Wednesday, November 20, 2013

TWD/BWJ: Double Chocolate Cookies

These cookies came along just in time. I needed chocolate. And they delivered.

Don, Rachel, and Sallie in 1997.
He quickly lost the size advantage.
I remember it well. The day Michael opened the front door, tossed two small black puppies inside, and quickly ran back toward the garage announcing over his shoulder that "one of them puked in the car!" Wait. What? TWO of them? I distinctly remember saying that I'd take ONE. They'd been found together in a ditch in Gwinnett County. Sisters. I don't know who abandoned them there, but I do know that our lives were changed by that act. It was August of 1997. Our dogs have always had human names. (We used to name them after sleazy politicians, but that's another story.) The kids picked the names for these two, and so they became Sallie and Rachel. They joined Don, our little black shar pei mix, who was the leader of the pack until he died at the ripe old age of 18 years. A few years ago, a weimaraner named Lady joined our family.

Now Sallie and Rachel are parted for the first time in 16 years. Our dear sweet Rachel had a neurological disorder that caused her to lose the use of her back legs. It started over a year ago when she began to drag her right foot. Eventually she could barely walk, and this past weekend we knew it was time to let her go. When I called my daughter at school to let her know, she said "I think I'll come home." And when I called my son, he showed up here too. Dr. Dani has known and loved Rachel for years. She's a mobile vet, comes to our house, so we were all gathered around Rachel as her spirit left her poor broken body. It's the hardest thing to do, to let a loved one go.

My heart hurts. I've been going through the motions since Saturday. Didn't even know it was Tuesdays With Dorie day until the email arrived. But thankfully there was chocolate involved. This one's for Rachel.

And since they were such a pair for 16 years, this seems like an appropriate picture.

Friday, November 8, 2013

TWD/BWJ: Pumpernickel Loaves

Thank goodness we're making bread again! Didn't realize how much I missed the lovely aroma. This one even smelled good before baking. It looked daunting with that page-long list of ingredients, and 3 pages of instructions, but watching the video gave me renewed confidence. I even did the kneading by hand. I needed that (no pun intented, LOL!). Hands-on time with bread dough is so comforting.

Here are the pictures:
I would never have guessed there was chocolate in pumpernickel.
And of course I couldn't fine prune lekvar at the grocery,
so made it myself.
Note to self: next time don't use the shortening directly out
of the freezer, and remember to let the yogurt warm a bit.
Mixture was too cold so I had to gently warm it on the
stove before adding the yeast. Thank goodness for
metal bowls.
And a TRUE CONFESSION: I don't own a wooden spoon!
Except for this little art project in my pantry.
"Spirit Beads" from an Artist's Way group.
Heating pad helped with the rise.
I wasn't about to cut holes in my towels,
but big clips worked great. We usually
use them to close chip bags.
The loaves in their little slings looked so cute!
Didn't have sesame seeds, but I did add some salt
that we brought back from Hawaii
 With cream cheese, a smear of the leftover lekvar,
and a sprinkle of walnuts! Yum!
Links to the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers are here. And the recipe is here.

This week's shoe - a man's dress shoe in the middle of the Buford Highway ramp. I must admit that yesterday one of my facebook friends posted a comment about seeing a shoe in the road (no picture) and I almost blew my cover. Still flying under the radar, nobody in my real world knows I'm here. One day, I'll have to come clean.