Archive | 15:44

A Little Black Panther and Pavlov’s Humans

28 Aug

Ink drawing: two kitties on a cushion.

Our lovely black tomcat, Bola, died a couple of years ago at the age of 19. He was an enormous sleek neutered tom and he looked like a scaled down black panther but he had the sweetest personality and loved food. He was a bit of a gourmet and I know you’re not supposed to do it, but I always let him sit next to me at the table and I fed him tidbits. He liked Indian, Chinese, Italian and Mediterranean food as well as good home cooking. Meat, fish and cheese were his favourites but he’d happily eat rice, pasta and veg as long as there was some sort of gravy or sauce on them.

At the end of the meal he loved to be given a tiny slice of honeydew melon which he’s suck and suck until it was dry. He always had to have his human food at the table – he wouldn’t eat tidbits if I put them in his cat bowl. I wished that there were restaurants that would accept cat guests because he would have loved to be taken out to dine and he was very well-behaved, but that’s ‘Elfin Safety for you!

I swear he had a wristwatch hidden on him somewhere because throughout his long life he never missed a mealtime. We’ve always fed our cats at 7am and 5pm and he’d be there, first thing in the morning, meowing loudly dead on seven o’clock every single day, never understood the concept of a lie-in. Even though he’s been gone now for two years we still automatically wake up at 7am, no need for an alarm clock. It’s like those experiments with Pavlov’s dogs.

This is an ink sketch I did of Bola and Bobbit, our tortoiseshell [calico] queen in a rare moment of tolerating each other, curled up on a chair next to the boiler in the kitchen.

My Cat’s New B.F.F. – the Kettle.

28 Aug

Ink sketch: My Cat's New B.F.F.

We have a big boiler in the kitchen and for the past seventeen years it was ruled by Bobbit, our recently deceased tortoiseshell [calico] queen. It’s been five weeks now since she died and in the past week Ming the Merciless, our next oldest cat, has grabbed the space and made it her own. For the first week or two after Bobbit’s death, she and Sparta took it in turns to sprawl on the boiler top, but after a few scuffles, Ming asserted her dominance and the coveted boiler is hers. It’s covered in cork tiles so it’s exceptionally warm and cosy but she has to share it with the bread maker and the kettle. No problemo. The kettle is warm as well and she’s happy to cwtch up next to it and even curl around it. The kettle is her new Best Friend Forever. I think this is one relationship that’s going to last and last.

Unless we decide to change to a small wall-mounted boiler.

No! NO MING! I didn’t mean it! AAAARRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!

Cooking Celtic Cakes

28 Aug

Ink drawing: Tinker's Cakes on the griddle.

We have a glut of cooking apples this year and they’re a type that doesn’t store very well so I’m trying out as many apple recipes as I can find time to. Today I made Tinker’s Cakes, which are a variation on Welsh Cakes, a traditional Celtic dish, using apples and cinnamon instead of currants and nutmeg. The cakes are cooked on an iron ‘maen’ or ‘planc’ in Welsh, a griddle or bakestone in English. This is a very ancient way of cooking over a fire. Celtic cooking was done either in an iron cauldron, giving rise to one-pot dishes like Irish Stew, Lobscouse from Liverpool and Cawl, a Welsh lamb and vegetable soup, or a griddle. You can still buy cakes and breads cooked in this way from Swansea market and Scottish oatcakes, pikelets, crepes and pancakes are also part of this tradition.

We went for a run along the beach earlier so we were starving when we got back and I thought we deserved some nice Tinker’s Cakes hot off the maen, with some lovely Welsh farmhouse butter melting into them. We nommed the lot! I’ll have to do another run tomorrow to work off the calories!

I did a drawing of the cakes in my sketchbook while they were cooking. It’s in Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens, sizes S and F with shading by FCP again, only this time their set of ‘Shades of Grey’ brush pens.

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