Martini Stew, Bitter Cold, and the Throwaway Kitten

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Do you see this sweet little critter?  On one of our most bitter cold (minus 15°F) nights, with over a foot of snow, my daughter pulled into her driveway and saw this little kitty run in front of her car and under her barbeque grill.  Really hoping that it was indeed a kitten that she’d seen, she stuck her hand under the grill and came out with the poor thing.  Once she got it inside, she cuddled right up, purring like crazy but full of bugs, debris, and smelling like a ripe garbage bag.

Knowing that she couldn’t keep her (landlord doesn’t allow pets), she still decided to clean her up and give her a little food.  Little did she realize that once the kitty was soaking wet, there was barely any kitten there just skin, bones & fur.

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By the way, that’s food on the towel…trying to get some nourishment into her.  Based on the picture and what my daughter told me about how she was eating, my guess is that the kitten is only about 8-10 weeks old.  She had a hard time getting broth in her so my thinking is that she was separated from her mother before she was properly weaned.

After a little cleanup and tiny bits of food, she settled in for a purring sleep for the entire night.photo (51)
The next morning, Niki packed her up and brought her to work with the intention of bringing her to the MSPCA (Massachusetts Society for prevention of Cruelty to Animals) with a check for her care.  Of course, bringing her into the office was the best thing she could have done since she was adopted by lunchtime by a young lady who took her home and brought her to her vet.

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Even Chloe isn’t too sure that work is fun

The vet was very surprised that Chloe (her new name) was alive and certainly never would have made it through that bitter cold night.  In addition to being severely malnourished, and infested with parasites, she’d been bitten on her hind leg.  They  immediately gave her IV fluids, put on her 2 antibiotics, and she was given initial shots – happily she’s doing well and has a loving home.

I’m glad that Niki has good eyes and a kind heart and can’t speak highly enough about the MSPCA.  They do fantastic work getting animals into good homes but also helping people who can’t afford to keep a pet due to financial problems get connected with organizations that will assist them.  What I can’t understand though is how anyone, even someone who doesn’t like cats, could do this to such a sweet little creature.  If you can’t take care of a pet or don’t want the one you have, at least take 20 minutes to bring the animal to a place like the MSPCA so that they have a chance.  This is just my own imaginative story for Chloe, but my guess would be, based on her age and the time of year, that someone thought she would make a great Christmas gift.  Only problem is, sometimes with the best intentions, springing an animal as a gift on someone does not always work out the way you intend it to and that the receiver just threw the kitten out thinking “cats can take care of themselves”.  Except kittens…and especially not in a busy city in the dead of winter.

I’m thrilled that this story has a happy ending and it’s time to move on to complaining about our New England weather.  The past couple of days have been a veritable heat wave (just above freezing)  but prior to that we set records for bitter cold and biting winds.  Days like that deserve a nice hearty stew – and why not a martini?  This is a recipe that’s been sitting in one of my cookbooks for decades until I happened upon it.  It doesn’t have to be frostbite weather to enjoy, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have some on hand just in case.

MARTINI STEW

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2 lbs. Beef – I used a nice thick New York Sirloin and cubed it
1 Small Onion, diced
1 Cup Carrots, diced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
Sprinkling Italian seasoning
1/2 Cup Ground peeled tomatoes or ketchup (I think my husband prefers ketchup)
1 Cup White Vermouth
1/2 Cup Gin
1/4 Cup Beef broth

– Layer cubes of beef in a casserole dish then top with prepped onions, garlic, carrots.
– Sprinkle Italian seasoning on top
– Pour ground peeled tomatoes or ketchup on top
– Pour, vermouth, gin, and beef broth on top of tomatoes

Cover and bake in oven at 325° for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. This could also be cooked in the crock pot and served over noodles.  Excess gin and vermouth should not be thrown away.

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