22 September 2008

Will It Nom: Safety Guidelines

I found this on MSNBC of all places:

Bad news foods

They contain a toxic component called persin, which can damage heart, lung and other tissue in many animals. This fruit is very toxic to dogs, cats and most animals.

Alcoholic beverages can cause the same damage to an animal's liver and brain as they cause in humans. But the effects can be deadly on animals since they are much smaller than us. The smaller the animal, the more deadly the effects can be. Even a small amount of alcohol may cause vomiting and damage the liver and brain.

Walnuts and macadamia nuts are especially toxic. Effects can be anything from vomiting to paralysis to death. Within 12 hours of eating the nuts, pets start to develop symptoms such as an inability to stand or walk, vomiting, hyperthermia (elevated body temperature), weakness, and an elevated heart rate. These symptoms can be even worse if your dog eats some chocolate with the nuts. The effect can cause kidney failure, often leading to death.

Chocolate contains theobromine, which can kill your pet if eaten in large quantities. Dark and unsweetened baking chocolates are especially dangerous. Giving your pup a piece of chocolate cake or even letting him lick the chocolate icing on the cake could cause him to become ill. Theobromine can also cause a dog or cat's heart to beat very rapidly or irregularly, which could result in death if the pet is exercising or overly active.

Candy or anything containing Xylitol (a common sweetener found in some diet products) can cause a sudden drop in an animal's blood sugar, loss of coordination and seizures. If left untreated, the animal could die.

Coffee, tea or any product that contains caffeine stimulates an animal's central nervous and cardiac systems. This can lead to restlessness, heart palpitations and death, depending on how much the animal consumes.

Grapes and raisins
Grapes and raisins can lead to kidney failure in dogs. As little as a single serving of raisins can kill them. And the effects are cumulative, which means that even if a dog eats just one or two grapes or raisins regularly, the toxin that builds in his system will eventually kill him.

Onions are another common food that can be highly toxic to pets. They can destroy an animal's red blood cells and lead to anemia, weakness and breathing difficulties. Their effects are also cumulative over time.

Hide medicine from your pets just like you would from your children. The most common cause of pet poisoning is from animals ingesting a medicine or drug normally prescribed for humans.

And this is not just because furry pals are getting into their pet parent's medicine cabinets. In many cases, pet owners give their feline and canine friends an over-the-counter medication to ease an animal's pain. But acetaminophen and ibuprofen, the active ingredients in many common pain relievers, are extremely toxic to dogs and cats. They can cause gastric ulcers, liver damage, kidney failure and sometimes death.

Good news foods

Lean meats
Any cooked lean meat should be fine for most dogs. High-fat meats, chicken skin and fat from steaks or roasts are not recommended. Ingestion may lead to gastrointestinal upset or even pancreatitis. This can be a very painful condition for dogs. In addition, most companion animals do not need extra fat in their diets. Never give your pet meat with the bone in it. Animals can choke on the bones, and they can splinter as well.

Carrot sticks, green beans, cucumber slices and zucchini slices are all OK.
It's a jungle out there!

Apple slices, orange slices, bananas and watermelon are all OK. Make sure the seeds have been taken out; seeds are not good for your pet!

Baked potatoes
Plain baked potatoes are fine, but make sure they are cooked — no unripe potatoes or potato plants.

Plain cooked bread is fine; just make sure there are no nuts or raisins added.

Rice and pasta
Plain, cooked pasta and white rice are OK. Often veterinarians recommend plain rice with some boiled chicken when gastrointestinal upset is present.

No onions!? CHECK!!!

14 September 2008

Will It Nom?: Bananas!

This blog is bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

Ah, bananas, nature's little self-contained snack. Of the family Musaceae, they are grown in 107 different countries [*]. The perfect size for a human to nom. But will Cass and Decker nom? This is...

Will It Nom?: Bananas!

First the wild card kitten, Cass, gives the yellow potassium stick a try.

At first she seems tentative.

But she decides she likes the smell! Lick that peel!

It's a win! Turns out Cass LOVES bananas. She ate several pieces, and now every time she sees me with a banana in hand she goes crazy until I give her some.

What about our control cat, Decker?

The approach.

Uh oh, this doesn't look good!

I think that's a resounding "hells, no!" Oh, Decker, when will you learn that bananas are delicious?!

Hope you all won your bets this week. Stay tuned for the next episode, Will It Nom?: Hummus Edition!

Meanwhile, if you have any interesting (and safe) ideas for Will It Nom, please feel free to comment. Thanks!


09 September 2008

The Omnivore's Hundred

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred


1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers (specifically, I've eaten rose petals, mmm!)
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Hmm, I feel so American! I definitely should work on some of these.

In Ur Vacashuns

I am posting from beautiful North Myrtle Beach, SC. My white pasty geeky yankee self drove our butts down here through hurricane Hanna. Amusing, since I took the first leg of the driving because I didn't want to drive through the hurricane, even though I really didn't want to drive the DC leg... turns out I ended up driving the DC leg through the storm. Hooray!!! Mr.Curtis got to drive the last leg, which was beautiful, flat sunny weather down I-95. Rawr!

Oh well, we've been here since Saturday afternoon and though the sky keeps threatening to rain, it's been mostly sunny. We ate at an italian place on route 17 on saturday night called Benito's . The food was great (they have make your own calzones!) although a little heavy, but what was I expecting from an Italian place? Shrimp and garlic calzone, brilliant!

Sunday we ate at Johnny Rocket's, since I've been in love with that place since we ate there twice in Seattle. We were the only people in the joint when the entire waitstaff starts dancing to Splish Splash by Bobby Darin. It was legendary (did I mention I started watching "How I Met Your Mother"?).

Last night we ate at a local Irish place called Flynn's Irish Tavern. Great little homey Irish place with most excellent crab dip, Shepherd's Pie and Guinness Beef Stew. We were the youngest people there (it didn't help that we're generally the youngest people here and we were eating at 5pm, granny time), but the waitstaff was great and mmmmm Smithwick's (pronounced "Smiddicks").

So far, so good. Weather keep being your wonderful shiny self, and all will be well!