A slog, some fog, and a wonderful dog

cookie1a.jpgI worked longer than the expected four hours Wednesday, but less my typical nine, which threw a wrench into Gil’s big plans for holiday baking. He went all Woody Allen on me: “Can I leave the butter out on the counter long enough to pick you up at the train station? Will it meeeelt? Should I keep it in the fridge until we get home and start the whole process later? I don’t want to poiiiison anyone.” I don’t know a LOT about baking, but I figured that unless our kitchen counter spontaneously combusted, the butter couldn’t possibly get too soft for a standard cookie recipe. So he stopped the handwringing long enough to make the trek to Fair Lawn, then came home and baked his famous chocolate chip cookies Wednesday night. They garnered the expected “oohs” and “aahs” at our potluck Thanksgiving dinner, as well as knowing winks that I’ve managed to turn him into a baker. “Ha!” I say thee, “Ha!” I provided the recipe, but he didn’t learn baking from me, since I usually make with the burning.

Oh, and speaking of burning … !

Wouldn’tcha know it? I learned a wonderful lesson yesterday — never walk away from food that is browning under the broiler:

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Hmmm … what’s that smell? Did the heater kick on? I should get back into the kitchen, but how will I find my way through this thick, dark fog?

Despair’s icy fingers clutched at my heart as I mentally inventoried the pantry for something else to bring to dinner in an hour: Maybe they’d like a couple of salt-roasted potatoes with roasted sardines and mustard? Perhaps a bag of frozen corn and whipped cream? Oh, I know! An open jar of pre-grated bottarga! Maybe they haven’t had the good stuff and would find this oddly endearing!

But fortune sometimes favors the stupid and I got lucky, people! The Brussels sprouts were easily salvaged by scraping off the thick layer of breadcrumbs I thought to add to the recipe at the last minute. People declared them heavenly (take that, you hater!) and I don’t think they were all just being polite — at least not the host, who’s a brutally straight shooter if ever I met one. She’d let me have it in a heartbeat if they weren’t up to snuff.

But no pictures of food, as I’m the most unobtrusive food blogger you’ll ever meet. Instead, I present images of the world’s most adorable dog, Dash, guaranteed to make your heart melt:

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Dash loves his belly rubs after a hard day of tug-o-war, and Mark (upper right) & Gil (lower right) were only too happy to oblige.

I hope your Thanksgivings were filled with heavenly dishes and belly rubs of your own.