Taste Testing

/ posted in: PetsWork

I’ve been taking an online Chinese food therapy course.  I’m most of the way through the lectures so I decided to start making some of the foods and testing them out on my pets.

First up – asparagus:

I kept hearing over and over in lectures that cats love asparagus.  That seems odd.  But last night I steamed a big bunch of asparagus for dinner.  I took the left overs and started chopping up the flowery end finely to offer the cats when I noticed Freckles.  She was at my feet in full on begging mode.  She usually reserves that for getting steak or cheese from her daddy.  I handed her a piece of stalk.  She slurped it up and kept begging.  Usually with veggies she takes it enthusiastically and then is disappointed that it isn’t something better.  She never lost her love for the asparagus.

I put the finely chopped flowery part in the cat bowl.  Powder gobbled it all down.  She had been eating her dry food but stopped and preferentially ate the asparagus. This is a cat who once ate an entire salad so I wanted to test Riley too.  I didn’t have a chance until this morning.  I had two ziploc bags.  One had chopped up stems for Freckles and one had chopped up flowers for the cats.  I put some in the cat bowl but Riley wasn’t allowed to have any.  Powder got them all.  So I went and hand fed Riley and he loved them too.

Meanwhile, I went to feed Freckles and left the stem bag open.  I came back to Powder with her whole head in the bag, gobbling up huge mouthfuls of asparagus stems.

Result – asparagus gets three enthusiastic paws up but the only vegetarian (Jules the parrot) hated it so she gave it one beak down.

Recipe two – marrow soup

Here’s where we get into hard things for vegetarians.  It called for chicken bones.  I don’t have that.  So I collected a steak bone and a pork shoulder bone from the husband’s meals this week.  Then I put them in a big pot, covered them with water, added 1/4 cup of vinegar and a handful of baby carrots.  The vinegar and carrots are to make the broth acidic enough to leech the minerals from the bones and dissolve them enough to release the marrow.  I cooked it on low for 5 hours.  The pork bone dissolved enough to let me crack the bone.  The steak bone didn’t do much.  Using the chicken bones makes more sense now because they would probably totally dissolve.

I strained out the broth and threw out the bones and carrots.

Results:

Cats- 2 huge paws down.  Maybe there was too much vinegar taste

Freckles – The. Best. Thing. Ever!!  I gave her a bit of soup and I’ve never seen her so happy.  She kept going back to the bowl to check if more had magically appeared.  I had a hard time getting her to come to bed since she wanted to stay by her bowl just in case.  For now she’ll be getting a bit daily until this batch is gone.  I guess the husband is going to have to start eating chicken wings every so often so I can get bones. 

Marrow soup is full of minerals and in Chinese terms it is a jing tonic.  That means that it is good for very young and very old animals because it has a lot of easily digestible nutrients from the marrow. 

More tasting testing to come…