Second-child syndrome

It was Otis’s birthday last week and I completely let it go by without mentioning it here. So…happy belated birthday, Otie!

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Yes, that’s a band-aid on his ear. He tangled with a thorn bush on an afternoon walk last week and, to hear Gil tell it, the whole thing looked like a horror show with blood everywhere, even on Rufus. At least one tiny bandage took care of everything.

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“No, really, I’ll be fine…SIGH.”

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If you haven’t heard, April is Adopt a Greyhound month. I’m clearly biased, but I think they’re just incredible animals; I don’t think we’ll ever not have one cockroached at the foot of our bed. If you think you might like to rescue a former racer (and are in NJ), I highly recommend Greyhound Friends of New Jersey — they’ve been a wonderful resource.

Pastalaya, crawfish frittata, buffet at Pancho’s

The Hank Williams classic updated for 2009, which is a roundabout way of saying I spent last weekend visiting family in Des Allemands for my nephew’s 7th birthday. The food was terrific (as usual), and the company even more so, though the birthday boy completely ignored his auntie. Oh, well. That’s a little boy for you.

I didn’t take many pictures this time around, but did manage to snap this one, which is quickly becoming a favorite:

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My new cousin, who couldn’t quite decide about me.

While I was away, Gil and The Ambassador stopped by the farmers’ market to pick up a few things for me, but I didn’t have a chance to use all of the spinach and arugula during the week. After getting fresh supplies this Saturday, I decided to use the week-old produce in one shot with a pesto to go with some leftover whole wheat pasta. It was all very free-form, but here’s how it went.

I toasted two handfuls of walnuts until they were warm and fragrant, then put them in the food processor to cool while I worked on the the rest of the pesto.

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After they’d cooled somewhat, I pulsed them with a clove of garlic until the whole thing smelled like heaven, assuming your idea of heaven is warm walnuts and garlic.

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I added about one part spinach to two parts arugula, filling the bowl of the processor twice before pulsing; that’s the amount of the greens I had on hand, but you can adjust to taste.

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There was also quite a bit of Parmesan, good olive oil, zest from 1/2 lemon, and salt & pepper, all blended together until I was left with a satisfyingly bright green mess.

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Which, when tossed with leftover whole wheat pasta, became an easy, light lunch, perfect for the oppressively humid day.

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Rufus after the jump.

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… but the troops were dazzled

We bought Rufus a new coat at the craft fair last weekend. The one he wore home from the kennel is nice, but more of a spring/fall coat which wouldn’t be warm enough for the snowy winter we’re expecting. Because we’re indulgent (having no kids to spend money on), this new coat is an extra-special model, complete with a snood.

With snood in place, Ru reminded me of someone, but it took a few minutes before I realized he’s descended from royalty:

And now we nap

After all of that stressing out over the turkey, I’m overjoyed to report that the excess dry brining didn’t hurt one bit; that was one delicious bird. It had a very concentrated turkey flavor because the cells weren’t flooded with water, so now I have a go-to method for all of the Thanksgivings in my future. Also, I’m looking forward to being the very last food blogger on earth to try the Zuni method with chicken.

I was so busy cooking and serving yesterday that I forgot to take pictures while everyone was here, but I did remember to capture the first of our (probably many) leftover meals this morning: mashed potato pancakes. Since I used cream cheese in the potatoes, they held together well after sitting in the fridge overnight, so I added an egg and some milk to thin them out a bit and dropped the thick batter by the tablespoon into a hot pan sizzling with butter. With all of that richness, the only thing the pancakes needed was a drizzle of warmed lingonberry jam to put them over the top.

Gil’s family left right after dinner, but our friend Mark and his dog Larry stayed the night, so I had another opportunity to rectify my photo laziness by capturing the Many Moods of Larry this morning.

cute doggie pics after the jump

Continue reading “And now we nap”

A grey day

If Rufus agrees to abandon his fleecy fortress of solitude this morning, we’ll head to the Fall Picnic/Greyhound Planet Day Celebration at Duke Island Park in Bridgewater.

Rufus is always excited to meet more greys, but you really have to keep an eye on these bad boys — don’t want him getting liquored up and coming home with even more tattoos:

Update: Gil wrote all about our experience at the picnic, so I don’t have to! The post contains neat observations and links to lots of doggie pictures, so check it out!