Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Edited to add: Ok, not so wordless. I forgot it was Halloween today (we celebrated early at work). Happy Halloween everybody! If you're trick-or-treating or partying, stay safe!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I seem to recall seeing somewhere that October is also 'tocktober. Given that my blog reading time has been severely reduced lately and I've mostly been skimming everyone's blogs to try and keep up, it's possible 'tocktober isn't actually a thing and somehow the word just got lodged in my brain. Which is a thing that happens kind of a lot. 

Anyway. I looked over at the couch the other day and saw this:

World's cutest hind quarters. And then, because she knows when the camera is out and clicking, Melly started mugging. With her hind paws.

Absurd little creature.

Also: I hope all of you on the East Coast stay safe during the Frankenstorm! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Scarlett assists with the blogging

Scarlett loves to sit with me while I'm on the computer, and although she prefers my lap, sitting behind me on the chair is a good alternative (she's there now, as I'm typing this).

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Saturday PhotoHunt: Spooky

I attempted to get the resident black cat to pose with one of my two Halloween decorations but she was not feeling particularly cooperative.  Ah well. The pumpkin is semi-spooky, at any rate.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Melly and her Bag

Here is a short video of Melly enjoying her paper bag.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Scarlett helps with the blog visiting

Well, "helps" may not be the right word.

"Oh, I'm sorry, am I in the way?"

Scarlett, you should be paying attention to that post on the screen. It's about a kitty eating pizza, and you love pizza!
(Note: Recently, Scarlett brazenly stole a pizza crust right off Geoff's plate.)

"From this angle, you can have a great view of my beauteous ear tips." 

Yes, Scarlett. They're lovely.

"Is that cheese?! I love cheese!" 
[scampers off to try to steal some of Geoff's fancy cheese]

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Well, this one's a flop

I had plans for a real post today, honestly I did. But certain felines refused to cooperate.

"Nope, shan't look at you. Shall slurp belleh instead."

[growling, hissing, and screeching]


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Melly in the Mirror

Although these first two pictures are a little blurry, I wanted to show the series anyway. I love that the first picture shows Melly's usual way of walking: with her tail straight up in the air. 

"Uh oh, here comes the Interloper."

"Mom, please make her go away."
(You can just see the tip of one of Melly's ears in the mirror.)

"Why are you leaving, Scarlett? I just wanted to play.
Oh well. This is a good spot: you can see two of me!"

Monday, October 22, 2012

Reading with the kitties

More cell phone pictures today, because I was trapped by a sleepy kitty on my lap.

Even though she looks a bit put out in the picture above, Scarlett was actually very, very happy. She was somewhat less happy when Melly scooted closer, though.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Saturday PhotoHunt: Sassy

I came across these pictures from November of last year, and I'm not sure if I posted them or not. I think they're a good demonstration of Melly's sassiness, though. (Oh, the things Scarlett puts up with.)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Watchful Scarlett

"Mom, the Overdressed Fuzzball is coming to attack me again.
See, there she comes. Right there.
Not a fan, Mom. Not a fan."

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Melly and her Bag

I got out a paper shopping bag to bring the recycling outside, but Melly claimed it first.

"My bag."

"It's a perfectly Melly-sized fort."

"And the handles are delicious."

"I have moved it into the middle of the floor for maximum inconvenience to humans. Because that's how I roll."

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Melly Relaxes

Here is Miss Mellybean (aka The Belly), relaxing on my lap and purring her fuzzy little head off. Please excuse the blurry cell phone pics (and the fact that my socks have snowflakes on them--weirdly, I rather enjoy wearing seasonally inappropriate hosiery). 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Scarlett Gets Payback

Those of you who've been with us since the beginning probably remember that one of kitten Melly's favorite activities was attacking Scarlett's tail, which inevitably swished invitingly angrily whenever Melly was about.

At long last, Scarlett has gotten her revenge.

With a little bit of help.

This probably makes us terrible people, but Melly was purring the whole time, and I'm not sure she even noticed what was going on.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Saturday PhotoHunt: Empty

"Ahem. I would like to call your attention to a desperate situation:
my bowl is empty."

"This is unacceptable. Kindly fix this problem immediately."

Friday, October 12, 2012

In which Melly is creepy

Do your cats like to creepily observe you in the bathroom?  Scarlett and Melly seem to get a kick out doing just that. They insist on being in the bathroom with me; if the door is closed and they can't get in, they sit outside and either bang on the door (Scarlett) or cry (Melly).  I've gotten used to have a feline audience while I'm shaving my legs or brushing my teeth, but being watched while I'm doing, um, other bathroom things is just plain unnerving.

I would just like to say that the following photos were staged. It would be very weird if they weren't.

"Oh, hi! Whatcha doin down there?"

"I was definitely not watching while you were using the loo. 
See, I'm just casually looking over here."

"Ok, fine. Maybe I was watching. You humans are interesting!"

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Scarlett and her flower toy

I posted about these flower toys when they first arrived in July (here), and they continue to be two of Scarlett's very favorite toys. I think it's because the long stem is perfect for bunny-kicking. I love that Scarlett is such an avid fan of all the various toys. She's so grumpy most of the time that it's somehow always surprising and delightful to see her rolling around on the floor like a kitten.

Please excuse the quality of this video--I took it on my cell phone since going to grab the camera would have interrupted Scarlett's adorableness.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Melly Takes Over

While I was recording the video in yesterday's post, Melly decided to butt in.  This is what happened right after yesterday's video ended:


It's a fairly typical interaction between these two.

Also: please excuse the profusion of videos lately. I have been very busy and haven't had as much time as I'd like for taking pictures of the cats.  Videos are just easier.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Scarlett the Lapcat

After the video of Melly on Friday, I wanted to give Scarlett her moment in the spotlight.


Also: I very much enjoyed reading the comments on yesterday's post. Yes, we are loony. Yes, Geoff is handsome. And Simba, the jury is still out on who's the biggest ham

Monday, October 8, 2012

Geoffrey and the Kitties

Me: "Smiiiiile!"
Geoff: [through gritted teeth] "Why are we taking pictures of me with cats?"
Scarlett: "Grr, that's my lap."
Melly: [purrrrrrr]

Me: "Awww."
Geoff: [grumblegrumble]
Scarlett: "I'm going to come hang out with you instead."
Melly: [purrrrrrr]

Me: "Smile nicely!"
Geoff: [dutifully smiles]
Melly: [purrrrrrr]

Me: "Um, what are you doing?"
Geoff: "Come on, Melly, say 'Rawr!' You are a fierce kitty!"
Melly: [purrrrrrr]

Me: "Ok, now what are you doing?"
Geoff: "Styling Melly's fur for the pictures. Obviously."
Melly: [purrrrrrr]

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Saturday PhotoHunt: Hand

"You're gonna lose. Someone dealt you a bad hand."

Friday, October 5, 2012

Melly the Lapcat

Scarlett is my usual computer buddy, but yesterday, Melly decided to take a turn.  She was being especially cute, so I took some video with my webcam. If you turn the volume up a bit, you should be able to hear her purring.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Apple Ginger Pie

Here is pie number two! This one isn't too much of a departure from a standard apple pie, but the ginger in the filling adds a bit of pizzazz, and the sauce (oh, the sauce) makes it quite decadent indeed.

A note on the crust: Laura asked if I got the suggestion about refrigerating the dough from her. The answer is that I'm not entirely sure where the idea came from originally: I did a lot of research on crust methods and ingredients. I will say that getting a consensus from bakers I know (or know online) about things like refrigerating the dough, or cutting the flour and shortening to a certain size, was incredibly helpful.

Apple Ginger Pie
Recipe came from Bon Apetit via Epicurious
Original recipe here

3 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and sliced. Use a mix of apples, preferably tart ones.
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon apple pie spice (I eyeballed a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves that totaled a bit more than a teaspoon)

Cider-Bourbon Sauce
5 cups apple cider, the fresh kind if you can find it
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons bourbon

For Finishing

double pie crust (see recipe below)
egg beaten with a little water, or milk
sugar (optional)

vanilla ice cream

For pie
Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss all filling ingredients together in a bowl.

Roll out 1 dough disk between two pieces of parchment paper to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch deep-dish glass pie dish. Trim overhang to 1 inch. Mound filling in pie dish. Roll out second dough disk and drape over apples. Trim overhang to 1 inch. Press crust edges together to seal; crimp. Cut a few decorative slits to allow steam to escape. Brush crust with milk or egg mixture. Sprinkle sugar over crust (optional). Bake until golden brown, covering with foil if browning too quickly, about 1 hour.

Let pie stand until just slightly warm, about 1 hour. Serve pie with ice cream and drizzle with sauce.

For the cider-bourbon sauce:
Boil apple cider in heavy medium saucepan until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 45 minutes. Add butter and sugar and whisk until butter melts. Boil 3 minutes, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat. Whisk in bourbon. Cool sauce completely before serving.

Perfect Pie Crust
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup cold shortening
1/2 cup cold butter, chopped
1 tablespoon white vinegar
6-7 tablespoons cold water

Whisk or sift together the flour and salt.  Then, add the cold shortening and cut it into the flour with a pastry cutter until the mixture has the texture of sand.  Next, add the butter and cut it into the mixture until the butter pieces are about pea-sized.  Add the tablespoon of vinegar and work it into the dough, then add the water a couple of tablespoons at a time, cutting the dough between each addition.  Add the bare minimum of water for the dough to hold together. (I usually use 7, which makes it a smidge less flaky, but much easier to work with). Form the dough into two balls and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes before rolling out.