pets and dinner

I bet you think I’m going to talk about the difference between raising animals as pets and raising animals as dinner. Like, we have dogs as pets but would never consider eating them, but we also have chickens as pets – are we going to eat them? BUT! I was actually going to talk about Pets. And Dinner. Not pets as dinner.

Side note: While we do expect to eat the eggs from our chickens, we don’t plan on turning any of them into dinner. If one turns out to be a rooster, becoming dinner is completely dependent on T’s willingness to, er, process it. We could go either way. But we don’t intend to ever raise chickens for the purposes of eating them.

Here’s the pet update: the dogs are fine. The dogs are the same. Nothing ever changes with the dogs. We’ve watched our friends’ dog a couple of times and I’m happy to say that she melded into our dog-chaos perfectly. She even holds her own protecting treats and other doggy valuables. The cat is fine. She was getting kind of skinny for a while, so we started feeding her some canned kitten food in the morning. That kind of bulked her up, but now she expects morning breakfast (and gets very vocal if it’s not there) so I’ve just cut back the amount she gets. The chickens (because they are pets, really) are growing up quite quickly, but I’m happy to say that they put themselves to bed on a perch in their coop (if loose in their run) once it gets dark, so I don’t have to chase after them. They love grapes, mealworms, and crickets; they are undecided on tomatoes and cantaloupe. Corn is a winner, as are the parsley trimmings from the garden. I fed them steak trimmings the other day, but I don’t think they really went after it. I’m feeling pretty confident that Bunny will lay eggs; Buffy’s comb has started to turn a bright pink but her back feathers still look round and fluffy. I guess we’ll just have to see.

Now, for the dinner update. My mom went to Maine recently and, in return for watching 3 out of 4 dogs, she shipped live lobsters back. Not just for us, but for our friends, too! Nice, big lobsters – about 1 ¾ lbs each – all packed into a Styrofoam containers and checked as luggage. She was supposed to join us for dinner, but got waylaid in Chicago. Somehow, her checked luggage got out of Chicago to San Diego, though. It was my first attempt at cooking live lobsters, but it wasn’t nearly as exciting or dramatic as I’d been led to believe. I thought the lobsters would start fighting to get out or stick a claw out or something. Nothing. You toss them into boiling water, put the lid back on, then set your timer for 12 minutes. Come back, pick up a bright red lobster, crack the tail off, whack the claws, and get your melted butter ready. They were delicious! I even went through the tedious step of squeezing out all the leg meat. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to make a lobster scramble for breakfast. Leftover claw and tail meat got turned into lobster corn chowder… I suppose I could have saved the shells to make stock, but since I don’t even intend to make lobster bisque, I’m not sure why I would need quarts of lobster stock around. Chicken stock works just fine for me, thank you.

So, thank you so much, Mom, for the lobster dinner. It was delicious and we had a great time. I’m just sorry you weren’t there to dine with us. But, I’m glad you did eventually get into San Diego.

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