Tuesday, December 30, 2008

xmas recap and buttons update

Today, we're having dessert first: my Perfected Vegan Tira mi Su [Yes, the recipe is in the cookbook!]. I brought it for Christmas dessert and it was a huge hit. Making Tira Mi Su might sound mysterious, but it’s just a simple trifle: a sponge base soaked with a creamy, liquor-infused topping. Much debate remains over which liquor to use to flavor the topping. Some use cognac. Others use rum or Amaretto while others swear by rum. I prefer the elegance of brandy here, with cognac coming in second.

I found 99% of the vegan Tira Mi Su I’ve tried to be either grainy, "healthy" tasting or just plain “off.” So I experimented until I came up with this version. It’s important to use the best ingredients possible. [Avoid American coffee or instant espresso, for example, and generic cocoa powder.] This is my very favorite dessert recipe in the entire cookbook and one of my proudest accomplishments as a vegan cook. As with any tira mi su, it's better if you make it the day before serving it, so the sponge can properly soak up the liquid.

Flashback to Christmas dinner. Gnocchi marinara. It tasted as delicious as it looks.

Kitty Updates

Even though Bossa Nova was super-cranky this year, Sandy Claws still left a little something in her stocking...

Pablo loved his sock monkey and has already gleefully eviscerated three of the stuffed mice that his "Aunt" Michele gave him.

Unfortunately, it was not such a Merry Xmas for Buttons, my newest, semi-feral addition. Although Santa and various family members showered her with kindness, toys and treats, she's still way to terrified to do anything more than hide and sleep [at least in my presence].

After hiding for an entire week behind the washer/dryer in the bathroom, I decided that if Buttons was ever going to get socialized and learn to live with humans, I had to block off the area from her access. I moved the massive washer/dryer and crawled behind to get her, but then she jammed herself behind the water heater. So I had not choice but to hold her and pull her out. She hissed once –quite understandably! – but other than that was just docile and frightened. Ever since then, in my presence, Buttons just curls up and covers her eyes with her paws. It reminds me of the way little kids cover their heads with their blankets when they're scared. She has a blanketed box to retreat to, but prefers the corner.

Unfortunately, the bathroom where she is sequestered is the only room in our place with a door, but it's not exactly the most peaceful of places. [Better than the gutter, though!] I do need to bathe and use the bathroom, which makes noise. And eventually, I'm going to have to do eventually some laundry...the wash basket is overflowing.

From today onward, I'm trying only to feed Buttons in my presence [so far, she's on a hunger strike] and to spend more quiet time with her in the bathroom. I'm also leaning heavily on Feliway spray, Rescue Remedy, distance reiki from kind practitioners, and all the good vibes you're sending her way. Thank you – and please, keep the advice coming.

As I mentioned earlier in the month, because of RSS feed and irreconcilable coding problems, I'll be moving to a new blog address in 2009. Stay tuned. Happy New Year!

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