Aby-a-Day – 29 November: De-Frosty the Snow Cat (Thursday Things)

Since it’s gotten colder outside, we’ve been able to store food outside on the balcony. Last night, we used that to our advantage and defrosted our freezer.

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Not without help, of course. All the cats were there, of course, because they know food is involved with the big white cold box in the kitchen, but only one thought it would be a good idea to hop inside.

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I wonder what he’s going to do when he sees snow for the first time.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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Freddy even tried to take a bite!

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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.

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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.

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Zak was very interested in the cooked goose.

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So was Jake.

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Cheeky bugger actually licked it!

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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.

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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.

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

Aby-a-Day – 8 August: Wordless Wednesday (Imma just help you pack, k?)

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Aby-a-Day – 2 August: Catatouille (Thursday Things)

As I have mentioned in previous posts, Lorelai is a confirmed shoulder cat.

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She has also declared herself to be a dedicated sous-chef.

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She loves to “help” Björn when he is making our dinner. She usually jumps onto his back from the countertop behind him.

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She’s actually usually pretty good at keeping her paws to herself…I guess it’s harder to balance when you’re trying to swipe food.

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Izaak also likes to “help” in the kitchen.

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He just prefers to supervise from the ground.

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All in all, Rory and Björn make a good cooking team.

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Is that a kiss, or are you seeing if there’s any traces of food on his mouth, Rory?

Aby-a-Day – 30 July: Mars Liv 1980’s bronze cat statues (Miniature Monday)

One day Björn and I were at one of our favourite second-hand stores, and we came across three very interesting bronze cat statues from the 1980’s. The detail was rather marvelous on them, and they were quite solid. Of course, I couldn’t leave them behind. All three are signed by Magnus G:son Liedholm, who, we discovered, is well-known Swedish metal artist.

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All of the cats have “MARS LIV” and a year on a separate bronze plate. The oldest is dated 1985 and is a rather plain standing cat.

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The next one, dated 1986, is a stretching cat.

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I love that the two front paws are not together.

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My favourite is the third statue, dated 1988, with a cat rolling playfully onto its back. I love the one paw in the air!

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No matter how hard we Googled, we could not find out what “Mars Liv” is or was. But we did discover that there is at least one other statue out there, a sitting cat with several kittens (?) inside. It also appears that they used the same cats for different years and also multiple cats for the same years; we found the standing cat also dated ’83 and ’84, the lying cat dated ’84, and the stretching cat dated ’85. I wish I could discover what they were made to commemorate, because they are just so wonderful.

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But you knew I couldn’t get through a post without a little help…

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Oh, hello, Lorelai.

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What would I ever do without you, Rory?

Aby-a-Day – 21 May: Playmobil Purrfect Stay Cat Boarding (Miniature Monday)

I know Playmobil has kind of “Poor man’s Lego reputation, but they have got a lot more choices in the cat department. Playmobil Purrfect Stay Cat Boarding set.

Not gonna lie; overall, I prefer Legos. But Playmobil has some interesting pieces, and I have been known to mix Legos and Playmobil pieces in the quest for the perfect Strollercat action figure.

It kind of started when Björn bought me the Playmobil Woman with Cat Family set as a surprise. After that, I dragged out all my other cat pieces and scoured eBay for more.

Then we saw this ad for a contest in Kattliv where the prize was this set. Well, I needed that shiny device! So we found one in a toy store.

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Alfred was eager to help me build it.

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It’s actually a pretty cool set.

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Hauspanther would be proud of all the catification going on up in here. And the detail is fun, too. There are stickers to put on little cans of cat food as labels and a sticker for the litter box that looks like (clean, unused) litter!

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Only one problem: not enough kitties! So I added all the random Playmobil cats I had collected and added them in.

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Like this small cat tree (with carpet stickers for the shelves).

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And these two iterations of Strollercats. The little grey one is, of course, Lorelai.

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This one is my absolute favourite, though. Somewhere along the line I picked up a veterinary set which included this patient, complete with Cone of Shame.

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But the best part is, she even has stitches! I’m not sure which set this goes with; I must have gotten it as a random cat piece on eBay. I can find the cat with stitches as a part of this set, but she hasn’t got the cone or the bed.

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Here’s the house again with the extra cats added in. Much better.

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Oh, wait! Here, let’s add two more cats…

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Suddenly, the poor cat boarding house was attacked by Roryzilla!

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She’s already using her grabby Aby hands to pick things up, as you can see.

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Oh well. At least Freddy didn’t sit on it…