Monday, October 13, 2014

The wet fish movement ...

For a while we were feeding them wet food. Hal had a bunch of kidney stones, was probably too nauseated to eat, and we had to get him interested in food again. He was so bony and light that it made it a little harder to hate him every time he butted up against a kitchen cabinet, shook his haunches and unleashed a stream of pee.

The wet food didn't do much -- for him. He would lap up the gravy and leave the chunks for the other cat. Orin gained about 5 pounds and a lazy unwillingness to stalk even the slowest of spiders. Eventually Hal was miraculously cured and returned to dry Iams and we hid the leftover wet food far, far away in the darkest recesses of the cupboards. But wet cat food does something to you, man. It put us off tuna, neither of us could stomach the idea of it. Even eating sushi became a thing that might never happen again.

A certain food pickle has me ripping through my recipe archives to find something to feed an unpredictable dinner companion. Well, there is one sure thing. Consider this story from earlier in the day: Chuck told The Girl it was time to eat lunch, so she crawled under the kitchen table to hide. Then Chuck told her he had made Macaroni & Cheese and she backed out, smiling. Like, "Just kidding, dad. Of course I'll eat. LOL."

Aside from that, she does a thing I call The Zamboni. She uses her teeth to push the offending food off her tongue -- a sort of resurfacing -- and onto her bib. It's fascinating to see what will pass the test. She will eat a noodle. But she will zamboni a noodle slathered in a sauce made from nutritional yeast and mustard, even if the cookbook insists this is a viable substitute for cheese. She will eat peas; She will zamboni broccoli. Oatmeal is for eating; Eggs are new to the zamboni treatment.

I decided to make Tuna Twist. This recipe comes from the heart of the 1970s, a place where every dinner was made possible with the help of Campbell's Cream of Something Soup. (In this case, I used Cream of Celery.) I got the recipe from Ma Pista when I was pregnant and hungry for all manner of nostalgia food. Aside from that, it's tuna, green pepper, onion, cheese, Bisquick, milk, cheese, etc. It's not, what you'd call, gourmet. It's like landlines and pea green hand mixers. It's an apron and a wrench to change channels on the TV. It's a Tab diet and feathered bangs.

I made Tuna Twist because it seemed like something an almost 15-month old would like. There's cheese in it. A bread-like quality. The flavors are muted. The green pepper would count as a vegetable, the tuna as a meat. It seemed like if it was listed in a food group, it would appear alongside Macaroni & Cheese.

This is all just to say that when I opened the tuna cans, the cats pounced. They were, like, feral. They crawled up my pant leg and clawed at the cupboards. At first it was funny. But, frankly, the whole thing freaked me the eff out. It felt like being dropped in a snake pit, the way these things wound around my legs. Wet fish. Wet fish. Wet fish.

So The Girl loved it. But, sorry, we're never eating Wet Fish-based foods ever forever never again.

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