First about Buster: Buster moved onto whatever comes next on February 26, 2008. He was just shy of five years old. I miss him terribly. He came into our lives when he ran out in front of my car late one night as I was driving home. A just under 4 pound ball of kitten fluff, complete with an ostrich boa tail that stayed straight up as he assessed his new domain. He became a 19 pound longhaired beast who guarded our house (he followed any new guests or servicepeople the entire time they are on the property) & even killed copperheads (among other things with his hunting buddy, Fergus the short-tailed)! Friends never saw his formidible side as he smiled at them & uttered the most incongruent kitten-like mews as he threaded legs! He liked to ride in the car & came to the beach. There are Buster-approved recipes in my offerings - however, HE decided which he wanted to consider - Buster demonstrated he liked pumpkin anything - ALOT -LOL!!! Copperhead count 2006 - Buster 2 (10 inchers w/yellow tails) 2007 - Buster & Roxie 1 (a 24 incher!) Buster woken from beauty sleep - http://www.recipezaar.com/members/home/62264/DSCN0335.JPG Big whiskers - http://www.recipezaar.com/members/home/62264/DSCN0333.JPG For those of you who gave kind condolences - thank you so very much. http://www.recipezaar.com/bb/viewtopic.zsp?t=250301 I love to cook & incorporate techniques from Southern/Mid Atlantic roots (grits, eastern NC BBQ shoulders, Brunswick stew, steamed crabs & shrimp & shellfish, hushpuppies, cornbread, greens, shad roe, scrapple) with Pacific Rim foods & techniques aquired while living in Pacific Northwest, fish & game recipes learned while living in Rocky Mountain region & foods/techniques learned travelling to the Big Island & up into BC & Alberta & into the Caribbean. The Middle Eastern/African likes I have are remnants of my parents who lived for many years in North Africa & Mediterranean before I was thought of. Makes for wide open cooking! Since moving back east we try to go annually in the deep winter to Montreal (Old Montreal auberges & La Reine) & Quebec City (Winter Carnival & Chateau Frontenac)- for unctuous foie gras & real cheeses, French & Canadian meals prepared & served exquisitely, fantastic music & wonderful people - with the cold helping burn off some of the calories! I love putting in our aluminum jonboat & heading across the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) to the barrier islands for foraging & exploring! Bodysurfing is a lifelong sport for me - one that a person's body never seems to forget how to do, once the knack is learned (thank goodness!) I especially miss cool summers & foggy/drizzly days & fall mushroom foraging/anytime of year hot springing in WA, OR, MT, ID, BC & Alberta.