Friday, February 25, 2011

There’s a Monkey in our house.

We have a Monkey in our house who wears a cat suit. Confused? Monkey is our orange and white Maine Coon cat; he’s 18 lbs, his most distinctive marking is the orange yin/yang symbol surrounding his nose, and he’s very mischievous and adorable. He’s a pure bundle of a loving and fun feline covered in layers of long, soft fur. Why the name Monkey? Well, he told us his name, and so that is what we call him. When he was first adopted, the folks that owned him before called him Pumpkin, but he never would respond to it. One day he was being a mischief maker, Roy said to him, “you are a little monkey, aren’t you”; Monkey stopped whatever he was doing, looked at Roy and gave this meow, as if saying, “why of course I am, that’s my name” We changed his name to Monkey, and he’s been happy with it ever since.

Here’s a bit of information on his breed: The Maine Coon is a breed of domestic cat with a distinctive physical appearance. It is one of the oldest natural breeds in North America, specifically native to the state of Maine, where it is the official State Cat.

Although the Maine Coon's exact origins and date of introduction to the United States are unknown, many theories have been proposed. The breed was popular in cat shows in the late 19th century, but its existence became threatened when long-haired breeds from overseas were introduced in the early 20th century. The Maine Coon has since made a comeback and is now one of the most popular cat breeds in the world.

Maine Coons are one of the largest breeds of domestic cat. Males weigh anywhere between 15 and 25 lbs with females weighing between 10 and 15 lbs. The height of adults can vary between 10 and 16 in and they can reach a length of up to 40 in, including the tail, which can reach lengths of up to 14 in and is long, tapering, and heavily furred, almost resembling a raccoon's tail. The body is solid and muscular, which is necessary for supporting their own weight and the chest is broad. Maine Coons possess a rectangular body shape and are slow to physically mature; their full potential size is normally not reached until they are around three or four years old.

So, in honor of our Monkey, here’s a recipe with a tropical flare. No, our Monkey doesn’t really like to eat fruit, but he does enjoy lettuce; his favorite is Romaine. Yep, he’s a strange one, and that is probably why he fits in with our family so well.

Tropic Fruit Dessert Pizza


1 (12”) premade pizza crust
1 cup powdered sugar
4 Tbsp banana extract
2 Navel oranges, peeled and cut into ¼” slices
1 small pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into ¼” slices
1 pint ripe strawberries, tops removed
1 banana, cut into ¼” slices


¼ cup powdered sugar
¼ cup toasted coconut
Vanilla ice cream


Preheat oven to 400F. Place premade pizza crust onto pizza pan, or nonstick cookie sheet.

In a small bowl, create a “sauce” by mixing together the cup of powdered sugar with banana extract; spread evenly on pizza crust almost to edge. Beginning near the edge, arrange alternating slices of oranges and pineapple; continue to the center. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until fruit begins to caramelize; remove from oven.

Place a strawberry, cut side down, into center of each pineapple ring; place a banana slice in center of each orange slice. Sprinkle ¼ cup powdered sugar and toasted coconut evenly over pizza. Cut into 8 slices and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Makes 8 servings.

Mary Cokenour
June 10, 1996

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