I hate rats and mice and I make mistakes in this column. I’ll take care of the rodents in a minute but first … bad.
Thanks to Linda Hemsley for not only reading last week’s column, but also for taking a canned pumpkin out of the cupboard to make my grandma’s pumpkin bread. But an even bigger cry to Linda for realizing it, wait – the pumpkin was missing from the recipe (Facial Palm Emoji here). So here is, very quickly, the complete recipe (pumpkin and all) for
Grandma’s Pumpkin Bread
Mix well and set aside:
- 3 cups of sugar
- 1 cup of oil
- 4 eggs
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 cup pumpkin (you can reduce the oil to ½ cup and increase the pumpkin to 1 1/2 cups)
In a large mixing bowl, sift:
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon each: nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
Directions: Take 1 cup of the dry ingredients and mix in 1 cup of raisins and 1 cup of chopped nuts or pecans. Add the dry ingredients mixed with the wet ingredients and mix well. Stir in coated raisins and walnuts. Grease and flour four cans of coffee or four 8 x 4-inch loaf pans; fill about halfway with dough. Bake at 350 degrees checking to one hour and bake for up to 20 more minutes if needed.
OK, now that’s done, let’s talk rodents. I can deal with rattlesnakes, spiders and sometimes the marauding lynx. I once saved my cat from a cat by first hitting it on the head with my thong, then grabbing it by the skin and throwing it as far as possible, but that’s another story and right now we are talking about rodents.
When I was a bartender in San Francisco, they would do sewer work around the neighborhood, which would drive all the rats out of their hiding places and into local establishments. To go down to the basement to buy bar supplies, I had to carry my weapon of choice – a sturdy broom – so I could beat them to get the bottles of vodka or gin or rum or cases of beer. It was horrible having to push my way past those suckers with bright eyes, long teeth, dirty, uninhibited nails and tails.
Once walking through Oakland Chinatown after hours of all the trash on the sidewalks waiting for an early morning pickup, Manhattan Jake casually pointed to a pile of trash right next to me and walked away. said “Rat! “
I went from walking on his left side straight to the middle of the street in a superhero leaping (super cowardly?) Leap. Cars stopped screaming as I stood, paralyzed with rodent sighting, in the middle of the road with horns and Manhattan Jake shouting, “Honey, I said CAT, not rat! It’s a cat!”
Oh. I was grieved.
I hate rodents so much that I have three cats. Yes, three. I am about to become the Crazy Cat Lady. Except that I’m going to have to fire my three cats because, I discovered this week, they are clearly not doing their job.
My little Honda was dead in the driveway and it wasn’t the battery. I had it towed to my mate Jack at J&J Automotive. Jack can fix anything, even the impossible.
It turned out that the starter motor pooped, but also, upon closer examination, that a family of mice built their house in the car by chewing on God only knows how many wires that help run cars. It was the proverbial rat nest in the form of a literal mouse nest (ewww, ick, disgusting, disgusting).
Once I got over the creepy woogies of knowing that I had acted as a driver for a bunch of rodents (ewww, ick, disgusting, disgusting), I became shocked at the monetary damage these nasty little suckers can. to do.
Jack sorted and redone everything for me and I came home and had a serious conversation with my cats – Pudge, Mal and Purrl – about their rights and responsibilities for all the good it did. They just strolled at my feet, blinking their big eyes and asking for scratches on their stomachs. Useless, adorable, but useless, absolutely useless.
So now I’m researching mice eradication and how to teach cats to hunt them. Like I have time for this in my life.