Monday, April 25, 2016

Freckles thinks out of the box

Yesterday I came home and Freckles greeted me at the door. Which would've been cute had I not left him in his crate. His locked crate.

I inspected the house. No accidents, no tchotchkes destroyed. There was but one telltale sign: Wrinkles on my bedspread.

He's not allowed on my bed.

How did he get out? Will this happen again? Is it a sign of separation anxiety? So many questions. The sleuthing begins.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Hello, Freckles!

Freckles, my very first foster dog, came home with me Monday. He's a four-year-old mini Aussie and is settling in well.

Having lived on a farm, he's making the transition to city life: fences, sidewalks, the bass sounds of rap. But whether he's on a leash or on the couch, he's quickly gaining confidence and loves people.

He will gently paw for attention, then bam bam bam, he marches like a cat. Oh no, Freckles, please don't smack me in the face!

Of course he reminds me of my other dogs. Like Chewy, he eats calmly, almost leisurely, and takes treats like they're no big deal. But he has Papaya's clinginess; he always wants to know where I am and will wait near the landing while I do laundry.

He's sweet and has adorable spots (uh, freckles) on his nose and paws. I hope you'll come by and meet him!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Lemon poppy seed pancakes

I made these pancakes for brunch and Sandy and Jeff requested the recipe — which is the highest form of flattery except for eating a third serving.

The original recipe has you make curdled milk by adding white vinegar; I prefer to just use buttermilk. Also, both versions are faintly lemony. Not super-lemony like those lemon smack-in-the-face cookies I made for that royal wedding brunch years ago. One last thing: Poppy seeds add a certain je ne sais quoi, but I actually don't know what that is. I may try these with blueberries instead.

Lemon poppy seed pancakes 
Serves 4 (or 3, if you eat like us)
¾ cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 egg
2 Tbsp melted butter (plus extra for cooking)
½ tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
3 Tbsp white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp poppy seeds
2 tsp lemon zest

1. Stir the buttermilk and lemon juice together in a bowl. Whisk in the egg, butter, and vanilla.

2. In a separate large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, poppy seeds, and lemon zest. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and whisk a few times (lumps are okay; don't overmix or your pancakes will be chewy).

3. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat and coat with melted butter. Scoop ¼ cup of batter onto the pan and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip the pancakes with a spatula and brown the other side.

PS: There are a bunch of tips at The Secrets to Making Great Pancakes. (Rest the batter to relax the gluten? Who knew?)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Holly the houseguest

Holly stayed with me again. Nervous at first, she'd only take her meals on the living room armchair, eating while I sat next to her holding the bowl.

But soon she was more her hammy self, squeaking about walks, belly rubs, and chewy treats. She tolerated storms yet ran away from mashed potatoes. Who doesn't like mashed potatoes?

She was quick to warm up to Sandy. It took only a few minutes before Holly got on the couch to offer her bad breath. But then Hollytosis was standoffish with Denise and Michelle. Who can know what goes on in a dog's mind? Hal says she's not self-aware.

Which could maybe explain why she'd wedge herself into the couch and under the covers, then try to kick me out of the way. Still, I enjoyed her company. Come back soon, little space invader!