Cooking for Your Cat: Faux Sushi

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RFT staff writer Aimee Levitt and her cat, Bess, continue their culinary adventure.

In hard times, one must learn to make concessions. At least this is the message that has been pounded into our heads for the past two months. Seven years ago, it was patriotic to shop. Now it is patriotic to scrimp. On Election Night, Bess and I sat in front of the TV, watching returns and clipping coupons. And we felt good about it. (We found exactly three we might be able to use, but we would save a whole $1.50!)

In the days after the election, we patriotically emptied out our cupboards, trying to make use of everything we found there instead of going out to Schnucks. (And also, I was feeling really lazy.) Thus we came across a tin of sardines purchased at Trader Joe's back in the optimistic days of summer before the economy went into the tank and I still fancied I could prepare meals that would tempt Bess' discriminating palate.

I was, at the time, attempting to use up some of the frozen shrimp in the freezer, sauteed in garlic and olive oil and served over rice. It was a hardship meal, but one I was sure I would be strong enough to bear. But seeing the rice and sardines together gave me an idea.

What's Aimee's idea? Find out after the jump.

So, okay, Bess and I aren't usually sushi-eaters. Good sushi is expensive. It is a luxury item and, therefore, has no place in our new economic paradigm (although I don't think "paradigm" is a trendy word anymore). But what is sushi but uncooked fish and rice? And nori and vinegar and lots of other stuff, and you have to be specially trained to roll and slice it properly. But, since I'm not trained to roll sushi and since a taste of wasabi would probably make Bess want to die, our version of sushi would be uncooked sardines mixed with unvinegrated rice. Et voila: faux sushi!

Bess and I both enjoyed our dinners that night. At least I think we did. It is true Bess did not devour her meal with the same speed I did, but she has a smaller stomach and thus a smaller appetite. Every few hours, she would approach the bowl and nibble delicately at the contents. After three days, you could see the bottom of the bowl. But then it started to smell really bad, so I threw it out.

Alas, my camera is broken and so I have no proof of this culinary victory, nor of Bess' enthusiastic consumption of a raw shrimp she found abandoned on the kitchen sink. But I can assure you, it really, really happened. And together we marched around the apartment singing "Hard times, hard times, come again no more." I provided the melody and Bess the harmony. It was beautiful. It was America!

Home Cooking: 2 (possibly 3), Purina: 6, Starbucks: 0

- Aimee Levitt


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