Making Johnnycakes for the Cat


This morning Alexander and his class presented their fifth grade signature projects. Each of the kids had a figure from the Revolutionary War that they did a report on and earlier in the year they did a Walkthrough Revolution. This morning there was a chapel and each of the kids told us about their figure in history. It was really interesting. There was one woman who dressed as a man so that she could fight in the war. When she was injured a doctor discovered that she was, in fact, a she. This woman was given a full pension and retired from the service. I like ten year old girls learning that stuff.

Alexander’s state was Rhode Island and he wanted me to make Johnnycake. You can make them like pancakes (too labor intensive for an early morning) or like a cake. Here’s the recipe:

Boil 2 cups of water and slowly add in one cup of white cornmeal.
Reduce to a high simmer and stir for 5 minutes
Turn off the flame but leave on the burner and stir in:
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp butter
Transfer the batter to a greased cooking pan and bake at 350 for 45 minutes

I tried this recipe last night and since it requires about 65 cents worth of ingredients I figured I’d do a trial run and then make a batch in the morning. After 10.30 I about passed out and left a pan of Johnny Cake in the kitchen. I woke up to this.

I swear I forget that I have a cat. I’m so used to Junior not being able to reach anything, not even a sofa, that it doesn’t occur to me to put things away.

At 6am I wandered downstairs to make a fresh batch of Johnnycakes and saw cat hair on my kitchen counter and that the buttery glaze of last night’s trial had been licked clean off. Chunks of the cake were missing, some had been swatted around the kitchen floor. It’s fun to mop in the morning. That’s why I had a family. I’m waiting for her to puke somewhere in the house. I’m convinced she just ruins my stuff and vomits to let me know how very much she hates me.

Random: have you ever heard those squeaky mouse toys? You know why they work so well for cats? Because when Sparky has brought half dead mice into the house to torture them before killing them and presenting them to us they sound just like those squeaky toys.

Isn’t that lovely?


Sushi, The Environment and My Brother: Three Things I Love


Yesterday this appeared in my inbox fromiPhoneGran‘s favorite child my brother:

I don’t know if you remember my Sushi place in Seattle (I don’t remember if you ever went). In any case, over the last decade they have become friends of ours and fed us meals beyond belief.

Recently, Hajime has decided to only serve sustainable fish. Partly because it’s the right thing to do and partly because he (as do I) want fish like Bluefin tuna to be around to eat in the next few years.

There’s a lot of info at about what’s safe and what’s not.

His restaurant is Mashiko (his sustainable message is here).

I was up there last week and my friends and I spent about 6 hours there eating and drinking.

He says business is hurting because things like eel are off the menu. Well every sushi restaurant in the US gets their eel pre cooked and pre marinated in the sugar sauce and in plastic shrink wrap. It’s not really that good, its sweet but it’s stupidly popular in the US. He’s found that catfish makes a suitable substitute and with food that is masked by sauce people wouldn’t know the difference if he didn’t tell him.

I could go on for hours (and he could go on further) about the nitrogen used on maguro (tuna) to keep it at that perfect dark red.

White tuna is not tuna, it’s escolar.

Chilean Sea Bass is neither from Chile nor is it a Sea Bass.

There’s no rules in fish sales and it’s all marketing and Hajime has been no BS since day one.

Anyway….he’s doing something really good, the food is still phenomenal and I thought you might want to help get the word out or find a new topic for your blog. Also, he will be on “Extreme Cuisine with Jeff Corwin” this Thurs 10/8 at 6pm (I Think on Food Network).

There are three things I love in this world that haven’t had enough attention on this blog.

1. Food: I love good fresh food, I love to prepare it, I love to eat it and I love to share it with family and friends. Think about your childhood memories, it’s likely that they are infused with taste and scent memories. There are few things more powerful than the scent of a fresh peach in the summertime, or the whiff of pumpkin pie in the autumn. Food sustains us, and it should be a source of great pleasure as well.

2. The Environment: We are stewards of this Earth, from the top of Mount Kilimanjaro to the bottom of the sea. It’s our duty and our honor to care for it.

3. My Brother: I love him. My brother is the smartest person I’ve ever met. He loves dining at Mashiko, and I’m asking you to trust my brother.

If you’re in Seattle, email me pictures of your dining experience at Mashiko and I’ll share them here and on Whrrl. We sure to visit and Ocean Futures Society to find out what you can do. No one is asking you to be vegan, simply, to be thoughtful.

Arigatou gozaimasu

Quick Update: Whole Foods In Pasadena, CA


I’ll be at Whole Foods market in Pasadena at 10:30 this morning along with some of your favorite Mommy Bloggers.

Remember Supermarket Sweep? Today I’ll be the dope running up and down the aisles. I guess Nintendo has a new game where you learn to cook?


Nintendo Personal Trainer: Cooking

Uh, okay?