Tuesday was Saru-chan's birthday. She turned a whopping 7 years old. She has grown more affectionate and less scared of Victor over the past year (I think it has something to do with the idea that she doesn't have us to herself, but anywho). She is gorgeous, sleek, large and very soft. Like many cats she likes to be pet, especially if she can scootch her butt really close to your face in the process. Hey! It's a gift.
Saru-chan catches the bugs I don't want to catch and release outside. She will play with them until they are dead and if we are very lucky then eat them. It's a protein source she needs to work for (and is smaller than the mole that Victor caught last week), so I don't mind. Heck, I even encourage it. We shoo Victor out into the back yard and will place her near her new treat. Yup, so mean we are.
I made ice cream for Victor earlier this year, so it was time to make ice cream for Saru-chan. However, she cannot have actual milk. Usually we get her a container of CatSip or some other kitty milk and she will drink it over a week, so that is what I used.
2 cups of CatSip cat milk
4 TBSP catnip, divided
4 egg yolks
I heat the milk till steaming, turned off the heat and added half of the catnip, which I steeped for an hour.
In a separate bowl, I whisked the 4 egg yolks. After the hour was up, I reheated the milk mixture and then tempered the eggs. I then added the tempered eggs to the milk mixture.
Unlike normal ice creams this never thickened to what I call a normal custard consistency. There just isn't enough fat in it among other things. Also, the mixture looked curdled. But hey, it was for Saru-chan who doesn't care about such things.
I let it cool in the fridge overnight and then churned it the following morning, adding a single can of cat food (we used a fishy cat food from a pouch) and 2 more tablespoons of cat nip.
Like the dog ice cream, because there is no added fat, sugar or thickeners (like xanthan gum), the ice cream froze really hard. There was more loss than normal along the side of the ice cream container where it was too hard to add to the tupperware.
It does make for a hard to scoop ice cream. In the future, I would scoop (with a small cookie scoop) from the ice cream maker when it is still relatively soft onto a parchment covered plate or cookie sheet. Then they would at least freeze into mostly into single serving amounts.
Saru-chan got to try her ice cream Tuesday night for her birthday. For the occasion she got to eat it from one of the blue dessert glasses we have. It was kind of hilarious, because the entire house had ice cream Tuesday night. Hibiscus sorbet for the humans, cat ice cream and dog ice cream.
Things to note. Saru-chan did not seem to like her cat ice cream quite as much as Victor liked his. There are a lot of possible reasons for that including that Saru-chan mostly seems to like her catnip au natural, that the cold item is harder for Saru-chan to eat than it is for Victor and that the flavor was just off. There is, of course, tons left, so she will get to have some more and if she decides to permanently turn up her nose at it that is OK. She is a relatively picky eater, so I'm ready for that eventuality.
Happy birthday, Saru-chan!