In September, my big brother, my sweet sister-in-law, and a rat came to visit.
We were sitting around, watching the cartoon bird movie "Rio," when we heard a grinding metal noise coming from behind the oven.
Over the years, my family has had well over a dozen hamsters. When, I went into the kitchen to investigate the noise, it reminded me of the distinct sound of a hamster chewing on its metal cage bars.
Sure enough, a couple of evenings later, after my brother and sister headed back to Denver, I got home from school, ambled into the kitchen to grab something to eat, and saw a partially eaten pear in the fruit basket. As I was asking Michael why he had taken a couple of bites out of a pear without putting it in the fridge, I noticed that there was pear stem shrapnel under the fruit basket and realized that a rodent had gotten to my fruit.
For a girl who usually isn't bothered by bugs and dirt, I was surprisingly disgusted by the presence of this animal in our home.
We declared war.
We set out mouse traps with peanut butter. The rodent responded by eating more of our fruit.
So, the next night, we set out mouse traps with fruit.
As I was drifting off to sleep, I heard a snap (I feel like I am going to get sued by PETA). I sent Michael to deal with the carnage. But where we were expecting carnage, the cutest little rat (and believe me, it actually was cute) was standing next to the sprung trap looking quite dazed and confused. We somehow got it into a bucket and got rid of it.
So what does this have to do with quiche and cake? Check this out:
The animal's cousins had gotten into our tomato plants. They were eating the juicy insides of our tomatoes, leaving tomato skins and poop on our fence ledge!
We ripped out our big tomato plant. And by big I really mean, gigantic. Due to the lack of sun in our backyard, the poor tomato vines had reached and stretched to over twelve feet long in pursuit of more sunshine. No wonder rats were trying to nest in that messy tangle...
All of the tomatoes were transformed into a tomato and goat cheese quiche...
And two green tomato cakes.
Green tomato cakes are BOMB! Super moist, with lots of cinnamon and nutmeg, and cream cheese frosting. It tasted like a fabulous carrot cake.
I think we shared three pieces with my in-laws and my elderly neighbor, but other than that, Michael and I baked and ate two of these cakes in two weeks. My pants got noticeably tighter. Yum yum!