silent felinity, ha: in your dreams.

While Mara's genius shrimp and sage risotto from last night is being assembled above, let's take a brief detour via an alluring behind-the-scenes peek into the glamour-soaked home life of the Vegetarian Ducks...


Jo3n kitty has just resumed a habit she developed when we first moved into this apartment: beginning at about 4:30 in the morning, she becomes obsessed with waking Mara up.

We found this very cute at first because Jo3n has always been a little shy and solitary, so her unstoppable need to be close to Mara was initially interpreted as very sweet by us. Two factors, however, seriously mitigate the sweetness of this gesture: 1) she does it EVERY MORNING. 2) she will not stop until Mara gets out of bed.

The photo above was taken in pitch black darkness at 5am. Take note of Jo3n's "I Love Mara" face: whiskers forward, glazed, dreamy eyes, etc. Also note Mara's head directly beneath Jo3n's paws. After Jo3n stands on Mara's neck for a while, she then moves to the back area:

And "kneads" for 5-10 minutes. Apparently, this is done to stimulate milk production in the mother cat's teats. We have been trying to show Jo3n where Mara's teats actually reside for some time now, but Jo3n shows no signs of modifying her approach. After a few minutes of this, Jo3n realizes that shit ain't happenin', so she enables the distress signal (a plaintive meow every 20 seconds) and then assumes a "wait and see" approach:

Then she starts from the top, occasionally mixing things up a little by scratching around frustratedly in her litter box for 10 minutes at a time before returning to the head/neck position. I have many more pictures of Operation Early Bird in progress, but they all tell the same story: bad kitty.

The good news is: we've recently discovered an effective defensive maneuver: if Mara and I switch sides of the bed, the Jo3n unit becomes confused and cannot execute her fiendish plan. Why this works is a bit of a mystery. Oh right: it's because Jo3n's brain is roughly the size of a large prawn.


Last night, actual prawns made an appearance at the dinner table, as they had on Friday when I made shrimp carbonara, using Antonio's recipe: bacon, 2 eggs, a little cream, black pepper, and Parmesan in the sauce; caramelized onions were added to the shrimp as well:

This was meh, OK...I don't make non-red-sauced Italian things very often, and this was further evidence that I should just leave that to Mara, she's much better at it, which she potently demonstrated last night with a downright exemplary shrimp and sage risotto.

Really great, difficult to stop eating, and done using a "no-stir" risotto technique that we've been using for years and yet we're still amazed that it seems to come out awesome every time. The other double secret moment in Mara's recipe was halving the shrimp and marinating them for an hour or so in garlic and olive oil. Oh, another secret? Next time you're making fantastic food, just keep announcing "I don't know if this will be any good...I don't know what I'm doing," etc. Sneaky, that. Whatever, I'll get the recipe up here whenever I get in a recipe-typing mood again....

BTW, I would never have put shrimp and sage together in a million years. I have sage filed under "herbs that go with meat" in my 10-prawn-sized brain, and it seems to be filed there for good. But apparently (at least according to Food and Wine) shrimp and sage are a "popular Italian combination," so I guess that just shows you how full of diddley my 10 prawns are, doesn't it. Doesn't it?

UPDATE: This recipe has now been added to this site, here.


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