Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Baking and Barking
I had to wash my hands six times while preparing the dough to let our dog, Hell Hound, outside. On snow days she likes to pretend she is the protagonist in Jack London's novel White Fang. When she was done daydreaming and rolling around, Hell Hound stood at the door barking for me to let her in. But it wasn't enough to just open the door; I had to step into a snowdrift dressed in my purple jammies, pick up her wet front paws and shove her big rump into the house. She waited, patiently, expecting this kind of service.
The truth of the matter is, Hell Hound has a lot of personal issues, and I'm pretty certain she is missing the part of the brain that controls will power, tact, foresight, and all of those other attributes that keep one from eating until she explodes and running out in front of a bus to grab a ball. When I took this little puppy who fit in the palm of my hand home 10 years ago, I didn't realize I'd eventually be carrying a 30-pound dog up the stairs at night who is afraid to sleep alone.
"Let's start with her eating problem," the vet said at a recent visit. "It is not unusual among hounds, or some people for that matter. Let's get her on diet pills."
"Dr. Dave, that's not going to help," I told him. "She steals food right out of the kids' fingers. She tries to clear the table for me after dinner, gingerly moving each of the plates to the floor when I turn my back. I think she was a waitress in a past life - and a bad one at that since she did not move up the caste system."
The vet frowned. He felt sorry for Hell Hound. She charms everyone who doesn't live with her.
"Honestly, I can't afford dog diet pills," I said. "Let's get her a psychiatrist or maybe a priest can perform an emergency exorcism," I joked.
"Sure, I can arrange all that," said the vet. Then he started jotting notes on her dog medical files.
"No, no that's alright. I'll think about it and let you know," I told him, capping my bill at $200 and making a slow getaway with Hell Hound, who wobbled to the car.
I was thinking about that vet visit as I stood in the doorway arguing with the dog this morning. Meanwhile, the oven was heating up and my hands were covered in flour.
"I'm not doing it. There is a foot of snow and I'm in my pajamas," I said.
"Just jump you ignoranus*, or I'm closing this door," I threatened.
She growled, knowing I would never do that.
I grumbled. Then, I lifted her into the house, feeling defeated.
To complete my performance as a doormat, I let my kids eat the chocolate cookies with their breakfast. Dr. Phil would say I’m adding to the childhood obesity problem in the United States, but my kids said I’m the best mommy on the planet. I saved my conscience by adding a little secret pureed cauliflower-no harm done. As Fredrich Neitzsche said, "that which does not kill us makes us stronger."
"Hey Hell Hound, want a cookie?"
Recipe for Hershey's Secret Kiss Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine – softened (not in the microwave!)
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
36 Hershey’s kisses brand milk chocolates
Beat butter, granulated sugar and almond extract in a large bowl until fluffy. Add flour and beat on low speed until well blended. Cover, refrigerate dough until it is firm enough to handle. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Round dough into balls and press a chocolate inside each- make sure dough completely covers chocolate kiss. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes- until set but not browned. Let cookies cool a little then roll in powdered sugar. Makes about 36.
Happy Snow Day!
*Ignoranus: my favorite new word from this year's Washington Post Mensa Invitational Word Competition. The contest invites readers to change the meaning of a word by adding or subtracting a letter.
Dear Internet Traveler,
Welcome to my writer's blog, started about six years ago for fun. Over time, the writing I have posted has ranged from personal reflection, to Long Island history research, to tall tales for my own amusement, to feature articles for local newspapers. As you can see from topics listed here, I travel in many mental directions in regard to interests. Click on the tabs and labels to explore my strange mind which senses that you may be having a criss-cross day. If so, perhaps this blog will distract you. However, please note that if you tell me my blog is beautiful just to get me to advertise rhinoplasty surgery and cheap drugs from Canada in your comment, I will ask the gods to give you a tail that cannot be concealed.