by Kate Heyhoe
I'm not sure who in our family gets more holiday gifts: the humans or the pets. And from what I saw last Christmas, we're not alone. Not only are the furry ones getting more loot than my husband and I, they're getting better gourmet goodies than we are. Pet extravagance is all the rage.
It used to be a bone or a few fake mice in their stockings were considered ample treats for the family dogs and cats. Not any more. Now, it's organic dog biscuits, hand-made gourmet puppy stew in a can, and just-add-water biscuit mixes, so you can make and bake hot treats on the spot, for the Spot, and cut them out with squirrel- and cat-shaped cookie cutters.
Not that there's anything wrong with sharing the season with Muffy and Fluffy. In fact, when it comes to pampering the pets, I plead guilty with joy. You know those bags of IQF (individually quick frozen) chicken pieces? Yup. I buy them for the cats (we have four). It's not like I feed them a whole piece of chicken; just little bits of meat as treats, about 50 times a day. It's actually cheaper than buying real cat treats. A few seconds in the microwave and voila! Kitty Chicky.
The chicken treats are a year round affair, which they supplement with their own insects and occasional field rodents. But for the cats, the biggest holiday treat is drinking the water from the Christmas tree stand. With four cats, I sometimes have to replenish the water twice a day. The little rascals have plenty of other bowls of water, but nooooo. Nothing tastes as good as pine sap. Must be a bit like feline retsina.
We all need a bit of pampering and indulgence now and then. Just ask Shirley MacLaine's dog Terry.
If you've overindulged over the holidays, though, perhaps it's time to skip the super-sized portions and cut back to, well, bird-like bites. But there's no need to skimp on pampering, just because you're trying to slim down. I've selected below a few recipes as good post-holiday fare. They're tasty, sensible, and you won't feel as if you're sacrificing pounds for pleasure.
Bandaglesh Drums (from Kate's book A Chicken in Every Pot)
Char Siu Pork Chops with Black Bean Sauce and Stir-Fried Vegetables
Fisherman's Sauce Bake
Herb-Roasted Flattened Chicken
Lamb Cutlets with Honey, Apricot, and Tarragon Sauce
Picadillo de Pavo (Ground-Turkey with Raisins, Green Olives, and Capers)
Mushrooms and Baby Bok Choy with Fried Garlic
Roasted Butternut and Apple Salad on Bitter Greens
Roast Eggplant with Garlic and Mint
Skillet Carrots with Lime and Lemon Thyme
Toasted Almond Broccoli
Vietnamese Noodle Salad
Kate's Global Kitchen for January 2004:
01/02/04 Hot Off the Presses: Kate's Newest Books
01/09/04 Pampered Pets—and People, Too!
01/16/04 MACHO NACHOS: Kate's Book of Love
01/23/04 The Really BIG Stories of 2003
01/30/04 Super Bowl: The Big Crunch
Copyright © 2004, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This page created January 2004
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