… 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”

So happy together

Gil spent the better part of the week in Atlanta for a conference, so he and Ru are awfully happy to be reunited.

Cute, but I think I’ve just taken the poster shot for NAMDLA.

Apple crisp, improved! Whatchu say?

Soooo, where were we, anyway? Oh, right — I went into an end-of-the-summer-I-never-got-to-enjoy funk, and took to tending my vapors on the chaise in diaphanous dresses, as any proper Southern Woman should. OK, not really, but I love the ridiculous picture that paints. (“Gil, do be a dear and bring me a glass of water with just one ice cube — shaved — and a paper-thin slice of lemon. And no blood on the citrus this time, if you don’t mind tooooo terribly?”) As luck would have it, the work schedule that’s been eating me alive is going to get So Much Better soon that I started to come out of my funk last weekend and snapped a few pictures of the goings-on in my kitchen.

And what was going on, my friends, was making a little something called apple crisp. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Seven years ago I hit upon the nearly-perfect recipe for this dessert, made minor modifications, and that was that. It’s something Gil requests almost weekly during fall and winter months, so I’d say it’s one of the few clear winners ever to come from our kitchen.

Given the general righteousness of the recipe, it’s maybe a little surprising that I made more changes to it last week. “Why would you do such a thing?” you ask. I’ll let you in on a little secret here, because it’s just the two of us … I’m a little lazy. Quelle surprise! See, Gil and I were planning to take Rufus up to Warwick last weekend for Apple Fest (Greyhound Friends of NJ had a booth there) and I thought it’d be fun to enter an apple pie in the contest. I counted on nothing short of last place, but started dreaming of recipes anyway.

And then my thoughts quickly turned to meeting my arch-nemesis, Pie Dough, and procrastination set in.

Oh, look! A cute bedgraggled doggie!

See what I mean? All about the procrastination.

So I never did get around to baking that pie, is what I’m saying, though I did manage to make a big pot of dulce de leche for the filling. With no real uses for for the dulce de leche (apart from eating it by the spoonful), I brought half of it to work for the production department. I still had a ton left, so I rejiggered my old favorite apple crisp recipe. (I know you’re thinking you could get through ANY amount of dulce de leche without complaining, and maybe you’re right, but my Beavis impression wore thin after a few hours so clearly something had to be done.)

It might not look like much, but c’mon…dollops of creamy dulce de leche over cinnamon-spiked apples. What could be better?

Because I tampered with the filling, the topping deserved equal attention, so I added 8 ground gingersnap cookies to the oat mixture. The ginger flavor was subtle and I’ll probably add more to the mixture if I make it again, but I was pleased with the outcome, even if it didn’t win any awards in a competition.

recipes after the jump

Continue reading “Apple crisp, improved! Whatchu say?”

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!

The Rufus Report — August 17, 2008

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a Rufus Report, mostly because we’ve settled into a nice routine and there really hasn’t been much to report.


A few weeks ago, Gil and I decided to get serious about Rufus’s training, so now we have a dog that understands he needs to sit or lie down to to get a treat. These baby steps are actually great strides when you remember that this is what we were up against. He’ll even lie on his bed while we’re eating dinner now instead of nosing his way over to our plates.

It’s made life much more relaxed for all of us:

Greyhound spaghetti

Greyhound Friends of NJ held another meet & greet at Rusty’s Place today, so we took Rufus down for two hours of panting and butt-sniffing.

These events usually turn into a big tangle of leashes — greyhound spaghetti — as the kids socialize, and today was no exception. (Click on either picture for the full flickr set.)

Not Rufus. This is a sweet boy who’s in foster care after coming off the track only three weeks ago.

I only just realized that I should be mentioning these local meet & greets/adoption fairs in advance so any of you who are interested in meeting some pooches can swing by; I’ll be better about that in the future. There isn’t another one in Ringwood for a while, but the organization sponsors events all over the state, so if you’re interested in learning more about greyhounds or just want to hang out with some charming retirees, click here for more information.