Only one, and I’ll add one for good, for family celebrations that last for days.
I offered to take in a neighbor’s dog, J, an exuberant 110 lb. lab/retriever for the night. He is a wonderful, needy, house guest but I couldn’t figure out how to get his harness on. When it comes to dog care, I get up in the morning and know that Z needs to go out asap. I use the facilities, check out how many layers of clothing/boots/hats/gloves I’ll need and we’re out the door. So I felt for J and decided his collar was OK.
Unfortunately we’re in an ice storm and all the streets and sidewalks are covered and most schools are closed. My husband took my car to work because I’ve snow tires on and he does not (they’re in storage).
So J’s a big guy! I’d already walked six blocks to the store to pick up a few things. Took me 20 minutes each way avoiding “black ice” where it looks like pavement but is slick and deadly. At times I walked on the street because cars had broken up a lot of it but that’s deadly as well in this town.
He was very good and didn’t pull me around much and did everything he was supposed to do. It took several hours for he and Z to settle down. My Zoe was the troublemaker, barking at any sound she heard. I’d fed them and taken them out separately.
Now it’s midnight and he was up so I took him. She was jealous so I took her and placed her back up on the bed. He did the funniest thing! When I went to visit him and learn of his feeding, treat, med schedule and where his leash was kept he did not come to greet me as he had closed himself in the bathroom.
While we were testing boundaries I closed off everything but the living/dining areas. I was hoping they’d both settle down and didn’t hear him for a couple of minutes. Then I heard him breathing. He had opened the door to the guest bathroom and closed it behind him! He can get in, not out.
He will not settle now and opened our bedroom door and closed it. Smart boy. It has been an adventure.
There’s a huge barge off shore and it’s lit up like a Christmas tree! I went to a health care facility today to give my gift. I’m going to start a pet therapy program for them and I and my Zoe may go to see patients. The national program would not accept her because I feed her a raw food diet. She’s been on it for nearly ten years and I won’t compromise her health and change her diet for charity. Perhaps they’ll come up with the same restriction but I’ll come up with a program for them anyway.
Receptionist T escorted me down the hall to meet the volunteer coordinator who was at a rummage sale to benefit the hospital. He knew I’d just come off the icy sidewalks and offered his arm and thanked me for what I was trying to do as he’s always wanted to be a zoologist. After I slipped and slid to the grocery store and came back, as I promised, I spent a whopping $5.28 at the rummage sale. I got a house with a tree that can be retrofitted as an ornament, a candy cane with a felt mouse that is already on our tree, and a slice of Kringle, strawberry. Yum. I had them cut it in half and gave half to T for escorting this old lady down the hall.
Now for the good stuff. The other day I saw Bobby Flay do a Strata and I’ve done frittatas and quiches et al but this was “Dee the mom’s” clean out the frig strata. I did have to buy good bread, but you should use stale bread, and good cheese. And just wing it, knowing your parameters.
For two of us I set out the bread to get stale and caramelized 1/2 an onion in a pan with a pat of butter. I had some frozen spinach so added it to a bowl after squeezing all the liquid out of it, added about two cups of bread cubes, four eggs, 1-2T of cream and 1/2 cup of Gruyere cheese. I also sauteed two pork sausages, cut them up and added. Mix up dry and wet and combine and mine fit easily into a 2 quart Pyrex rice cooking bowl. Top with another 1/2 cup of Gruyere and cook at 350 for about 45 minutes.
What I told my mother-in-law, we have cooking fests every Thanksgiving, is that this is a “seat of the pants” dish we could triple on one morning and we wouldn’t have to do individual egg orders for everyone. Have all the ingredients ready, first one of us up pops it in the oven for an hour or so (multiple portions will take longer) and there’s breakfast!
Many years ago I asked my fiancee about family traditions. Christmas? Milk cows. Thanksgiving? Milk cows. You get the drift. This dish gives a family eggs, sausage, milk, cheese, veggies. A dairy is not something for an older man or couple to run, so it’s a ranch now but everyone still needs a hearty breakfast to live on a farm.
The funniest story I have about this is my first time there at the then dairy to “meet the folks.” As I, a cook, negotiated my way around an unfamiliar kitchen, I said there was no milk for omelets or scrambled eggs and future mother-in-law told me I could use evaporated or dried milk from the pantry. I said, you’ve 150 cows across the road and they were milked not an hour ago and you don’t have milk?” My dear m-i-l said “I no longer have two growing boys. Back then I always had a gallon or two in the frig.” To this day my husband knows whether store-bought milk is “grassy.”
Nanny is always worried about her kids, their kids, her great-grands. She was worried about my husband even though I passed her 45-minute interview but the next time we saw her she said “It looks like Dee is feeding you well.” Perhaps too well these days. But I knew she approved of us being together. That’s how life goes. Dee
ps I never knew my grandmothers so Nanny agreed to be mine over a decade ago.