Aby-a-Day: 6 December: Not every box we open in the kitchen is cat food (Thursday Things)

As you might recall, since moving to Sweden we have been feeding the cats Bozita cat food. Instead of putting food products in cans, many things are packaged in Tetra-Pak boxes.

jaketomatosås_6202

jaketomatosås_6203

This leads to a rather amusing side effect. These photos were taken back when we first moved here, in August 2016.

jaketomatosås_6204

According to the Jacoby, everything that comes in a Tetra-Pak box is food.

jaketomatosås_6206

“Are you sure this isn’t food? It sure looks like food.”

jaketomatosås_6207

“You’re not even going to give me a taste?” Of tomato sauce? Hardly.

angeljaketomatosås_6209

“Did somebody say something about food? Oh, a box!”

angeljaketomatosås_6210

angeljaketomatosås_6211

Angel is so adorable when she’s hopeful.

Aby-a-Day- 22 November: Happy Thanksgiving, or, as we call it in Sweden, “Thursday”

Today is Thanksgiving back in the States, but we actually had our “Thanksgiving” dinner last Thursday.

goose_5174

The reason for this is more utilitarian than anything else. Since last year, I have wanted to cook a goose. In Sweden, geese are traditionally cooked for St. Martin’s Day, celebrated on 10 November. I didn’t know this last year when I first saw whole geese in the shops last year…I wanted to get one for Christmas, but by the time I was ready to buy one, they were nowhere to be found! Because they are only available in early November.

zakroryfreddygooseC03249

This year, I was on full alert for geese, checking all the stores for geese. And I found them at two stores. I snagged a better deal than the above for the one we had for our early Thanksgiving, but Björn (who works at the same mall that the supermarket I took that photo at is in) got a second one we froze for a third of the price. But for the first one, I wanted to cook it fresh, not frozen, and the use-by date was the 15th…so, we decided to have Thanksgiving a week early.

zakroryfreddygooseC03253

I have cooked whole chickens, turkeys, pheasants and ducks, but never a goose. I followed my usual Chinese-style, boiling-water-to-tighten-the-skin trick, and I even found a kick-ass Asian-style roast goose recipe.

The thing to keep in mind, here, is that the goose weighed 5kg. Of our five cats, the one who weighs the closest to that is Alfred, who, the last time I weighed them all, came in at 4.7kg. Yep, that’s right…Freddy officially weighs more than Jacoby!

zakroryfreddyjakegooseC03272

None of the cats was the least bit intimidated by food that weighed more than they did.

freddygooseC03279

freddygooseC03288

Freddy even tried to take a bite!

rorygooseC03275

Lorelai is our smallest cat – smaller even than Izaak! She only weighed 2.4kg the last time I weighed them. She was very impressed with the goose.

gooseovenC03298

Another trick I use when cooking birds is to start cooking it breast down (upside-down from the way people usually roast a turkey). This way, the juices run DOWN into the breast and keeps it moist. Then for the last hour, the bird is flipped over so the breast can brown. Goose cooks a lot faster than turkey, though, which I was not expecting. I’ll know better next time.

zakgooseC03299

zakgooseC032312

Zak was very interested in the cooked goose.

jakegooseC03317

jakegooseC03321

jakegooseC03322

So was Jake.

jakegooseC03325

Cheeky bugger actually licked it!

goose_5180

goose_5181

I don’t cook my birds with stuffing per se, but I do stuff the inside cavity with ginger, garlic, scallions, and, for this particular recipe, orange wedges. It adds flavour to the meat from the inside. I also boil them down with the carcass when I make stock, which makes for very tasty soups.

goose_5183

The meat inside is so much richer and more flavourful than turkey…but overall, it seems there is less edible meat per kilo than a similar-sized turkey. All in all, an interesting exercise. I can’t wait to try it again!

Aby-a-Day – 8 November: We’ll be right here if you need us…(Thursday Things)

A life with Abyssinians (and Singapuras) is a life of being “helped.” All. The. Time.

kalleroryzaktoast_4692

Kalle is making toast with cheese. With enthusiastic help from Lorelai and Izaak. Very enthusiastic help.

Aby-a-Day – 15 October: “When life gives you Monday, dip it in glitter and sparkle all day” (Hipstamatic Monday)

Today is just a normal Monday Chez Hellqvist…Angel sleeping in her favourite brown bed…

hipsta-angel7286

Unlike Logan, Izaak doesn’t share this bed with her. Oh, he tries to get in there with her…but where Logan ignored her when she hissed at him and got in anyway, Zak walks away and naps elsewhere.

hipstajake2789

Next we have Jacoby in the manly pink kitty bed. Which looks even more pink in this shot.

hipstajake3573

This film and lens tones the pink down quite a bit…but doesn’t really help.

hipstajake2624

Next shot is just plain black and white..and, nope. Doesn’t look any more manly without the pink. Must be the fluffy, not the colour.

hipstafreddy4149

Next we have Alfred.

hipstafreddy2616

I made Golonka (Polish beer-braised pork hocks) tonight, and Freddy always loves to chew on the bones.

hipstafreddy4034

Chomp, chomp…

hipstafreddyrory6259

He’s growling at Lorelai in this photo. He doesn’t like to share…

hipstafreddy0484

…no matter how big the bone is!

hipstafreddy2521

“Okay, Rory…NOW you can have it. I’m finished with it.”

hipstarory1890

Rory, meanwhile, has moved on and is playing in our bedroom.

hipstazak4224

Never fear! Zak the SuperSinga is here!

hipstaizaak8684

Never mind that that bone is bigger than his head!

Aby-a-Day – 11 October: “Corn is the only food you hold like corn” (Thursday Things)

It has been well documented that Angel loves corn on the cob. She even loves corn off the cob. But I never expected to have a second corn-eating cat.

zakcornC01915

zakcornC01916

Enter Izaak.

zakjakecornC01917

Even Jacoby seems perplexed by Zak’s appetite for corn.

zakcornC01921

zakcornC01922

zakcornC01923

Considering that Zak refuses to eat dry food at all and will barely touch processed cat food…it’s very odd that he attacks corn with such gusto.

zakcornC01924

zakcornC01929

But this is definitely not a one-off. He has done this more than once.

zakcornC01927

zakcornC01926

Try more like every damn time we have corn.

Aby-a-Day – 4 October: Glad Kanelbullensdag! (Thursday Things)

Today is a special holiday in Sweden: Cinnamon Bun Day.

jakeangelkanelbullarC03964

jakeangelkanelbullarC03966

Of course, longtime readers of this blog Jacoby has a long history of loving to snack on baked goods.

jakekanelbullarC04090

So when Cinnamon Bun Day came around our first year in Sweden, I had to at least offer Jake a cinnamon bun.

jakekanelbullarC04070

jakekanelbullarC04093

jakekanelbullarC04095

He attacked that bun like it was his last supper.

jakeangelkanelbullarC04025

jakeangelkanelbullarC04012

Angel can’t even with Jake’s baked good obsession.

jakekanelbullarC03956

I mean, look at him! Could you even with that?

kanelbullarC04155

In the end, Jake ate a good amount of his first Swedish cinnamon snail.

jakekanelbullarC04166

jakekanelbullarC04167

jakekanelbullarC04168

jakekanelbullarC04169

Obviously, Jake is a big fan of Kanelbullens dagen!

Aby-a-Day – 6 September: Stealing? Or coerced sharing? (Thursday Things)

Yesterday’s post prompted a discussion of “Grabby Aby hands,” and I was reminded of this set of photos I took back in August 2016, just a couple of months after I moved to Sweden with Jacoby and Angel.

jakebjornstealC01348

jakebjornstealC01350

jakebjornstealC01351

jakebjornstealC01353

Björn was eating something bread-based, and Jake wanted it.

jakebjornstealC01360

Look at how Jake inserted himself between Björn’s hand and his mouth!

jakebjornstealC01363

jakebjornstealC01366

Jake wanted a taste of whatever Björn was eating.

jakebjornstealC01367

jakebjornstealC01368

And he was pretty insistent.

jakebjornstealC01370

jakebjornstealC01371

jakebjornstealC01373

Jake was fighting for his share…but Björn was fighting for his share, too.

jakebjornstealC01375

jakebjornstealC01378

jakebjornstealC01379

jakebjornstealC01380

jakebjornstealC01381

It’s hard to tell who is fighting harder…Jake or Björn.

jakebjornstealC01384

It was a straight-up battle for the piece of bread, yo.

jakebjornstealC01386

jakebjornstealC01387

(Notice the bit of bread on Björn’s arm…)

jakebjornstealC01394

jakebjornstealC01395

jakebjornstealC01396

jakebjornstealC01398

Jake was persistent in his search for food…and he managed to get some scraps from Björn.

jakebjornstealC01399

And he managed to get some bread, too.

jakebjornstealC01400

jakebjornstealC01402

Yummy, yummy bread…

jakebjornstealC01403

jakebjornstealC01405

jakebjornstealC01406

But yeah. If you can’t eat bread around an Abyssinian…how can you expect to eat actual meat around one?