OK--everyone go over and visit Miss T. and thank her on my behalf for her suggestion that I contact Homeward Bound Dog Rescue. They think they can rescue her, and after some wrangling with the Humane Society (don't blame them, I signed a contract when I turned Charli in that agrees I have no say in her future and no right to future information), the latter has agreed to put Charli in an evaluation program with their behavioral specialists. The evaluation program will assess whether or not the aggression is just towards dogs, or towards humans in any way; if they don't think she's adoptable, they'll contact Homeward Bound for a rescue.
I can't even tell you how relieved I am. I don't want to be the one to assign a perfectly healthy dog to a death sentence.
THANKS, MISS. T!
Oh...and if you're feeling at all charitable, stop by the good folks at the Homeward Bound site above and make a donation for their good work. I know I will.
Yesterday was a very hard day at Chez Knit Think (hence no Friday food). Over the past several days, new dog Charli had begun showing increased signs of aggression towards other dogs, particularly on walks, but also troublingly at home. Yesterday afternoon she attacked Gracie, fortunately not breaking skin, but hearing the growling and snarling and seeing the so-called "aggression mohawk" scared us a great deal--especially poor Gracie. Especially when Charli had her pinned to the floor and was biting her. In a not very nice or playful way.
So back to the Humane Society went Charli.
I feel really terrible about this. I know that, now that I've reported the aggression, the likelihood that she'll be put up for adoption again is pretty slim, even though she seemed fine with humans. I did contact a Lab rescue organization with her story, and Miss T. reminded me of Homeward Bound, which also works with shelters to save unadoptable animals, so I've contacted them as well.
Because I do think there's a good dog in there somewhere. And she would make a lovely pet for someone. Someone who doesn't already have a dog.
The kind of puppy that's gonna stay, and she's here now, Charli!
Charli. Not by Revlon. (A dog with) A most original fragrance.***
*OK, she's four, so maybe not so very young, but not old either.
**KINDA free? The Teen let her outside yesterday without remembering that she's not trained for the Invisible Fence...the not-so-kind Animal Control Officer had a Stern Talk with us about our overly free new dog.
***Original fragrance...well, if by original we mean the way all dogs smell after they've spent a few weeks at the Humane Society. It'll take more than one bath to fix that.
Many thanks to Antay and Don for reminding me about this commercial.
But first, a full disclosure: DH works for this company. And hey, if you're bored and want to have some fun, go play with the company's mascot.
OK. So. Nutrisoda is currently sponsoring a contest for students at culinary institutes to create recipes using Nutrisodas. I will be the first to admit to being sceptical about this. But to get into the spirit of things, I agreed to try one of the recipes.
The ingredients are certainly intriguing.
Hmmm...let's see...pork tenderloin, fresh tomato, jalapeno, and Immune. No, I'm not planning on cooking with the hand lotion.
It's pretty simple. The Immune, jalapeno, garlic, cumin, and kosher salt mix together to make a marinade for the pork. The tomato, along with red onion and cilantro, combine to make a salad topping.
Isn't it pretty?
But I'm getting ahead of myself. First you marinate the pork, then brown it in a Dutch oven, then bake it. When it's done, you take the pork out and use some of the reserved marinade, along with chicken stock and butter, to reduce into a sauce. The end result?
This. Is. So. Good. The marinated, roasted pork, topped with the rich sauce and the tomato-onion-cilantro mixture, is amazing. And it's even better when served with roasted vegetables. For those of you who have Crescent Dragonwagon's Passionate Vegetarian book, I used the Roasty Toasty Potatoes, Carrots and Onions recipe, which goes perfectly with this pork. Oh, and the pork recipe is here.
So you see, the moral of this story is, you can have a sumptuous dinner and do your part to keep DH gainfully employed! How can you beat that combination?
We had a big day on Friday. Several months ago, DH and I went to a fundraiser for the Wildcat Sanctuary. This is a very cool organization, run by one determined woman who abandoned a lucrative advertising career to create a safe place for mistreated wild animals. She takes in abused exhibition animals and--ahem--pets (because obviously nothing says "I love you" more than giving someone a cougar as a gift--yes! True story!) and puts them in a wild environment, not a zoo, but a place they can live as close to the wild as they still can. Sadly, she gets about 300 calls a year from people asking her to take an animal off their hands. She has neither money nor space for all of them; right now she has about 90 animals at the Sanctuary.
Anyway, short story long, at the fundraiser we bid on and won a trip to see the vet examine the wild animals. Normally this is done at the Sanctuary, but because Youngest Son wanted to go and kids under 18 aren't allowed at the Sanctuary, arrangements were made to visit the vet's office instead. Two bobcats, Baby and Tractor (the latter being named by a former pet owner who thought it was funny when she told friends she had a bobcat, and they thought it meant farm machinery), came in for their annual exams and immunizations.
They look like big fluffy cats:
With very sharp teeth:
For the record, we were warned not to touch the bobcat's head while visiting. We could stroke their back (very soft and lovely) and examine their paws (huge, with big claws), but stay away from the face--even though they were sedated for the vet visit (as they always are, not just because we were there), apparently they can be quite surprising when sensing an unfamiliar touch around their mouth. And their big teeth.
Here is Youngest Son, getting friendly with Baby. Well, sort of friendly.
It was a wonderful visit, and very eye-opening. I had no idea so many people think it's fun to own a wildcat. And clearly the people who think it would be fun don't do their homework--like one person who thought a wildcat could be tamed by giving it a vegetarian diet. Not only did it not tame the cat, it gave it liver disease from lack of protein.
Even scarier is the number of calls she gets from schools, where the adults ask her to come in and do presentations, which she frequently does, but then the responsible adults are annoyed she doesn't bring an animal on a leash with her. Because, obviously, a 500-pound tiger can easily be restrained on a leash. She said the kids get it; she shows videos and photos and explains why these animals are not meant to be pets, but the adults don't seem to register the realities.
But boy, are those bobcats beautiful. But when they growl, there is no mistaking it for a purr.
I have a penchant for picking up oddball cookbooks, books I suspect have no truly edible food in them but have some sentimental or souvenir value for me. It occurred to me that, as part of this Friday Food routine, maybe I should check that theory--are the recipes truly unbearable? For this week's installment, I pulled this book off the shelf:
I bought this book at the Judy Garland Museum earlier this summer. It's packed full of recipes from people who have, in some cases, very tenuous connections with The Wizard of Oz: several Munchkins, the wife of a script supervisor for the movie, Bert Lahr's makeup artist, and Cora, the Maxwell House Coffee Lady (you remember, she was played by Margaret Hamilton, who was the Wicked Witch of the West).
When I pulled the book off the shelf, I looked for the direct-connection recipe: one from Dorothy herself. And there is one, theoretically a favorite of Judy's: Judy Garland's Shepherd's Pie Supreme. However, the recipe made me suspicious. Not that it doesn't sound good--it actually does, with roasted lamb and chicken--but it made me wonder, given how complex it was, whether it was really a Judy Garland specialty or a MGM-wanted-the-world-to-think-it-was-Judy's-specialty. So instead I chose something simpler, a Billie Burke recipe (yes--Glinda the Good Witch!).
First we take some zucchini and garlic.
Peel the garlic, slice thin, slice the zucchini, put in a pan with water, and boil. When it's done, drain, add some herbs and salt and pepper, and voila:
Surprisingly edible zucchini. No, I'm not generally a zucchini fan, if it's not buried in with other things (like in a lasagne). But this was pretty good. The recipe calls for 20 minutes of cooking time, but as the zucchini turned to mush, I think I'd cut that down a bit. I also did not make the dressing called for, since I was eating it hot out of the pan.
I'm including the recipe notes from Burke's daughter. Apparently Glinda was a rabid zucchini fan. Who knew?
Zucchini a la Billie Burke
From Cooking in Oz, Cumberland House Books
Reprinted with permission from the Publisher
My mother, Billie Burke, was not a cook by any stretch of the imagination! But she loved zucchini so much that she learned to cook it. She said she would never starve if she had a couple of pieces of whole wheat toast, slathered in butter, and a plate of zucchini! Here is her recipe:
5 or 6 (4- to 6-inch) shiny zucchini, cut into ½-inch slices
5 or 6 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup water
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste (optional)
½ teaspoon dry hot mustard (Coleman’s)
Pinch salt and pepper
1 teaspoon firmly packed brown or raw sugar
½ cup olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
1 ice cube
In a large sauce pan place the zucchini, garlic, and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and boil for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand for 15 minutes. Drain well. Add the parsley, dill, butter, salt, and pepper.
Prepare BB’s French dressing: In a large bowl mix the mustard with the pinch of salt and pepper and the sugar. Add the oil slowly; mixing well. Add the lemon juice and then the ice cube. Mix together thoroughly. Bon appetit!
Should you want to eat the zucchini cold on some lettuce, chill well and add ½ cup of BB’s French dressing.
Makes 6 servings.
--Patricia Ziegfeld Stephenson, daughter of Billie Burke
But hey--let's look closer at that last one. Who's in that photo?
Why, it' s me and Earl Charles Spencer, brother of Princess Diana. This was taken at Althorp, Princess Di's childhood home, the first day it was open to the public the year after she died. No, I didn't go to Europe just for that. DH was attending a conference there, and I went along and got the very last ticket to Althorp that day. I'm no fan of Earl Spencer--think he's a bit of a scoundrel and a grandstander--but when I saw him looking miserable at having to rub elbows with the common folk, I couldn't not get in line to get my picture taken, could I?
I lamented the passing of the Summer of Fun, but really, fall has its own share of fun. First I saw Jane Eyre at the Guthrie, and in two weeks I go to see Van Halen (WOOT! WOOT! I do love me some David Lee Roth), and later is the stage production of the Lion King.
But last night was this gentleman:
Sir Ian McKellen, again at the Guthrie, courtesy of my friend Antay. No, for the locals, it wasn't (sadly) to see Sir McKellen in King Lear, but happily, to hear him give a talk about his life and the world of acting.
What can I say? He's wonderful--I would love to listen to his charming tales for hours. He's very droll, with a sly sense of humor (when talking about how he helped with protests in Britain against legislation that would have prevented the promotion of homosexuality, he noted that, after all, heterosexuality has been promoted to him all his life, and, well...). He told anecdotes about working with Tyrone Guthrie, and Dame Judi Dench (imagine, he played MacBeth to her Lady MacBeth!), and the need for characters to have costumes with pockets to keep their money ("You have to wonder where Mystique kept her money").
Later someone asked him about playing evil characters, and he talked about Shakespeare and the great villains, and he said that what Shakespeare does is explain why the evil characters are evil. It's not just a cut-and-dried bad guy, but the audience understands why the bad guy is bad. He then said that's necessary to cope with evil--to understand it. Not to condone it, but to understand it.
And I got to meet him briefly afterwards and shake his hand. Sigh.