Posts Tagged ‘Moira Tuscanaro’


It is Spring, dear ones! And after sifting through the many questions you humans have sent me I find there is one most preponderant, and it is this we will discuss today! Prrrrrrrrrr.

The question is: Moira, why don’t you Cats like to cook?

And I must tell you, this question is about as appealing to me (and therefore to all Cats) as raw asparagus.

Eck eck eck eck. Excuse me.

A Cat’s Philosophy of Cooking is simple. It is based on the fact that we are capable of living in the wild and by our wits. We do not need cookbooks or Ph.D’s to assist us through life (no, not in any of the nine we have!) and most certainly we set the table for nobody!

Why don’t we cook?

1. We do not have to. Meow.

2. Do you really think we want to wash dishes? We do have a nice rough tongue but it is better used to groom our lovely coats.

3. Humans need to have something they can feel good about. Most of them simply can not hunt as we can! Purrrrrrrrrrr.

4. We cats are Thinkers, not Workers.

5.  We do not cook for the same reason we do not bother to get married and stick a gold ring on our paws. Once you start doing this sort of thing you can end up having someone expecting you to do it endlessly while putting up with some of the silliest behavior on earth such as saying all is well and lovely while your spouse is spraying the intern in the Oval Office while at the same time he is pretending to be President. We are not politicians, we Cats. Eck eck eck!

Please feel free to e-mail me with any questions, dearies! Now just scratch behind my ear, right there. That’s right! Purrrrrrrr.

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The Saveur 100 is a quite marvelous list of Things Foodie. If you think it impossible to try all one hundred in a year for reasons of time or money you might be right.

But more important, in choosing which ones you really should try – is your horoscope sign. The food you choose must fit you or quelle horreur! I know from my own experience that chipmunk is not made for cats of my sign. Let’s not go into details.

The fact is, if you do not listen to the stars, the same thing may happen to you! The foods you dine upon need balance your system, and the constellations tell us how to do that. Or, rather, they tell me!

It is approaching dusk now, and I do not have much time to dictate this report.

Aries: With your dominant keyword of “I Am” co-residing with the element of fire, ‘Everyday Heroes‘ by James Villas (#26 Saveur 100) will cool your flames and salve your need for a show-off dish that also warms the tummy. The recipe for Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Raclette, Herbs and Prosciutto is a masterpiece that can be quickly prepared so that you needn’t waste much of your precious time, yet you will be looked upon by others as a superhero-style cook.

Taurus: You are represented by the words “I Have”, Taurus – and the earth is your element. Mix it up a little bit with this ‘Foundations of Flavor‘ entry by Clifford Wright – a well-respected author. Harissa (#35 Saveur 100) will get you popping and sprightly, which is always an excellent thing for a Taurean to aspire to, particularly in the middle of winter when the warm quilt on the couch may be beckoning so very much.

Gemini: “I Think” is who you are, Gemini. At least we think that is who you are. Your element is air, of course. Anyone can see that. To your airy nature it will be important to add oil, from ‘Pantry Essentials’. Tourangelle Roasted Pistachio Oil (Saveur # 15) will have you sliding merrily through life as you drizzle it upon hot boiled baby potatoes (so cute!). This oil has an ‘intensely nutty flavor’. Well, so do you, dear Gemini – and a delightfully nutty flavor indeed!

Cancer: Cancer, your keyword is “I Feel”. Funny for a crab, but nonetheless there it is. As a water sign you will need an anchor to set your sights upon this year in what you eat. ‘One-Dish Feasts‘ offers this in the Soulful Supper (Saveur #84). Perloo is the name of the dish. It is a close relative to jambalaya. Please don’t worry about the shrimp in the recipe. They did not feel a thing. Neither did the kielbasas or the little grains of rice. A sturdy dish for a superficially sturdy zodiac sign who nonetheless prefers even a bit more sturdiness, often.

Leo: Lionhearted Leo, my cousin. Purrrrrr. Fire is your element. Your keyword is “I Will”. Your sensual nature will be well-fed by ‘Poet of the Everyday‘ John Thorne (Saveur 100 #24). After checking your mane hair one last time in the mirror, do run out and buy a copy of any of his books. Your lion-heart will be filled with just the sort of things you like: ideas, words, and to-do lists from the ideas you find.

Virgo:I Analyze”. Yes indeedy you do, Virgo. Mew mew. Yet as an earth sign you also are quite serious about proceeding with giving form to what you analyze and decide upon. Would you like to make your own ketchup, dear Virgo? It could be the most perfect of ketchups. You could make it exactly and precisely the way you, and only you, expect ketchup to be. ‘Do It Yourself’ Homemade Ketchup (Saveur 100 #37) is a good place to start. Undoubtedly it will not be quite right, the recipe. But after all, that is what you are here for – to correct it! Purrrrrrr.

Libra: Air sign Libra, your words are “I Balance”. Goddess knows you try to. It’s quite possible that you may need to go shopping in order to do so. ‘American Bounty’ (along with me, bien sur meow meow) will tell you exactly where to go: ‘Pomegranate’ (Saveur 100 #79) in Brooklyn. They have every. single. thing. you would ever. want to eat. And besides, it’s in Brooklyn and we all know that all Librans simply adore Brooklyn.

Scorpio: Water sign Scorpio who says “I Desire”.  There is something within the Scorpio spirit that calls for Sofrito (Saveur 100 #62) by Oswald Rivera. A ‘Foundation of Flavor’, it is serious enough for you to take it seriously yet it will lighten your sometimes world-weary sense that nothing is as it really should be.

Capricorn: “I Use” is Capricorn. Bound to the earth, there must be something found to serve the purpose and serve it in the correct manner. Yet the wind calls the Capricorn out to the wild. ‘Great Home Cooks’ may answer the call with ‘Swedish Venison Burgers’ (Saveur 100 #28). It is worth gnawing upon.

Aquarius: As an air sign whose keyword is “I Know”, there is not much that gets by you, dear Aquarius! You will gather friends and enemies alike around the table while making complete and full annotation of any juicy bits of gossip that feed your curiosity. To do this in an exemplary manner, you will need a ‘One-Dish Feasts’ entry. ‘Lasagne’ – Golden Standard Vegetarian Lasagne even! fits your needs to a T. (Saveur 100 # 36). It will make everyone, including you, very happy.

Pisces: “I Believe” is your keyword, water your element. One might think that sweet as you already are, Pisces, more sugar would not be needed. But I assure you, the stars are calling your name with this sugar. ‘Pantry Essentials’ has an ‘India Tree Sparkling Sugar’ (Saveur 100 #4). It comes in different colors (the one shown is turquoise!) and it is even crackly. Which you should like a whole lot. Purrrrrrr. Rrrrp?

Twilight is here. I must go. Remember, let the stars lead you to your destiny. Whatever it is. Whatever it may ask you to put in your mouth.

I am a cat. I know these things.


I am Moira’s mother. Prrrrrp. She is right. You must listen to the stars.


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Moira Tuscanaro

Moira Tuscanaro

Catty Corner with Moira Tuscanaro

As a cat, I must say I admire Gwyneth Paltrow. She is cool, elegant, sleek, and can even smile like one of us – which we cats like to see. And she can act, which is so very much like us too!

Today I learned there is more to Gwyneth than just these things to admire. People Magazine bellowed out the headline below with a

thorough article to follow

Gwyneth Paltrow Just Says ‘No’ to Personal Chefs

I have nothing against personal chefs, myself. I’ve even known a few! They have been kindly sort of people, always carrying food about here and there. But to “Just Say No to Personal Chefs” is a lifestyle choice ( of course we cats do not have lifestyles we merely have lives and nine of them to boot) and lifestyle choices must! be respected.

Then I happened across even more current news about Gwyneth!

News about her life (and lifestyle!) is everywhere – and honestly, I can see why. The New York Times reports that not only does Gwyneth now have a job talking about food while driving all over Spain. . . . but that she even got to be on the Oprah show to let everyone know about this fun activity!!!

Ms. Paltrow, the 35-year-old star of films like “Shakespeare in Love,” was admitted to the group, and the show, “Spain … on the Road Again,” is already a game-changer for public television in terms of attention. Even Ken Burns, PBS’s biggest star, didn’t get a segment on “Oprah” for his epic World War II documentary series last year; Ms. Paltrow and Mr. Batali, however, nabbed an entire hour of exercise talk and Spanish cooking on Wednesday.

All this may not be understandable to some of you women reading.

You may be asking “How does she do all the cooking for the family as she tells us in the first story (and all without a personal chef!) yet also travel around the world at the exact same time doing television shows and talk show performances?”

You may even be saying to yourself “Why is it that I struggle with finding the time to even do the grocery shopping and make the family meal each day when I am not even traipsing across Europe with a couple of old bald guys getting paid good money to be filmed while we talk, laugh together, and eat things???

You may be wondering how this all can be.

As a cat, I do not wonder.

I know how to be in two places at the same time. My mistress will vouch for me on this one. I can be laying my decorative fur all over her clothes while at the same exact time, not be found anywhere at all, if she is looking for me. It is a talent.

And I am even willing, as Gwyneth is, to travel across Europe being the singularly attractive one wherever I go. As we cats so often are.

For I am a Cat and this is our way of things.

Gwyneth apparently has discovered our way of things. I admire that.

But really though I am not sure whether to purr to meow.

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* July 12, 2005 Moira Tuscanaro‘s Cue-b’s for the Week (Post #3 eGullet Literary Smackdown Winners Round 25)

* September 25, 2005 Moira Tuscanaro Foodie Cat-Astrologer Dines Upon the Celebrity Chef Originally posted on eGullet during the same time as this topic, Moira’s horoscopes received a good response from readers. Unfortunately these astrologic notes were quickly deleted by admin for not being about food at all and for being selfish. (Note: Said Admin has now gone on to blog about restaurants to dine in, cooking, and other things along with the personal topic of obesity and diabetes.)

* September 30, 2005  The Amateur Gourmet – Food Astrology

* Date of Posts Below N/A

AOL Horoscopes Snack Food by Sign

iVillage – Your Astrological Food Personality Quiz

Astrology.com Foodscopes Blog

If you know of other online food/astrology/horoscope links, please do let us know so we can add it to the compendium. One never knows when one might need a little help from the stars above in any way – even with food. 🙂

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MoiraCatty Corner with Moira Tuscanaro

I’ve been planning what my mistress should wear this week over the week-end. My method is to choose what I like to see her in then find a way to lay upon everything else, leaving as many of my lovely cathairs as possible upon them. It has to be done secretly and at the last moment so that she has no option but to wear what I’ve chosen for her. Purrrrrr. It’s a fine, cat-like activity.

In between this activity (which can be quite vigorous and tiring) I looked at some photos of the last expedition we made to the grocery store, myself with my mistress and several of her people-friends. They took me along as naturally! they value my opinions about food. They need my advice as what to buy.

I must tell you those girls can spend just too much time in front of the purple cauliflowers musing about what it is and how to use it. Stuff and nonsense. Nobody needs a purple cauliflower and I tell them so. Meow.

Sadly, you can not see me . . . for the photographer did not know how to aim his camera at a real star. But I am there, down close to the floor. That market did have very clean floors – I only had to stop once for a good washing-up the whole time.

You may notice that nobody looks too happy. It wasn’t the cause of the market! That market was wonderful- they were offering little bites of ham at the deli! Sadly though we’d stopped at Burger King on the way and the guy at the window must have had a bad case of passive-aggression for he refused to give us more than one ketchup packet each and surely you realize the bad karma that spreads. I feel deeply sad even now, thinking of it! Mew. Mew.

Back to work here – there are more clothes to be sorted and I am the only one with the cat-hairs to lay upon them.

Vogue Paris October 2007 Le Gout de Robes photographed by Steven Klein Credit: thefashionspot.com

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MoiraCatty Corner with Moira Tuscanaro

From what I hear it’s bikini season, dolls. And guys. What do they call that plastic wrap thing some of you wear at the beach? I forget. A Speed-o. Ho ho. I am not purring at this thought for the most part.

As you know, I do not wear a bikini – my soft pelt is fine all by itself and I need no other fashion but for the cut-up lime hat I wear on my head at times for astrological purposes. Nevertheless, the importance of being lithe is not minimal to a cat. And nor should it be to you humans.

Yoga is always a good thing to do. But if you can’t do yoga whenever you want as I can (meow) then more must happen. Diets have been proven through history to be looming disasters of unhappiness and expense, the displeased rumbling tummies of many filling the coffers of a few as money is doled out for the supposed answer of “what to eat to lose weight”.

Here is the answer: Talk to the paw.


No paw? Sad. Use your hand instead.

Five, count ’em, five pads (or fingers if you please) there. Look closely. Take one of those units and fold it under so that you do not see it. Look again. Is your paw (or hand) smaller? Yes! Yes it is.

This is the answer to losing weight. I do it often, not because I need to lose weight (purrrrrr) but because it drives my mistress crazy.

When the plate is placed before you to eat, take your paw and lay it upon it. Just so. Centered. Angle it slightly this way and that while squinting and making little mewing noises.

When you have finally gotten everyone’s attention and they all think you are the most aggravating creature the world has yet seen then figure out how much less one-fifth of the serving size is. If the food is good, eat it (naturally you can always walk away if  you simply don’t like it, waving your tail in a slightly miffed way) but LEAVE ONE FIFTH on the plate.

They will think you are merely being picky. But if you do this often enough, very soon, very soon dolls – you will soon be one-fifth less the size you are now.

One smart human guy has some more interesting ideas on all this – his name is Brian Wansink, and you can read a bit here at Mindless Eating.

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MoiraMoira’s Catty Corner

Eck eck eck. You’ll have to forgive these little noises that come deep from my throat so lovingly as I report on this topic, dolls. We’re talking squirrel here, and that makes me purr.

We’ll also talk about some of my other fav things – celebrity chefs – but before that let’s do our part to be cultured, as that is what cats do. Here’s something Emily Dickinson wrote:

Experiment to me

Is every one I meet

If it contain a Kernel? The Figure of a Nut

Presents upon a Tree

Equally plausibly,

But Meat within, is requisite

To squirrels, and to Me.

Emily has a way of understanding things, a way quite cattish! Prrrrrp.

Did celebrity chefs invent dining upon squirrels in one of their wild fits of adorable creativity that make us gasp and purr? Unfortunately, no.

The word itself, so lovely, sounding like my rough tongue rolling along its fur, comes from the Greeks. The Ancient ones. They gave it the name “skiouros” which means shadow-tail, for they believed the squirrels’ tail was made to wrap around the little guys, keeping them protected from the sun.

The Ancient Greeks may have been a little nutty but at least they were also poetic.

Eck eck eck. Back to the eating, please. A short history of this delightful taste-treat includes Brunswick Stew, native to Brunswick County Virginia, where the usual native American succotash was expanded to include little bites of squirrel meat, along with tomatoes. For some strange reason, Brunswick Stew never really took off to become popular anywhere except where there was not much else to eat.

That’s okay. More for me. Meow.

Jumping forward to current times, squirrel is becoming popular in some places. London is the epi-center of all things squirrel lately, based on my research:

In 2002, nutkin becomes a fine-dining item. A story dated March 10 of that year in The Independent reports that

Squirrel is on the menu at St John, a restaurant near London’s Smithfield market, and it’s delicious – like tender wild rabbit, braised with bacon and dried porcini mushrooms, musky flavours to echo its woodland habitat. But some might prefer to steer clear – because it borders on taboo.

Taboos were being fought in 2006 as this story (23 of March in BBC News) has it:

TV chef Jamie Oliver should encourage schoolchildren to eat grey squirrels in an effort to save the endangered red species, a Conservative peer says.Lord Inglewood said greys had to be culled to ensure reds – native to the UK – did not die out.

“I must confess that I have never actually eaten a grey squirrel… but I am prepared to give it a go,” he said.

“Unless something radical and imaginative is done Squirrel Nutkin and his friends are going to be toast.”

Eck eck eck! Eck! Lord Inglewood you have my full attention!

This year the passion for squirrel is growing. The May 11 edition of The Independent says that tree-huggers love the idea of squirrel. And why not?!

And then, dear ones, we get to those celebrity chefs!

A glut of back-to-the-wild TV programmes featuring celebrity chefs such as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has also tickled the public’s palate, but squirrel is still unlikely to be found in the family fridge. The Observer’s restaurant critic, Jay Rayner, said he had never tasted squirrel, but if he did have it for dinner ‘it would have to be a big, fat country squirrel and not one of the mangy urban ones you see in cities’.

The very same day, metro.co.uk gets down with the rodent even more!

Keith Viner, former chef of Michelin-starred Pennypots in Cornwall, said: ‘Southern-fried squirrel is good. And tandoori style works.

‘It is especially tasty fricasséed with Cornish cream and walnuts. But the one everyone seems to like is the Cornish squirrel pasty.’

I would love a Cornish squirrel pasty. Buttery, flaky, squirrely goodness! And no bones to choke on!

That’s the report from Catty Corner, dolls. I must continue with my yoga. If you have any ideas or recipes for squirrel you’d like to share with me, please purr please do! Eck eck.

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MoiraMoira Tuscanaro is our resident catty astrologer who will also be covering the topics of celebrity chefs, diets, food TV and wild foods. She is seen in this photo exhibiting the gentle art of yoga-for-digestion.

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