Thanks for coming!

Beryl carried Talley and Penny the whole way to the top

Houseboat Eats is Talley Lambert and Beryl Swanson. We live on a houseboat in Seattle with 3 cats (Huxley, Blue and Oliver), Penny the dog, and a garden.  We know that 3 cats is a lot, and we know that the 15 pictures of those cats (see below) is excessive by some standards. We’ve recently learned that we’re probably infected by a parasite that has taken over our brains and has driven us unwillingly, unwittingly and inevitably towards cat ownership. Lots and lots of cat ownership. (Think I’m joking?  Listen to the last ten minutes of this episode of Radiolab.)  Penny the dog is not the result of derangement, she’s actually the result of a little mix up at work, but she’s the best little mix up we’ve ever had.  She does not suffer from the same feline lovitis parasite that we do.

About Talley

Talley Talley Lambert’s earliest attempt to woo Beryl involved a jar of pasta sauce, chopped peppers, and a bottle of cheap Chianti. He didn’t know it at the time, but this was his first step down an olive oil slicked slope that would lead to approximately 97 cookbooks, a few Japanese knifes, and an ever expanding spice collection that ranges from Amchoor powder to four different but absolutely necessary Paprikas. If you ask him to describe his perfect Saturday, it will include a perusal of the cookbook shelf, a bike ride to the U. District farmer’s market, and what time remains spent cooking, listening to the radio, and discussing with Beryl the relative merits of poodles vs. golden retrievers, Barack Obama’s potential cabinet members, and other subjects about which they have no working knowledge.

About Beryl

beryl.001Beryl Swanson is the resident pastry chef at House Boat G, a title that greatly exaggerates her skills. She feels better represented by the title, “Dish washer,” “Vegetable chopper,” “Amateur photographer,” or “Peanut gallery.” Although she is no expert, she does know the difference between baking soda and baking powder, and she can make a decent piecrust when duty calls. She is also the personal chef of Blue, Oliver, and Huxley—the Houseboat G cats—and will share her recipe for kitty food if anyone wants to know (Talley banished the recipe from the blog, calling it, “gross,” “off-putting,” and “insane”).

If you like what you see, subscribe to our feed using the buttons to the right and follow along!

What follows are 1000s of pictures of kittens and puppies:

Puppy penny Penny the DogPenny the Australian terrier: spent three happy years as the only pet, and then we got Huxley the big black cat.

Penny and Hux Penny and Hux

She was ok with Hux, but then this happened —->

kittens play on couchWe fostered a litter of tiny tabbies. Intended to keep 1… wound up keeping 2. Lucky for us the 3rd never warmed up to the dog, so she went to live in a dog-free house.

nursing babies Feeding the kittens carpenter glue*.

Baby Oliver

Kittens meet the grown upsBlue, the little gray girl, and Oliver the brown boy, fit in pretty well with Huxley and Penny.

Teenage kittens Getting bigger…

Talley and Blue All grown up now (the cats, not Talley).

Blue Angel

*ps – April fools. We didn’t feed the kittens carpenter’s glue.
pps – Talley made me write that because he thought saying that we fed them carpenter’s glue was tasteless.

burned pudgie pie

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Tina October 26, 2009 at 7:24 pm

Nice blog!! I love that you guys are so adventurous with food, people after my own heart/belly, lol!!


Samantha October 27, 2009 at 8:22 pm

Hi Talley and Beryl,
I like your website and especially admire all the fun cooking projects that you manage to pull off within the confines of a houseboat. Thanks for sharing!


ansapeduncularis November 20, 2009 at 11:44 pm

Greetings gustamancers,
here’s the link to iron, fish, and wine….



mo andeel December 15, 2009 at 7:27 am

y’all RAWK . I’m a Leo born in the Year Of The Tiger – love the kitties ! . I lived in Seattle for 18 years … Now in Central Oregon . come on down , we’ll make you dinner .


Eleanor Hoh (WokStar) December 23, 2009 at 8:57 pm

LOVE your blog and also kitties and Penny. You sound like a fun couple, enjoying life. Glad to hear you make Asian food. Do you have gas on your houseboat or use a cast iron wok? It’s great for cooking everything.


Talley December 23, 2009 at 9:19 pm

Thanks for your nice words Eleanor. We love Asian food, and it’s a continual learning process. Sadly, we have an electric stove, and we use a flat bottomed carbon steel wok. I don’t love my wok, but I do love my mother’s old wok: it’s an old carbon steel (I think) round bottom with a great patina, and I’m just waiting for the day that I have a gas stove again so I can use it.


Eleanor Hoh (WokStar) December 24, 2009 at 6:02 pm

Are you able to use a portable butane gas stove (cheap from Asian market) on your boat? That’s how to solve wok cooking on electric, that’s my setup and it’s fantastic. Makes it so much more enjoyable. Have you thought of getting a cast iron wok? Think you’ll really enjoy the texture and flavor it gives your food. My mom introduced me to this thin walled, lightweight cast iron wok and I’ve loved it since and try to convert everyone I meet like I’m doing now, sorry. But really, it is.


Hi Talley and Beryl January 3, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Hi you guys hope you had a great Christmas vacation in Conn. Talley,
your Dad was telling me about some of the dishes you were going to make over the holiday. How did they turn out. By the way, do you have any good Moroccan (sp?) dishes you can recommend? I’m into learning more about this type of cooking lately.

Let me know



Lisa January 3, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Hi Talley and Beryl,
It was a great pleasure to meet you both at “The Feast” in Deep River! We were thrilled to meet and dine with your family and the Allinson’s.

I love your site and look forward to following your endeavors. I would love your comments on my website if you have a bit of time to check it out. I have basically taught myself how to set up the blog and feel that I am failing miserably…

Happy New Year and best wishes for 2010!


Jeanne Gartland January 14, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Hi Talley and Beryl,
Last name sound familar? Andrew shared this site with me while he was home. Love what you are doing and the photos are grand! Amazing where neuroscience can lead you. 🙂


Carol Barone May 15, 2010 at 12:21 am

Okay…it’s a relief to meet someone else who has as many cats as we do….We took the dog to the vet for stitches and came home with complementary kittens.

Your website is fabulous- I made the asparagus & tahini recipe tonight and loved it.


Francesca May 17, 2010 at 11:37 pm

Dear Beryl,

I love my newsletter subscription, but I will timidly admit I am not skilled enough to attempt most of the recipes. Please consider this a polite request for you and Talley to post a new dessert… cookies, a pie, anything. (Ideally not using a food processor or, if it needs “processing,” then ghetto blender-style.) Beryl gave me great advice on the St. Louis Butter Cake, and I eagerly await more dessert recipes.

Okay, basically I am trying to say that your meat dishes sound fantastic, but they are intimidating to me. The asparagus / brown rice / tahini dish I will try soon, but I need more Houseboat Eats, pronto.

Anyway, I hope you guys are doing well. More cats pics, please! >^..^<

Sincerely, Francesca

P.S. I went to the farewell tour of a-Ha this past weekend, twice. It seemed like something you guys could appreciate, since you're hip like that. 😉


Beryl May 18, 2010 at 8:12 am

Hi Francesca,
I have just the thing! It’s something we’ve been meaning to post for ages and we just haven’t, you’re note was just the motivation we needed! No food processor needed, in fact, nothing fancier than a wooden spoon required.

Thanks for the note!


Whoa, i didn’t even know a-Ha was still touring 🙂


Francesca May 18, 2010 at 11:00 am

Hello again Beryl!

Excellent, I’m pumped! I look forward to my next HE Newsletter. 🙂


P.S. It was the farewell tour. They’re breaking up! /cry


Alisa May 18, 2010 at 8:19 am

Hi Talley and Beryl,
You have a wonderful site and your recipes are just amazing! Im loving the photos of Penny, Huxley and the kitties…hmm sounds like a name for a band 🙂 They sure are a wonderful bunch!


Amanda September 8, 2010 at 8:07 pm

I’m missing you folks! Will you be posting again soon?


Talley September 8, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Yes! We’ve been crazy busy in the last few months. explanation and relevant recipes to follow. soon. sorry. . . .
we’re not on the houseboat anymore. living a lie… long story.
thanks for the kick in the pants!


Amanda September 9, 2010 at 5:47 am

Awesome! Looking forward to hearing from you soon!


Gerry Santillan October 22, 2010 at 7:05 am

We love your blog…..we would like to something like this


Anfritz27 January 12, 2013 at 5:03 am

Great ‘About’ section, nice little peek into the lives of the cats (and you two as well) haha. Anyway I am terribly interested in the recipe for the cat food as my cat, Creeper, is a bit of a piggy and I’d rather him be healthy with home cooked foods than the store cardboard I feed him. Thanks for any help ^^


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