Saturday, August 26, 2006

RIP Lea.. marinara , eggplant casserole

Blogger is a total pain lately... oy..
First, sad news.. My cat, Lea is probably dead. She's been missing for a week and we've found out that 4 cats in our neighborhood have disappeared. I feel so sad and guilty... for several reasons... We got her and her brother out of a free litter. Luke was hit by a car a couple years ago and died. When we got them, we allowed them to go outside because we lived in a very safe neighborhood for cats.... so they got used to that. When we moved to our current town, 6 years ago, they were totally used to coming and going. Every time the door opened, they would bolt out... but would always come home. One night, Luke was killed... it was horrible for all of us... we tried to hard to keep Lea in, ,but she NEEDED to be outside.. if that makes sense... so we had a family meeting. We decided that we would allow her to go outside, but realized that her life would potentially end early if we did so.... and now we are paying for that decision. The only reason we allowed it, was because she HATED being inside all the time... we chose quality or quantity of life for her... and she died.... she was 9 years old. I am sad.. and as I said, I feel guilty.. but when I think hard of her and her sweet and curious personality, I think it was the right thing for her... but man, do I miss her. My computer is not set up due to the work being done in my room, but when I get it back, I will post her picture.
Rest In Peace, sweet Lea..... we sure loved you and will miss you so much.
Veggie Infused Marinara, 4 Quarts
I love my marinara sauces.. I make several versions... this one had tons of garlic, rosemary, oregano and dried red peppers.. infused with extra virgin olive oil... I did this over low heat for around 30 mins.. then added onions, shredded carrots, zukes, yelllow squash and around 4 cups of basil.. oh and 6 lbs of canned tomatoes.. and a splash of balsamic vinegar... We love this sauce.
I put together this quick eggplant casserole using the sauce... this is before it has been baked. It will probably sit for a day before I bake it. Basically, it is sauted eggplant, basil tofu "ricotta" and the sauce.. I will bake it for 45 mins or so and top it with some shredded cashew cheez from the freezer.
Tonight for dinner, we are having Angel Hair, Sauce, Salad, Garlic Bread and White Bean Dip..

For breakfast, I had a baby spinach salad with pumpkin seeds, red bell pepper, tomato, avocado, tempeh bacon, sprouts, shredded carrots and homemade "Goddess" dressing.. it's funny, because I've been making a sesame based dressing for a while now and it tastes so much like the commercial "Goddess" dressing.. I use toasted sesame seeds instead of the tahini.... and it's sooo good!


  1. I'm sad to hear about your cat. We live in a rual "cat safe" area and have lost several cats over the years. I agree with you about keeping them inside when they are used to the freedom of coming and going.

    I love your casserole dish... gorgoeus! I've been making marinara's to, but don't have a gorgeous large casserole dish like yours to serve them up in, actually I've been canning ours. We enjoy mushroom added to our sauce. I come from a salty tomato family, it really freaked me out the first time I went to one of Dave's family gatherings and they loaded sugar on their tomatoes. I've discovered that he likes sweet marinaras and tomato soups too. I personally prefer a little dill in my tomato soup... I have to add it to my bowl while he has to add the sweet to his.

  2. I am so sorry to hear about Lea. While I don't generally think it's a good idea to let cats outdoors, I completely understand when they "have" to be outside cats.

    My friend in Austin tried to adopt a roaming neighborhood cat and keep it as an indoor cat but they couldn't get it to stop meowing at the door. All day and all night until they just couldn't take it anymore.

    My brother and sister have cats that they used to let go outside when they lived in CA and were going to continue doing that when they moved here. However, we talked them out of it because we always see so many dead animals on the side of the road. They were very surprised that neither of their cats have shown any interest in going outside since they've been here (over a month now).

    I kept meaning to ask you how you make your shredded cashew cheez? It sounds delicious!

  3. My kitty of 19 years was an outdoor cat for the first half of her life. I t was such a difficult adjustment for everyone to force her to be an indoor cat when we moved to the big city, which is totaly not cat-safe. I think you made the right decision about quality of quantity...but I understand that it was a touch one. I'm sorry to hear about Lea. Hopefully she is in a better place, playing with her brother!

  4. I'm sorry to hear about your cat. My cat's an indoor cat but when we first moved to Florida, she tried to "escape" the first few months. She eventually got over it (which was a relief).

    Your pasta dish looks great (your food always looks pretty and I'm sure it tasts good too).

  5. Oh, how terrible. :( I'm sorry to hear about Lea - maybe she will come home soon, though?

  6. My heart hurts for you, Melody. I am sorry for Lea's missing and hope that you know in your soul that you gave her a good life, a life in which she was loved.

    If she is still alive somewhere, that would be best, but if not, it is sad... and i wish her a speedy trip over to Rainbow Bridge where she can romp and play and be free like she wants and needs to be.


  7. I'm lovin' the marinara. It's one of my favorite pasta sauces. That and aribiatta. Mmmmm!

    So sorry to hear about your kitty. My mother used to have a few cats and they were all outdoor cats. She had one, with the very innovative name of Tommy, that would roam away for a day or two and come back. Then once, Tommy was gone for two weeks. My mom was sure he was dead. Then one morning, he was sitting on the back step waiting for breakfast. He looked a little beat up, but was seemed just fine otherwise. Tommy lasted for a good many years.

  8. I'm so sorry about Lea :( You did the right thing, sometimes they just won't adjust to being inside only.

    Our Shadow was once gone for 3 wks and I was sure he'd been hit by a car or something, but he just came home one day like nothing had changed. I hope Lea finds her way home. If she has passed on I know she's in a good place and knew she was very loved. (((((((Melody)))))

  9. :(
    I'm still hoping that your cat is okay. I'll keep her in my thoughts


  10. I am so sorry to hear about your cat Lea. It is a sad fact that the world for the most part is NOt cat safe these days, except right in your own back yard. Hopefully she didn't suffer.

    Huggs, Geraldine

  11. i'm so sorry about your first cat TJ disappeared as well when I was quite young..and it never gets easier.

    What cashew cheese recipe do you use?

  12. I am so sorry to hear of Lea!

  13. Hi Melody,
    I'm so sorry to hear about Lea. I know how sad it is to lose a kitty. When was growing up in NH we always let our cats (and dog!) outside to roam. I completely understand your decision to let her continue to go outside; I hope you'll be able to let go of that guilt you're feeling. The important thing is that you gave her a good, loving home.

  14. I know to be childish and overly attached to any animals, but I want to say that I still have hopes for Lea to come home.
    Cannot help but keeping a small burning flame of hope for a lovely creature.

  15. So sorry to hear about your cat :(

  16. Mmmm all this Italian food is the way to my heart, mmmm..

  17. I'm very sorry to hear about your sweet kitties. You did the very best you could, and I'm sure they loved you for it :)


  18. I'm so sorry about Lea!! I somehow hope she returns to you, but you sound pretty sure she won't so I know how hard that is. I agree with everyone that you did the right thing by letting her go outside. She would like that more than living a longer life being cooped up.

    Post a picture when you can. I hope you are feeling a little better now.