kruizing with kikukat

Monday, April 20, 2015

Toaster Oven Food: Fresh Strawberry Pie

Late in 2014, KikukatMom and KikukatDad adopted Tuffy and Missy, two kittens, likely litter mates, abandoned in Kalapana.  The kittens were picked up by the Hawaii Humane Society, and D1 and D2 thought they'd make the perfect Christmas gift for my parents.  Before I receive any hate mail and hostile words about giving pets as gifts, I need to make it clear that my parents WANTED a cat.  They were really sad when Oreo went M.I.A. after KikukatDad had the bright idea to leave him in Paradise Park with CAM while he went to Honolulu for a wedding.

KikukatDad said he wanted ONE cat. . .just in case Oreo found his way home, but the Ds were convinced that he would be okay with two, after all, when he got Oreo, he also got Mickey.  Needless to say, he wasn't thrilled when the Ds showed up with 2 kittens, although he had spent hours of the previous week in the pet aisle at Target, looking for kitty things.

Nevertheless, he grudgingly took both kittens in, saying how he was gonna kick them out in a month.  It's been nearly four months, and the kittens are still inside.  KikukatDad feeds the cats and does the litter thing.  He has also been buying different varieties of cat food to see which they like best.  He was amazed to hear that Tuffy was "trending" on The Help's photo blog, getting all kinds of "likes" from people all over the world.  In fact, KikukatDad even asked me to show him how to get the Target mobile coupon so he could get his discount on pet stuff.  He thought the Target pet supply coupon was a reason enough to get an iPhone.

Why all the fuss?  KikukatDad is a closet cat lover.  KikukatMom, not so much.  She grew up in a household which always had pets, and she thought of them as pests, not pets.  She is usually not the type to carry or pet the kittens, and you won't catch her scooping litter either.  So it came as a small shock last week when I got a frantic call from KikukatMom.

KM:  "I think something is wrong with Tuffy.  I think he is sick."

K:  "Why?"

KM:  "He hasn't been himself.  He doesn't want to play with his sister.  All he wants to do is sit on my lap.  He comes by me and wants me to carry him."

K:  "Maybe he just likes you."

KM:  "Hmmm.  I didn't think about that."

Thankfully, Tuffy returned to his normal, bubbly self within 24 hours.  I went over to visit on Tuesday, and Tuffy greeted me by asking for a tummy rub.  Missy was AWOL for most of the time, but she managed to come swaggering through the living room on her way to the food dish.  While Tuffy is fat, Missy is obese.  She has a cute, tiny face, which appears even tinier because her belly is huge.  She waddles when she walks.  D2 was not kidding when she said she tried to carry her but couldn't because her belly kept sinking down.  KikukatDad said he might need to start feeding them less.  He should've started that 3 months ago!

When I see kittens like Missy and Tuffy. . .chubby, happy, secure. . .it makes me happy.  I'm certain they were starving when they were picked up.  Now, they don't need to worry about their next meal.  All they need to be concerned about is avoiding the leftover cans of Science Diet which KikukatDad received from a friend.  KikukatDad said Science Diet must taste awful.

Speaking of tasting awful, The Help picked up fried chicken for dinner from the Waiakea Sack N Save (Foodland), and it was horrible.  Sack N Save is known in East Hawaii for having outstanding fried chicken thighs.  I'm not a fan of dark meat, but I will eat the Sack N Save thighs because it's fried crispy, "okazuya style", as 3M says.  Anyway, the recent batch of fried chicken just wasn't the same.  On a whim, I asked 3M if she picked up recently.  She had!  Then she launched into how it wasn't the same.  Apparently, the Waiakea Sack N Save has some kind of issue with their hot case.  Both 3M and The Help said the interior condensation was spectacular.  It was nearly impossible to see through the condensation to make out the signs by the dishes.  I hope they get it fixed soon.

Traumatized by the soggy, gummy fried chicken, I had to make something to lift my spirits.  On my last Costco run, strawberries were nice and inexpensive so I picked up a tray to share with the Ds.  They enjoy eating strawberries plain, but I need the berries adorned in some way.  They are too sour on their own...the strawberries, not the Ds, although they cross the sour line occasionally.   

Anyway, I ended up making a small strawberry pie with the strawberries left after the D-tornado went through them.  This size was just right for me and The Help, since he was willing to sneak in a small piece during "dessert time".  It was a perfect size for the fridge too, as refrigerator real estate was precious...a 5-dozen pack of eggs takes up a lot of room!

click on recipe title for printable recipe

Crust:  1 c flour
            2 tbsp sugar
            1/2 c butter

Combine flour, sugar, and butter until crumbly.  Press evenly into a 9" x 9" or 7" x 11" pan.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes ( 7" x 11") or 11 minutes (9" x 9").  Cool before placing strawberries on crust.

Filling:  1 3/4 c water
              2 tbsp cornstarch
              3/4 c sugar
              1 box (3 oz) strawberry jello
              1 tsp vanilla
              1 lb basket fresh strawberries

In a saucepan, combine water, cornstarch, and sugar.  Cook, stirring constantly, on high heat until clear and thick (7-10 minutes).  Remove from heat and add jello and vanilla.  Stir until jello is dissolved.  Cool.  Wash, hull, and cut each strawberry into 3-5 pieces.  Spread evenly over cooled crust.  Pour cooled jello mixture over strawberries.  Chill at least 3 hours before serving.  Cut into squares and top with whipped cream if desired.

No comments:

Post a Comment