Monday, August 21, 2017

Pancake Panhandler - Life with a Dog

A house without a dog
With a dog.

Abby had her two year gotcha day not long ago.  As many rescues are, she was quite shy the first couple of weeks but is now is simply a happy lab playing with her toys, retrieving a ball, the tail thump thump thump against the couch when I come into the room. She is very well behaved, not chewing on anything that's not a chew toy, obeying basic commands and learning new ones each week. She's been allowed on the bed to sleep but prefers the cool surface of the leather sofa or her big poofy Orvis dog bed.
She does well in her harness and likes her rides in the vehicles to visit friends or run a quick errand while one of us stays in the car with her. The "exploding retriever" experience of our first trip north is but a memory (hey, we've all gotten car sick)  On the last  trip home from she laid quietly on the seat snoozing the whole time but for one time I turned on some Classic Country and she sat up with an irritated look that said "they're playing LeAnn Rimes - if she yodels I'm going to start barking". I turned it off.

The only other non snooze moment was a stop to stretch legs and get a Chick Fil a. Like her Mom, Abby loves Chick Fil a, the smells from the bag setting her tail on high rpm.
Abby on her "gotcha day".   So very skinny and SO happy to have a home.
where she wasn't in a pen outside having puppies.

Like all labs, Abby does like her food, going into a full-body wag each morning as I get up to feed her a bowl of kibble.

We are looking forward to a few days off at home, suitcase unpacked, and pancakes to be made. I think back to the lst batch I made, a little experiment.

It was right after we'd adopted Abby and my husband was driving down to my crash pad, to give her a couple of weekends to get used to us all together as a family before we took her to Chicago to her permanent home for a weekend.  I wanted to make one of those Dutch Baby pancakes like we'd had at a local restaurant. There was one recipe in this little book of Swedish recipes I picked up out West, though and I thought I'd try that. In mixing it up, the proportions seemed a bit off, and the amount of batter seemed like too much for the size pan recommended and the recommended temp a bit high. But I tried it anyway thinking, "it's a published cookbook, how can it be wrong". But I said that about the "overnight, no knead yeast bread" recipe I got from a well-known website. And we know how THAT loaf turned out
The pancake was assembled and after 45 minutes  I had what looked like a giant pan of hot jello in the oven, even after cooking an extra 15 minutes. I'm not sure how the edges can be almost burned dark brown AND raw inside, but they were.  I poked it with a spatula and it rippled and growled. I've had science experiments that looked less toxic.
I disposed of it like any good bio-hazard.

Abby played dead to avoid having to act like she wanted to try it. . . .
while my husband started looking for cold cereal (or the nearest exit).

I double-checked the recipe and I'd made it just as directed.  Oh well, that's what I get for following the rules as opposed to my usual cooking style of "Watch this!" with the fire extinguisher handy.

Not willing to admit defeat, I tried again, this time just winging it, Husband patiently waiting, as anyone that hangs around someone that likes to experiment with stuff, often does. Since an oven pancake is sort of a cross between a pancake and a popover, I adapted my standard popover recipe to the bigger pan and added some Cardamom and Lemon Zest. Melting four Tablespoons of butter in the pan, getting it all nice and hot before pouring the batter in, didn't hurt, either.

Ta Dah!  Puffy Oven Pancake. (recipe in the comments)

This is what the doctor ordered.  It was perfect, with a tender crunch to the edge, and soft and fragrant in the middle.
Served the traditional way with powdered sugar and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
I do think the second try was worth the wait, as my faithful lab assistant seemed to agree. For yes, she begged for a piece and I gave in.

Saturday, August 19, 2017


Dad's finally home.  He got to sit in business class on his flight home with Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top, and that's all he could talk about. What about ME Dad, what about Mom and Me chasing Petey the possum out of the yard, and what happened to the last of the Cadbury Bar.

Oh what? - Enough of our stories? We've had our sleep and it's time for foodables.  What's that?  I heard the sound of a bowl.
 I hear it, I smell something.
 Could it be?
Yo, Mom.  Dad has foodables and I don't! It's a bowl of Great Nuts (I hear they're made out of stone-ground squirrels).
 The prosecution objects!
Look - I'm not against bribery.  Will $15 get me a bowl of Great Nuts?
 Fine - distract me with throwing a stuffie.
 He Shoots. She Scores.
Oh boy, that's the ball my boyfriend Frankie Furter's family sent.
 I got it!
Seriously, Mom, you're not on your game, first the cereal and now a Chewy box that's been sitting here for like four YEARS.
I'll just sit here and starve to death, you all go ahead and open the boxes and listen to ZZ Top.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Flower Friday With Arty and Jakey

Welcome and come on in. Today we join

For some Friday Flower Funnies

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thankful Thursday - TeaTime

This Thursday we join our friend

for Thankful Thursday. Today, while Abby snoozes in the sunlight, I'm thankful to be feeling better after a really awful head-cold, for treats from the Brits store in Lawrence Kansas to go with my afternoon tea time
and a solar powered bobbing Corgi (also from Brits) - just because it made me smile.


Monday, August 14, 2017

Like the House Smelling like Chicken Fat is a BAD thing - An Abby T. Lab Post

Abby the Lab here, doing tonight's dog blog post.

Mom's had a couple of busy weeks and she was sick for a few days so she's' been a bit stressed. Plus dealing with some traffic issues, with a bridge and lane closure on her way home, the commute the last week has not been good. She said it was a ZOO.

She tries to plan ahead. For example, she put some chicken pieces in the crock pot yesterday to cook, so she could put them in containers this morning to have shredded for salads and casseroles. BUTT, she makes them with an olive oil based dressing, then removes the chicken meat and leaves the bones and the skin and the oil in the crock pot.  The chicken is SOOO yummy. BUTT, it makes a REALLY messy crock pot after the chicken is put into Tupperware.

Dad said "don't worry, fill it with water and let it soak and I'll dispose of it before work." since Mom had the morning off for a dog-tor appointment and would be getting up after him.

Except there was an emergency at Dad's work and he had to go to O'Hair at o'dark hundred to catch a flight to Texas.

Leaving the crock pot full of chicken skin bits and bones and fatty water.

NOOO, I didn't get into it, as it was up high and away from the edge of the counter, but when Mom got home from a doctor's appointment and errands it was a smelly mess.

I notice these things.

So I let Mom know the instant she got home in her nice "run errands among the rich soccer moms" outfit that it needed to be taken care of. Mom's smart, she got the crock pot rounded up to pour off the mess for the trash.

Except someone got in the way

And there was a big tidal wave in the crock pot.

And most of the chicken fat water and bones and skin pieces ended up down the front of Mom's new shirt and yoda pants  (I know everyone calls them Yoga pants but Mom is so old I'm pretty sure her's are YODA pants).
Mom and the kitchen smelled SOOOOO good, she's my new bestest friend! Look, my tail has gone hypersonic!

No picture, cuz she got right OUT Of the clothes,

But decided right then and there she needed a SHOT of something.

The Chocolate kind.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday Black and White - Life in an Old House

 What is a day like in a hundred-year-old home with no television?

It's soft light through the windows as all is quiet.
It's books, so many books.
 It's seeing your life reflected in those things that surround you.

It's the sound of music of generations ago.
It's board games played while bread bakes in the oven and the dog slumbers nearby.

 It's antique lace, and things few know how to make any more.
It's things from the ground and the garden collected to be beauty or nourishment.

It's the sounds from a shop, things being repaired or built
 to make the home stronger.
It's soft laughter and amber liquid, there in that quiet house
 where you will soon lay your head.