I’m not sure what to talk about: the Sprog’s enthusiastic embrace of the Moroccan feast I put together or his newfound taste for cat food. I think a little bit of both is part of the story.
Regarding the former, I first encountered Moroccan food myself about 25 years ago in Spain, and fell in love with it. I made pastilla for my friends here in L.A. a couple of years back, and they have requested it again, so this weekend, we went down to Huntington Beach for the occasion. While I cooked, Ted took the Sprog out for his first private flight on our host’s Cessna, out to Catalina Island and back.
When they returned, I put out the spread beginning with meze, the appetizers.
Grilled flatbread, falafel, roasted eggplant dip, olives cured until they resembled raisins, and Turkish salad with plenty of chickpeas.
The entrees were cous-cous with roasted vegetables, lamb tagine with apricots and dates, and the aforementioned pastille which is a sort of a pie with chicken, (one of my favorite things under the sun) preserved lemons, coriander, almonds, and cinnamon. The fact that my friends all dressed the part for the evening added to the magic, as did the Sprog devouring it all. For dessert, I made frozen mangos and yogurt, with rose water, orange flower water, cardamom, and pistachios. The Sprog just called it, “Ice cream.”
The taste for cat food is, of course, all about getting a reaction from us. It began when our cat Floyd sniffed at something the Sprog was eating, which aroused protestations.
“Don’t worry,” we assured him. “Floyd doesn’t like people food. He only likes cat food. You don’t like cat foot, do you?”
“No?” The Sprog replied, but you could see the wheels turning right then. A few hours later, he went into the office my partner Ted shares with the cat’s food bowl, and cleared his throat before demonstratively picking up a morsel of dry cat food and popping it in his mouth.
“Is that good or yucky?” I asked.
“Yucky!” the Sprog said, eyes shining.
But that didn’t stop him from popping another in his mouth. And another today, grinning away. Obviously, if we wanted to raise a critter that only ate cat food, we would have been content with Floyd, but we’re not worried: this pure shock value. There’s nothing about a kibble or a bit of cat food which would hurt the Sprog. If only there was a way to keep him from purring quite so loudly while bathing himself with his tongue …