Tag Archives: roasted salmon

Cold-hearted Sociopaths

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It’s been rough around here lately.  The rainfall in Sonoma County this spring has been crazy heavy.  Oakley hasn’t been to the dog park in weeks (see Andy’s Corner) and our Siamese cats have been inside with us an inordinate amount of time.  Our house is small for a 50-pound dog, two humans, and two cats – who happen to dislike each other – the cats, that is.  The humans do relatively okay together, especially when it’s NOT raining.  Whether the humans dislike the cats and/or the cats dislike the humans is a part of this little blog.

We’ve had nine cats in our 52 years of marriage, and I’d say six of them were real winners….the kind of kitties who snuggle up to you, rub against your legs, get on your lap, purr when petted, eat what’s given to them without complaining, are amicable with visitors, play well with others, don’t bite or scratch – and only catch mice and rats, not birds.  We loved them dearly and I’d like to think they loved us.

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Trace – who came after Zero and Minus  – all good, kind,  and loving cats

Then a few years ago we picked up a little kitten at the Sonoma Humane Society (Andy says “thanks, Chris!” :).  The folks there had named her Feisty, which should have been a red flag.  I’d lived about 70 years with cats and I had no idea a cat could be a cold-hearted sociopath.

It’s shocking how much comes up when you google “cat” and “sociopath.”  Perhaps my favorite comes from a funny little essay in London’s Telegraph.

What is there to like? What is the point of them?  Cats I mean. They torment, torture and kill smaller animals for fun, meow incessantly until they get fed or let out, sleep and bring absolutely nothing to the party. If a burglar breaks-in the first the thing out of the door, even before the TV, is the cat. A dog will not only let you know somebody is trying to gain access to your property but stand by your side to protect you.

 

 

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The cold-hearted sociopath as a youngster

OnoMoore – FKA Feisty – whom Andy wrote about and videotaped earlier – is our psychotic cat.  Andy thinks we’re being cruel dissing her in this very public way, but I think it’s all justified.  When asked to describe her, our SF family uses words such as “evil,” “terrifying,” and “demented.”  Andy and I take pains not to walk by her when she’s in a bad mood.  Oakley, our dog, won’t leave our bedroom if Ono is in the doorway.  God forbid that she’s in a chair you’d like to sit in.  Blood has been drawn more times than we can count.

I just wish Ono could read this and take note.

I’m no psychologist, but it’s pretty easy to find out what symptoms of sociopathy are.  Please note: there is no hidden political agenda here.  I’m just talking about certain cats, not certain people.

  • Arrogance
  • Using charm or wit to manipulate others for personal gain or personal pleasure
  • Grandiose estimation of self
  • Lack of empathy for others and lack of remorse about harming others
  • Serious violation of rules
  • Easily bored
  • Poor or abusive relationships

But maybe pictures are worth a thousand words?

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Using charm or wit to manipulate others for personal gain or personal pleasure

 

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Grandiose estimation of self

 

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Lack of empathy for others and lack of remorse about harming others

 

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Serious violation of rules

 

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Easily bored

 

Ono and Choco duking it out

Poor or abusive relationships

I’m not sure if “unusually picky eater” is a symptom of a sociopath, but it applies to Ono.  As parents we are generally advised to offer our children a wide variety of foods so that they never become too persnickety.  The same is supposed to apply to dogs and cats.  Accordingly,  we’ve tried to feed Ono endless variations of canned chicken, chicken liver, turkey, beef, and shrimp, all from very pricey and gourmet cat food brands such as “Fussie Cat,” “I and Love and You,” and “Chicken Soup.”   Yet it’s been met with total disgust on her part (like pawing as if she wants to bury it).  But Ono will eat tuna, salmon, and crab, if offered from a few select brands, so here are some fitting  recipes – for humans – all dedicated to the weirdest, craziest, wildest, most psychotic – and possibly the most fun – cat we’ve ever had. Continue reading

Salmon & Carpe Diem

Is there any fish more maligned than carp or more loved than salmon?  Right after our Go Fish blog went up yesterday –  with Andy’s Corner devoted to musings on his dad and fishing – Gayle and Bob C, friends from grad school days at Colorado State U more than 46 years ago, rolled in for a visit. When the subject of carp came up, Bob talked about his army days in Germany in the early 1960’s where he was shocked to see little Bavarian restaurants whose specialty was – ta-da – CARP or “Karpfen.”  Bob had apparently been brought up with the notion that carp was a fish no civilized person would eat. I did a little research and discovered that in Germany and a few other European countries serving carp at Christmas is a special tradition…and (mind you – I’m only repeating what I read; I don’t know this for a fact) – the carp may be “housed” in the family’s bathtub for awhile before it meets its demise.  What a tradition.  Loving and hating carp reminds me a little of the relationship Scandinavian-Americans have with lutefisk.

Carp Illustratio

But on to a much-loved fish:  Bob and Gayle, who focus on eating healthy foods, routinely buy frozen salmon at Costco.  That shows how important it is to have friends.  I hadn’t even thought about frozen salmon, especially frozen wild Alaskan salmon, which Bob and Gayle buy in quantity and defrost pieces as needed.

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Slow-Roasted Salmon from Picnics by Sara Deseran

Here’s our all-time favorite AND Super Simple salmon recipe from Sara’s 2004 Picnics cookbook:

Super Simple Slow-Roasted Salmon

  • Servings: 4
  • Print
Adapted from Sara Deseran and Picnics

Ingredients

  • 1 filleted side of salmon, skin on, 2-3 pounds, about 1 1/2″ thick with the pinbones removed – or use 4 fillets that are about 5-6 oz each and reduce the roasting time.
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.  Rub both sides of the salmon with the olive oil.  Place the salmon skin-side down in a roasting pan.  Generously sprinkle salt and pepper over the flesh side (figure about 1 tsp kosher salt/pound).  Roast uncovered 30-40 minutes for the whole fillet or around 15-18 minutes for the 5-6 oz fillets.  The salmon will look undercooked on the top, but if it flakes when gently pulled apart with a fork, it’s done. Remove from the oven and serve, either warm or room temperature, adding a topping such as lemon and capers if desired.

Our friends suggest sprinkling pepper- based Jamaica-Me-Crazy seasoning on top and grilling the salmon for 8 minutes on a medium hot grill, without turning.  Sara suggests a Cucumber Raita to go with this, and we second that.  Recipe brought to you by Sara Deseran and BigLittleMeals.com.

 

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