Sunday, August 22, 2021

Lab in an Elevator


Lorelei - our latest Lab Rescue (released from a breeder to a rescue group when she quit producing enough puppies) has been a joy these last two years.  She was six when we got her, had no idea what "grass" was or playtime or couches.  She's now spoiled rotten and Abby Lab treats her well, no jealousy between our "girls".

But this summer she suddenly stopped going up the back steps. X rays revealed severe arthritis in her back hips, probably from years of inbreeding in her lineage.What to do? Our house is on a walk-out basement so there is no way into the home except going up steps. We had to use a harness and lift her up, not easy even with two of us as she's the biggest Lab I've ever owned, weighing in at well over 100 pounds.  When Partner in Grime is on the road there is no way I can get her in and out of the house.  The stairs are too steep for a ramp up to the top but there was no way I was going to rehome her to a place with no steps.  Quick. . . a winch, some wood, and an engineer with a sandwich-making sidekick - we have a doggie elevator!

It plugs into an existing outlet and the whole setup can be removed from the steps if need be for major snow removal (so no required building permit).

I present. . Lab in an Elevator (it's not completely done, it will be painted and another control switch will be installed inside the house once she's had some practice getting in and out unassisted)

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Happiness is a Warm Cookie

Look closely at the photo----------->

Someone was trying to quietly raid the homemade cookies.

This picture makes me smile. On the wall at Dad's was a platter that my Uncle the Boeing engineer brought back from a business trip to Iran back in the late '50s or '60s.   He had told my Dad that it was a serving plate, covered with olives and all sorts of tidbits and they gave him the platter as a gift.  I went to snap a photo and only after enlarging it, did I see someone in the kitchen pilfering a cookie.

As is often the case, when I went to visit,  Dad only had packaged cookies from the store, made out of special Keebler Kevlar, so I usually made a batch when I popped in for a visit, and cousin L. always brought a big bag up when she visited.

On the trip the photo was taken, Dad was a little low on chips, sugar, and real butter. so for this recipe I added in some sour cream for moistness, and a hint of cardamom and orange zest to accent the reduced dark chocolate.  It made a soft, almost cake-like cookie that Dad raved about.

2 cups flour
1 and 1/2  tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp. orange zest (the finely grated outer peel of an orange)
1/2 cup butter, gently melted so it's mostly liquid but not real hot
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream (not "lite")
1 cup dark chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or grease it well, even if non stick).

In a large bowl, with a hand mixer, cream together the melted butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Beat in eggs and sour cream until well blended.

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cardamom, stir into the butter mixture. Mix in the orange zest and dark chocolate chips.

Drop dough by heaping tablespoons 3 inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake 13 to 15 minutes, until lightly golden brown. These will be soft, lightly colored cookies so do NOT overbake. Let cool on wire rack

That trip, Dad didn't get a fancy platter, but after his late afternoon snack of cookies, he did get a small martini and both remotes so he was a happy man.

Good memories.