Sometimes I really hate being proven right. I have always said “just because they never have doesn’t mean they never will” in response to people who tell me their cats and/or dogs have never bothered their birds or other prey animals we keep for pets.
I keep my bird cage and rat cage in the same room about 50 feet from each other. I have been very careful about training my birds to stay away from the rats cage. For the 4 years I have had rats and birds keeping them so close together has never been an issue. Its never been an issue until yesterday morning.
I was in my bed room getting ready for work when I heard a loud squawk. It didn’t concern me too much because my birds fight like brothers and sisters, someone is always squawking at someone else. However, the second time I heard it I went to investigate what was going on and found my cockatiel, Squeak, hanging on the side of the rat cage and my rat, Bug, hanging onto Squeak’s toes. I grabbed Squeak and saw his toes were bloody. I freaked out a little bit. Since I couldn’t see where the blood was coming from I used the corner of my shirt to put pressure on his foot. Fortunately, the wounds didn’t bleed for long and the wounds weren’t severe. The situation could have resulted in the amputation of toes or foot. The wounds could have resulted in blood loss that killed Squeak. I will be watching Squee for signs of infection in his wounds, for probably, a lot longer then I need too.
This story has a happy ending. As I type this, Squeak is sitting in his favorite place preening his feathers and telling his cage mate, Riley, off for trying to sit next to him. Squee is eating well and gripping my fingers with both feet when I pick him up. As of this posting, Squee’s adventure has been more tramatic for me then it has been for him. If you have a flock of predator animals and prey animals please don’t assume just because the predator animals have never bothered the prey animals they never will. You might not be as lucky as I have.
A few weeks ago, I was at Natural Grocers whereI was totally seduced by a display of squash. I bought an acorn squash, a spaghetti squash and a red kuri squash. Once again, impulsively buying something I don’t usually buy because it was so pretty and now having to find something to do with it. Oops.
The reason I usually don’t buy squash is because I am scared to death of loosing a finger or two trying to cut it half to bake in the oven. On my way home, I was thinking about how I was going to cook the squash and what I was going to do with the cooked squash when I remembered an Instagram story where a lady cooked a whole pie pumpkin in her pressure cooker. Is there anything my pressure cooker can’t do?
I popped my spaghetti squash into the pressure cooker, locked the lid and let it go. I opened the pressure cooker to a perfectly cooked spaghetti squash. It was easy to cut in half and gently scoop out the seeds. Once I scooped the flesh out and seasoned it with a little salt, pepper and butter. I had a very tasty side dish for my dinner in a fraction of the time it would take in the oven and I still have all my fingers.
Note: The squash from Natural Grocers are organic and are on small side. If you buy conventionally grown squash from the market you may have to add more time due to their large size.
In a 6 quart pressure cooker liner, add 1 cup water. Add the steamer insert and place the squash. Lock the lid and set on high pressure for 6 minutes. Release the pressure naturally. Open the lid and let the squash cool until you can handle the squash with out burning the fingures you saved not having to cut the squash in half. Once cooled cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds then scoop out the flesh. Season with salt, pepper and butter and eat or use in another recipe.
I don’t have much to say today. I am just so tired. I guess this is normal. I am not giving my body the quick form of energy it is used to using and my body isn’t efficent using the new form of energy I am giving it yet. The literature says this too shall pass.
Thank goodness for my pressure cooker. If I had to make an effort to cook today, I probabally would have given in and orered a sandwich from Erbert’s and Gerbert’s.
Place your trivet in the bottom of your pressure cooker liner. Add enough water to bring your pressure cooker to pressure. Cut seveal slits into your roast and push slivers of garlic into each slit. Spinkle the top and bottom with salt and paprika. Be generous. You want it to be well seasoned. I ended up using about 1 1/2 teaspoons each of salt and paprika. Place the roast on the trivet. Lock the lid. Bring to pressure and cook for 90 minutes. Use natural release. Remove the pork from the liner and slice or shred the pork.
My counter top oven is dying. I know they don’t last forever (this is my second one) . I bought it for about $55 dollars about 3 or 4 years ago and I use it atleast once daily, so I know I have gotten my money’s worth from this particular kitchen item. It’s just that they no longer make this particular brand of counter top oven any more. I am going to have to make a a decision on a new one soon. I know it isn’t the worst thing I could have to happen to me. I just suck at making decisions and I hate change, especially in my kitchen.
My dying counter top oven may not be the worst thing that has ever happened to me but it is currently the most annoying thing. I wanted to make a baked corned beef brisket today. With my unreliable oven, I didn’t want to take the chance of ruining it. I was so bummed because today was the only day I had time to do the long, slow cook that a corned beef brisket needs to become tender. After a good pout, it occured to me I could make a corned beef brisket in my pressure cooker. A quick internet search for a recipe, I found one by Gutsy By Nature. I absolutely loved how the cook tossed out the spice packet that came with the brisket and made her own. I also loved how the pressure cooker cut the the cooking time from over 3 hours in the oven to just over 90 minutes in the pressure cooker. The corned beef brisket was very lightly flavored (I would probably double the spices next time) and not overly salty like corned beef brisket sometimes gets. I will always bake my corned beef brisket whenever possible but when I can’t I will use this recipe and my pressure cooker.
In a 6 quart pressure cooker, add the water, onion, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, allspice berries and thyme. Lock the lid and set the timer for 90 minutes at high pressure. Release the pressure with a 10 minute natural release. Remove the meat and keep warm. Add the vegetables. Lock the lid. Set the time for 10 minutes at high pressure. Release the pressure with a quick release. Server the corned beef with the vegetables and a side of soda bread.
Have I told you lately how much I love my pressure cooker? Today all I wanted was chicken noodle soup. Not any old can or packet of chicken flavored soup like substance but real, like my mom makes it chicken noodle soup. Problem was, even though it isn’t a complicated recipe, it still takes about an hour and a half to make on the stove. I didnt get home from work until after 8 pm and was totally exhausted from a busy work day. I didn’t have an hour and a half to spend in the kitchen plus time to let the soup cool down enough to put in the fridge before I was going to be out like a light. So I decided to try making my mom’s chicken noodle soup in my 6 quart pressure cooker. I just threw everything except the noodles into the pressure cooker and about 25 minutes later had the chicken noodle soup I so desperately wanted. The best part it was sooooo good, possibly the best chicken noodle soup I ever made. Have i told you lately how much I love my pressure cooker?
2 bone in, skin on chicken thighs, skin removed and excess fat trimmed
1 cup raw egg noodles
Chicken boullion to taste
Toss celery, carrots, chicken broth and chicken thighs into the pressure cooker. Lock the lid. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. Use a quick release to release the pressure. Turn the pressure cooker to the saute setting and bring the soup to a boil. Add the noodles and chicken boullion to taste and cook until they reach the desired tenderness. Meanwhile, remove the chicken from the bone and chop. Add the chicken to the soup. Place in bowls and serve.