. I think if it really came down to it he wouldn’t get rid of them because let’s face it, it’s been almost two years now that we’ve been dealing with cat pee in the house. We’re about to rip up our laundry room because of pee-body and the only “discussion” of getting rid of the cat(s) is a “I’m going to throw them out side and never let them back in.” At this point I just roll my eyes when he says he’s going to get rid of the cats. *However* unless one of the kids brings home a stray we will NEVER go out and find a cat. Ever. We will be stuck with these two for a good long time since they are only six(ish) and well, cats live forever.

Because of the pee-ing in the house I’ve started to let her outside, we would let her outside with supervision perviously, now I just let her roam around outside. Thankfully she doesn’t roam much further than our yard straying into the neighbors on either side, but staying close enough that I can shake the treat bag out the door and she’s there in a jiffy. She also loves it when anyone comes out side with her. She follows whoever is outside, if we’re doing yard work she’ll lounge in the driveway, or flop down in front of you as you’re trying to do the task you went outside to do. So excited, like a dog when you go in the yard and they think you are coming out only to play with them, that is our cat.

The cats (who’s name is Turdface) is lounging in the driveway as I’m trying to sweep. Toddler is chasing the cat with a stick, since the cat was lounging obviously she was not too concerned about the small one with the stick. Then the neighbor kid came out…I shouldn’t say kid, young adult? They are driving now, driving! Makes me feel old. Young adult neighbor comes out with a book and a blanket, proceeds to put blanket down and then sit upon blanket to read their book. The cat seeing this, immediately gets up from her lounging about the driveway and trots over to the neighbor, crashes her head into the neighbor’s arm and then flops over as if to say “oooooOOOOOOHHHHHH pet me! PET ME! I’m soooooooooo neglected!”

I was standing in the driveway watching this all unfold. I then tried to call the cat back, even going over and picking the cat up and brining her back into the yard. The cat ran back to neighbor and went back to posturing for pettings. I apologized but neighbor didn’t seem to mind petting the cat. I figured that eventually the cat would get bored and move on, since cats are fickle creatures. But, no. Turdface thought the neighbor was her new BFF and was not going to leave her alone. After a few minutes I had to go get the treat back and shake it at her. That got her attention and made her come running, then I scooped her up and tossed her back in the house.

I was somewhat embarrassed about my cat, although more because we don’t really get along with the neighbors more than my cat acting like a spoiled cat that thinks everyone is there for her own amusement and giving her attention.

Chickpea Pita

This recipe is a lie, I didn’t use a pita!

We only had taco shells in the house, so I used those and wrapped it up as a sandwich, however, a pita would have made it way more awesome.

Bean filling
1 15 oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) – rinsed and drained
2 Table Spoons olive oil
2 Table Spoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Cucumber-Yogurt sauce
1/2 cucumber chopped
1 teaspoon dried dill
8 oz plain greek yogurt

Pitas
Lettuce
tomato
cucumber
and other toppings as desired

1) Heat oil in a pain, add chickpeas (beans). Then add chili powder and cumin. Stir around pan so the chic peas are evenly coated with the spice mixture.
2) Cook for 10-15 minutes until the beans start to soften a bit and get start to get a nice browned outer layer or crust.

As the beans cook whip up the Cucumber-Yogurt sauce. Mix together all ingredients and add salt to taste. I like just a pinch of sea salt added.

Place beans, yogurt sauce and any toppings you would like in the pita and mow down. My toddler enjoyed this meal, eating almost a half of her wrap, or her that’s a major feat. Even the baby liked the beans if I cut them in half so she could gum them up.

This was a super easy and quick lunch to make in under 20 minutes and I was able to make it before one of the kids had a major melt down all while scooting around them as they played on the kitchen floor. The only down side was that the spice mixture really did a number on my pan and I had to soak the pan before scrubbing it out.

Just plain busy.

There is not a lack of excitement around this house. I guess that would actually come down to what one would call “exciting.” It’s more just being overly busy.

My lovely cat that pees in the house has now become an indoor/outdoor cat, mostly for the fact that if she’s peeing outside it’s not in my house. The peeing is due to her spraying/marking because one of the neighbors started letting their cats out. Their cats would come up to our house and sit on our porch, which drove our territorial cat nuts, so she started marking by all the doors and windows. Cat pee is awful to get rid of fully. We’ve been able to clean it up in all areas of the house but two. One being a rug in our bathroom and our laundry room where the cats litter boxes are located. She was not peeing in the laundry room because her litter boxes were in there, what happened was she was going in the litter box but when she went to the bathroom it was leaking out a seam in the back of the box and getting on the wall. The wall is nothing but cheep paneling. By the time we figured out this was going on and moved the litter box pee had already soaked into the cheep paneling, and now both of them are peeing on the pee spot on the paneling. It stinks. It’s horrible, I was in the room the other day and thought I was going to vomit.

Husband tells me he is going to rip out the paneling, which starts a slight argument about we can’t rip it out until we are ready to replace it with something…because letting two obnoxious cats, or two babies or two dogs have access to the inside of a wall is a good idea?! What was decided upon is that the laundry room will be remodeled before the bathroom, which sends all of my plans into a bit of a tail-spin, for the past two months I’ve been getting ready for this bathroom remodel and now I have to quickly figure out what is going to happen to the laundry room and then make it happen with little time and on a shoe-string budget, not to mention all the other projects that need to get completed by October. Oh, and I’ve just started an interview process for a full-time position.

The other projects that need to get completed is a retaining wall (I’ve given up on re-doing my patio), gutter covers and cleaning out the gutter. Neither are too large of a job, but when I know most of my weekends will be taken up doing other things, like going to visit my grandma and there are only eight weekends left. Let’s just say I’m a wee-bit high strung right now, and doesn’t leave me much time to put together my recipes I’ve been working on. I’ve been trying to create a few meatless meals for a friend because recently they decided they were going to be come a Pescetarian, basically a vegetarian that eats meat.

As for other excitement, my grandma on my dads side is dying. She’s on death watch but seems to keep hanging on even being unresponsive. She hasn’t been really with it for quite some time now. My dad passed away three years ago this month. My grandma (dad’s mom) doesn’t know he’s dead, she was at the funeral but when she was up she would tell people that my dad never came and visited her and that he stuck her in “this place and left her.” My dad did force her to move into an assisted living center after a few major falls that resulted in a broken pelvis and months in nursing home care. My uncle told me that whenever she would ask where my dad was he would just tell her that he was coming to visit, since she didn’t remember who was there or wasn’t anyway.