It's been a challenging week so far, to say the least. After successfully "pulling through" a strong bout of strep throat and an ear infection (didn't you always hear you were supposed to grow out of those??) I'm back at it.
The story of the little kitten is a bit of a thorn in my side at the moment. I decided I was going to personally take him on as of Friday evening, picking him up at the vet and bringing him into my home. My hubby was quite welcoming and our bulldog, Wilma, was a champ - coming nose to nose with him and being especially gentle. While I was busy falling in love with him, my hub was busy working on an allergic reaction. By Sunday morning (at 3:58am to be exact) he had a full-on asthma attack and I was beginning to link it to my new furry friend. I realized his happiness in our home was more important than my need to foster this kitten so I made the awful decision to try to find him another home. By that afternoon - I had a taker! A friend's brother came forward and said he'd always wanted a kitten, and now was a perfect time. He came, he met the kitten, and fell in love! After a quick tutorial on his replacement milk bottle-feeding and his care, they were off. Hubby and I settle in to watch a romantic comedy and veg out on the couch to nurse my illness. And alas, it was short-lived. The phone rang and apparently our friend's rental unit (his parents) ix-nayed the little kitten almost immediately. Back home he came.
By Monday afternoon, a lovely couple that we know only as mere acquaintances responded to the Facebook postings, asking to meet him. They, too, fell in love quickly. But since this was destined to be a rocky road we found out the guy had pet allergies, too. He was willing to roll the dice because he's been wanting a pet for a while. So far, the updates I have received are extremely positive and we're hoping this one sticks. I'd just HATE for this little guy to be shuffled around to yet another home. As of today, he has a proper name and his new owners are scouting out vet clinics. Fingers crossed that this works....
Naturally I have infected my dear husband with this bacteria I am carrying around so I hopped along to the new Harris Teeter for some fluids and remedies. Deciding that tonight was purely snack food night I saunter down the international-ish aisle to peruse the taco fixings. And there is was. In the middle of the packaged foods from England, the infamous Branston pickle sat in all its glory. Kicking myself for cooking shepherd's pie last week during the cold snap, I snatched it up to save for my next batch of this English treat.
As a kid, I had a wonderful horse-trainer that worked with my horse and I at our home. On occasion, she would host a horse-camp or have a sleepover with some of her closer students, and she would fix a traditional shepherd's pie accompanied with a side of the tangy but sweet Branston pickle. She passed the recipe on to us and I often think of her while I make my meat and potato pie. Never had I thought I'd ever remember or find that awesome chutney-esque accompaniment - but there it was and now it resides in my pantry.
I'm off to take my french bread pizzas out of the oven and dreaming of my next homage to the mother country.....WHOA - guess what? As we watch a "Foodography" on the Cooking Channel, Mo Rocca's lisp broadcasts about English pies - Stilton pie, kidney pie, mince meat pie and TA DA -- shepherd's pie!!