Culinary Friday: Beans, Pu-erh Tea, Rabbits, and Cats


For the recession I am cooking more than ever. I will learn to use my grandmother’s meat grinder as a Cuisinart. In the meantime I have finally learned to make a pot of beans correctly. Until 2009 only vegetarian black beans ever worked reliably for me.  But now I have invented all the tricks. They are:

+ time and a half to double recommended soaking time
+ halve the amount of meat recommended (if meat is used)
+ always use more than one kind of meat (if meat is used)
+ use half again to twice as much water as is recommended for simmering
+ reduce recommended simmering temperature by one quarter to one half
+ double recommended amounts of spices and seasonings
+ time and a half to double recommended simmering time

As we already know, it is important to saute onions, garlic, and rocoto in olive oil to add to the beans at the end, and to pulverize some of the beans (with a wooden spoon, against the side of the cast iron pot you are cooking them in) so as to thicken the liquid.


Fine tea is like fine wine. It is made by expert teamakers, each with his or her own style, and its taste reflects the natural atmosphere of the particular mountainside upon which it is grown. You should drink pu-erh tea as it is very good and even better for you. You can order it from California. Pu-erh tea is from southwestern China. These farmers are particularly hard hit by the recession and they need your business.


Elmer Fudd and Buggs Bunny
Elmer Fudd and Buggs Bunny


If I had a shotgun, if I knew how to shoot it and if it were legal to do so in my area, I would shoot a marauding cat. Instead I am going to trap it and send it to animal control, which will euthanize it in three days unless you go and pick it up. No, I do not do this normally, but this cat is so mean and so insistent that not only my own cat, but I, too, am afraid to go out on my porch.

I believe it belongs to someone, because this is not a feral cat. But noone has neutered the cat and it is not being fed enough or regularly enough. Neither is it being petted enough. I have been tolerant of this cat for some time and the reason I have not put up “found cat” signs is that I do not believe it is lost, I believe it is marauding, and dealing with it more kindly is the owner’s job, not mine.

You really should feed your cats and let them indoors. You should not just leave them when you go hunting for the weekend, or to the Gulf for  fourteen days, or to Houston for the work week.


9 thoughts on “Culinary Friday: Beans, Pu-erh Tea, Rabbits, and Cats

  1. double recommended amounts of spices and seasonings

    The thing about beans is, that a lot of the flavor is not evident until the next day. Therefore, anything you would not want too much of, such as salt, should be spared.

  2. The trap is gone. Apparently my friend came by this morning, saw the cat trapped in there, and drove him out to the farm. AHHHHH. This may be my first sinful act ever, but I think it was self defense.

  3. It was the other enemy cat – or sounds like it. I hope so. I feel weird about this but my garden has become intolerable and I do not even feed these cats, I squirt them with Windex, water, or whatever I have at hand.

  4. We had semi-feral cats in the neighborhood that a woman fed. They were not aggressive and kept the rats down. She provided shelter for them in her garage. We called them the cast of characters, because they came and went and changed from year to year. The kittens would stay for a while and then most of them would disappear, who knows where, probably up the mountain. It was very mysterious, but cats are mysterious.
    However, neighbors objected to this setup, so they rounded the cats up and took them away. We have more rats now.
    Still, I think we do have enough cats to keep down the rats and mice. Our cat does a pretty good job. He gets birds, too, on occasion, but honestly I don’t hold that against him. All the birds where we live are introduced species and they proliferate madly. He catches doves, but the mynahs are too smart for him.
    I think feral cats forced to hunt for all their food can be miserable creatures, but I also think indoor cats are pathetic: robbed of their essential nature, which is to roam their territory and hunt.
    I say spay and neuter but don’t confine them. Give them a home but freedom too.

  5. I wouldn’t mind these if they weren’t aggressive. They attack my cat so he’s afraid to go out, and I can’t eat outdoors because they attack the food.

    I also want to eradicate the possums. I have to look into possum repellent … I want the possums to stay at the edge of the yard, not come under the house and dig around!!!

  6. I’ve decided I’m more comfortable trapping the cat if I plan to take him to a no kill shelter. It would mean paying for his place, but I think that could be taken as a tax deduction. I am looking for a reservation for him.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s