Note: My best friend can't stand it when people put pictures of their pets on a food blog. It irritates her. "It's supposed to be a food blog not a look-at-pictures-of-my-pet blog," she says. Today I'm going to break her first rule of food blogging and post pet pictures. Then I'm going to write about one of my dogs. At length. Followed by a recipe for dog biscuits. Sorry, Mrs A.
That sound you hear? It's my friend's sigh of exasperation. There's lots of eye rolling going on too.
This week Annabelle turned six and I thought I'd mark the occasion with a list of Ten Things about Annabelle
1. I have had Annabelle since she was eight weeks old. I was having a mid-life crisis and I had to have a puppy. Mike had a mid-life crisis too but he went to law school. He obviously knows how to have a more productive mid-life crisis.
2. Annabelle likes to carry things around in her mouth. Socks are a particular favorite but she also likes mail. Whenever we come into the house she likes to greet us with something in her mouth. Sometimes she manages to get these things outside and we find socks or mail in our backyard. We try to monitor what she carries out of the house but we aren't always successful. Once Mike found our bank statement in the back yard. Another time I found the diskette with his civil procedure study outline in the backyard.
3. The moment she first walked into the house Annabelle wanted to do everything Jack, our older dog, did. That first night Jack jumped on the bed, Annabelle tried to jump on the bed. Jack jumped off the bed, Annabelle jumped off the bed. Jack got a drink of water, Annabelle got a drink of water. When he lay down to go to sleep she wanted to sleep right next to him.
4. Annabelle is a tattletale. She believes that monitoring Jack is part of her job. I was once vacuuming when Annabelle came over to me and began pawing frantically at me. "What is it, girl?" I asked as I turned off the vacuum cleaner. And then I heard Jack, two floors below, trying to head butt his way through the closed door into the room where the cat is fed.
5. Annabelle does not like anyone to come near the car when I'm in it. She barks and jumps and does a Cujo routine. This makes for an awkward situation if you're pulled over by the police. Once I was pulled over with Annabelle in the car by a K9 officer so he was pretty calm about it. (I know you're wondering: I didn't come to a complete stop at the stop sign. The cop was nice and only gave me a warning. It was 6 am in a deserted park. An almost deserted park.) The next time I was pulled over (tail light out), I actually had to get out of the car in order to carry on the conversation. I couldn't hear a word the man was trying to say to me because there was a seventy pound dog standing on my lap barking at the top of her lungs.
6. When Annabelle was tiny she was always biting us. We were always using the "no bite" command. Often she bit us as we were telling her "no bite." Mike called her Devilbelle. When she and Jack went outside I always made them sit and stay before going out. Annabelle had a habit of sitting right next to Jack then reaching over and biting Jack's leg which would make him jump up and yelp. I'm glad to report that she grew out of it. It was a relief for all of us.
7. Annabelle has understood the concept of fetching a ball since she was about nine weeks old. Jack loves to chase a ball but the whole idea of actually bringing the ball back so I can throw it for him again completely eludes him. He likes to run after the ball, catch it, and then just drop it before coming back. Annabelle has been in charge of bringing back Jack's ball since she was about four months old.
8. Annabelle can carry two tennis balls at once in her mouth.
9. Annabelle loves stuffed-animal squeaky toys. She's delighted when she receives a new toy. She walks around squeak-squeak-squeaking it enthusiastically. Sometimes she throws it up in the air and then catches it.
10. For one entire winter Annabelle got into bed the moment Mike got out. When his alarm clock went off she would stand up and walk to his side of the bed. When he got up, she climbed up and lay down next to me.
In the past I've made these dog biscuits as Christmas presents at times when I've felt in touch with my inner Martha. Not that I have a very reliable inner Martha. Often I reach but she's not there. In fact, it occurs to me that I may have been issued a defective inner Martha -- one that's more inclined to say, 'oh screw this' than to do something like craft marzipan fruits or bake many-layered cakes. These dog biscuits however are easier than Christmas sugar cookies so they're easy to manage, even for those with defective or non-functioning inner Marthas.
This recipe is adapted from one in the September-October 1991 edition of Martha Stewart Living.
Dog Biscuits with Chicken Broth
2 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons corn oil
1/2 cup chicken or turkey broth
2 eggs mixed with 1/4 cup low-fat milk
1 egg, beaten
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl mix together flour and cornmeal. Stir in oil, broth, and egg mixture. The dough will be stiff. Let the dough sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes and brush with beaten egg.
4. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes until golden brown. Remove and cool. Store in airtight container.
How many cookies you get depends on what size shapes you use. The recipe says it yields 48 to 60 cookies. I got closer to 30 cookies.
I use homemade broth for these, made without salt.
My dogs give these the big seal of approval. I'm not sure what that's worth though; they give all sorts of disgusting and unmentionable things the big seal of approval. They would not be described as picky eaters.
The scruffy little Birthday Girl