Have you noticed that there has been a cat food shortage in Mallorca? I went to Lidls and two different Eroskis last week on a mission to stock up on tinned cat food and there was none of the bog standard cheapo cat chow that we would normally buy. There was only the stuff with the snotty nosed but deliciously fluffy pedigree cats on the front of the tin. You know the cat food that single ladies like to feed their cats which is three times the cost of the normal stuff? So I bought some dog food. That was a bad idea as it turned out. What can be in the dog food recipe that is so repellent to cats? Surely it´s just the same stuff just bigger chunks? Apparently not according to four very irritated tail swishes and a dedicated campaign of intermittent sulking. I asked the staff at the supermarkets about the apparent Cold War style sweeping of the shelves of cat food, but none of them seemed to find it as funny or weird as I did.
In a seemingly unrelated event, we hosted “CurryOff” at our house last weekend. The idea is this: get our friends to come to a party but also get them to cook the food. Simple, yet cunning. It followed on from the inaugural “Off” which was last month and featured soup. It´s lovely to share an afternoon with your friends and these days it´s a prerequisite that it also be within a seriously tight budget. My husband and I love to cook for our friends and have them over for dinner, but it´s quite easy to spend a lot on a decent roast once you have a good cut of meat and all the bits. So we had to find a way to make entertaining cheaper but still make it, well, entertaining. Now we have I think hit on a winning formula: decide on a theme (soup, curry, pie, stew, etc) and announce the date for the “Off”. Invite interesting and lovely friends. Ask friends to bring a dish. Provide the accompaniments for whichever dish you decide on. Soup was easy, we just bought a load of bread. Curry was a bit more complicated: yoghurt and mint raita, poppadoms, lime pickle, samosas, pilau rice were all provided. The guests arrive with their pans and the dishes are heated and served. Each dish has a number. At the end of the meal everyone votes for their favourite, and the winner is presented with a trophy. The “SoupOff” trophy was The Golden Ladle, and for the “CurryOff” we presented (I kid you not) the Glitter Toilet Roll. The best bit of the event though is the amount of pride and love that everyone shows in preparing their dish, and the banter that goes along with it. I highly recommend you try it. Next month will see “PieOff” (savoury and sweet), we shall be providing the mash, peas, beans, gravy and custard. Hopefully the cat food stocks in the shops won´t drop on the same week or I may start to get suspicious.
Last week was a week of competitions, not only did we have “CurryOff” but my blog www.familymattersmallorca.com came second in the Expat Blog Awards. Thank you to everyone who voted, it was very inspiring to receive so much support.