Cookies, Mommy!

Ask anyone I know. I do not bake. Perhaps it comes from the days when my mother was such a good baker and my younger sisters turned out to be as well. I like the savory stuff. Also, I have “hot hands.” In cooking that has nothing to do with body temperature. Just that some people are good at pastry and some melt butter at a touch. I’m the latter.

On Lulu’s second birthday I tried to take a stab at making doggie cookies, having found a basic recipe and then I’ll plan to try variations depending upon what she likes. Below, she wanted to help the first go-round. COVID said we couldn’t have a party, so we did the next best thing, made a bunch of cookies, put a ribbon on each and set a basket of wrapped goodies where all her buddies could grab one. This tray is being filled to go into the oven.

I tried with peanut butter first, as the main flavor ingredient. It’s messy but she loves it in all her frozen Kongs that she gets as treats. Here’s Lulu in a favorite spot. I think she’s quite pretty.

Lulu, age two. She’s unique for many reasons but one you can see is that her right eye is half-brown (on the top). She loved the idea of the cookies and the taste to begin, but she got bored with them after a while. In this recipe there’s one cup of what I’ll call flavoring, in this case creamy peanut butter. I added to that whole wheat flour, baking powder, water, a bit of honey and one egg. I buzzed it up in the food processor, turned it out on the counter, made it into a disc, covered and refrigerated it a bit. Then I rolled it out and cut it with Zoe’s old bone cookie cutter. Voila. I left them in a turned-down oven to dry out a bit.

I didn’t try it with liver because I didn’t want to smell the cooked liver on the stove or in the oven, but she’d probably like that best. I’ll wait for Spring until I can open the windows. Today’s attempt will be with pumpkin, canned (not sweetened). I’ll let you know how they turn out.

Lucia is Italian for “bringer of light.” She brought some into my life when it was needed. Our Zoe was 15 when she passed, we had her at six weeks and she was the sweetest dog in the world (except yours, of course). She was part Aussie and we really loved the personality. I’ve never had or wanted a purebred pet, dog or cat, but this time I wanted to see what a real Aussie would be like. We opted for a Mini, a full Aussie but bred from the smaller dogs. Thus Lulu, or just Lu now. Or Poopyhead or Dogma or Bunny or whatever is the name of the moment.

We were told she was a Mini, and that she was not a chowhound. She is as big as Minis get, and a chowhound. Forty-one pounds at last check. Cute as a button, still, but rather than being dainty, after playing with her six brothers through weaning we call her “Tank.” She is Zoe times ten. Zoe minus the helmet, brakes, turn signals and with a stubborn streak a mile wide. That’s our Lulu. She’s smart as a whip and can figure out how to beat any educational toy and eviscerate a stuffed animal in seconds. But it took nearly eight months until she was fully potty trained. Too smart for her own good. I will never be able to trust her with traffic. She knows all her commands but obeys them only when she feels like it or when there is a high-quality treat involved. At twelve weeks she knew all her stuffed animals by name. Go get Hedgehog, Easter Bunny, Piglet! Then she killed them all. Twice (I had sewed them up). Now she has one large squeaky ball that lasts a year, so she’s now on her second.

I thought she might like dock diving. She doesn’t like swimming so far. Agility? We haven’t tried, but there’s no way I’m traipsing around the country in search of blue ribbons. This Spring we may try testing her for sheepherding skills, but unless we move to the country and get a flock of goats or ducks she won’t be herding anything but us.

So I can try baking. Kneading dough is good for my arthritic hands, and we’ll see what Lulu likes best. Of course it’ll be the liver. Unfortunately those must be kept refrigerated or better yet, frozen because they go rancid quickly. I can saute chicken liver like I do for my chicken/apple/walnut pate, then perhaps mix it with some cottage cheese for the flavor component. No flambee for Lulu, however but I should make that (human) pate again as it’s quite good flamed with a bit of cognac.

But I digress. The good thing about dog baking is that I’ve a host of tasters close by. COVID-19 may have curtailed human activity for the past year, but Lulu has a rollicking social life with play dates nearly every day. One could say that tiring her out once a day keeps us both sane! Here, pups! Do you like the pumpkin cookies? Is Dee your favorite aunt? I see by your tail wag that’s a yes. Keep up the good work, we’ll let you know when we dogs have a consensus winner! Cheers, Dee the Dog Baker

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