A Story and a Recipe

By Dorothy Johnson


Last week I wrote about some dogs I had known through the years. This week I want to tell readers why I like cats.  First of all, no one owns a cat; the cat owns people.  No matter how many treats the cat gets, it will still ignore its owner when it chooses. Cats can be loving and cuddly or aloof and distant depending on their mood. 

Cats do not need to be entertained.  They can amuse themselves with a piece of string, a fake mouse or a roll of toilet paper without the company of anyone (or anything) else. Cats have a knack of knowing where the owner does not want them and how to get in that very place.

When I lived in the trailer park, I had a cat named Benjie.  She was a gray, bobbed tail cat. One day I drove into the trailer park and saw a cat just like Benjie on the doorstep.  Since Benjie was a house cat, I could not believe that another cat just like her had come to visit.  Of course, when I parked the car, I found out that it was Benjie on the step.  She had opened the cupboard under the sink and crawled out through the water pipe holes.  I had to put a hook lock on the cupboard doors.

Cats will not believe gossip about their owners.  They judge everyone as they find him or her.  Cats will not ask to borrow money.  If they need something, they will find it themselves.  They pick their friends carefully and are loyal even though they pick their times to show it.

Cats are forgiving unless they are really hurt by someone and then they will never forget it.  I had a gas stove when I lived in the swamp.  Molly, a black stray that chose the Swamp for her forever home liked to sleep in the middle of the stove over the pilot light.  She loved that warm spot.  I took all of the knobs off the stove so she would not set herself on fire by mistake.  One day she was on the stove and as I grabbed her to put her on the floor, I turned on the wrong burner and singed her fur.  She did not hate me forever.  What she remembered was that I saved her and she was even more loving than she had been before.

Most cats are smart. They know how to get what they want and they know how to avoid what they do not want.  They disappear of their own accord and reappear when it is convenient for them.  Benjie would eat cooked cabbage so she was always around for boiled dinner.  She also knew when she was not wanted and that is where she would go.  Years ago Diane (Bires) Oulette was visiting at the trailer. Diane did not like cats.  Benjie knew it and spent the evening trying to get on Diane’s back.

I have a few more cat stories, but I have to get on with the recipe I promised.  This week we have a recipe for an appetizer, Spinach Squares.

 Spinach Squares


-Two packages (10 ounce each) 

frozen chopped spinach

-Three tablespoons butter 

or margarine

-One small onion chopped

-One-fourth pound mushrooms, sliced

-Four eggs

-One-fourth cup fine dry bread crumbs

-One can 

(10 and three-quarters ounce) 

condensed cream of mushroom soup

-One-fourth cup grated Parmesan cheese

-One-eighth teaspoon each pepper, dry basil and oregano leaves

Place spinach in a wire strainer, rinse under hot water to thaw, then press out all the water; set aside. Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat; add onion and mushrooms and cook, stirring until onion is limp.
In a bowl, beat eggs with a fork; then stir in bread crumbs, mushroom soup, two tablespoons of the cheese, pepper, basil, oregano, drained spinach and onion mixture until blended.
Turn into a well-greased 9-inch-square baking pan; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, in a 325 degree oven for 35 minutes or until set when lightly touched. Cool slightly; then cover and refrigerate.
Cut into one-inch squares and serve cold. Or reheat in a 325 degree oven for 10 or 12 minutes.  Makes about seven dozen appetizers.