Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Deja Vu All Over Again

This is the afghan my Great Aunt Mary made for me when I was a teenager. She had made a similar one for my mother, using up leftover bits of yarn, and I liked it so much, she made one for me. She surprised me with it when I went with my parents to New York for a brief visit.

Fast forward many years.

Our first cat Panther loved that afghan. She loved to curl up on it and sleep or sit on it and watch the world go by. We used to put it on the floor next to the sliding glass door so she could watch the birds in the backyard.

When we took her to the vet for the final time, to be euthanized, she was so weak we didn't bother with the cat carrier. I wrapped her in the afghan and held her in my arms while Ron drove the short distance to the vet.

Our kindhearted vet offered to have Panther and the afghan cremated together, but we told him we wanted to save the afghan for future cats. When we got home, we placed the afghan on what became the memorial shelf. It was where we gathered photos of Panther, placed the tin containing her ashes when we got them, and placed the tins containing ashes of other pets as the years passed.

Then a few months ago, we decided to bring the afghan back into the land of the living. We washed it and folded it into a good size and then placed it on the dining room table (one of the places the cats like to be when we're not eating (or even when we are, come to think of it)). It didn't take long for Satchmo to discover it. He curled up and went to sleep, looking happy and peaceful.

It was so great to see another cat sleeping on that afghan, especially a black cat. It was almost like having Panther back. Our other cat Princess discovered the joys of sleeping on the afghan, too. On one or two occasions, I saw the two of them sleeping side by side on the afghan, but usually if one cat is on it and the other one wants it, a catfight ensues.

After one too many catfights (more than just fur was flying), we moved the afghan from the table to the couch where it remains today, usually occupied by a large black cat.

Life is good. I think Aunt Mary would be happy to know that her afghan is still used and loved after all these years.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


For quick weeknight meals, we love our Foreman Grill (thanks, Barbara).

Salmon steaks in six minutes! Boneless chicken breasts in nine minutes! T-Bone steaks in nine minutes! It's fantastic.

But on the weekends, we like to do batch cooking so we won't have to cook for a few days. On the weekends, we use the Weber Grill.

Charcoal! Mesquite charcoal! Such fantastic flavor!

As you can tell, it's well-used. We've had it for years and it's never failed us yet.

Yesterday we grilled/barbecued two cut-up chickens and they just fit on the grill.

I sprinkled them generously with Mrs. Dash's "Table Blend" and Ron the Grillmaster grilled them, sometimes over direct heat and sometimes over indirect heat, turing them and moving them as needed, but always with the cover on (except for the turning and moving).

When they were almost done, he brushed on barbecue sauce, a combination of two different kinds.

Then he grilled them a bit longer, until they were crispy and very slightly charred in a few places. And they were delicious! They had that perfect mesquite flavor enhanced by the barbecue sauce.

And we won't have to cook for days!