Saturday, August 25, 2012

Surprise guests and a hurricane party

I woke up this morning and it was SO NICE outside - mid 70's, not too sunny, with a soft cool breeze. Mr. Crabs left on a 45-mile bike ride, and I got dressed and was getting my stuff together to take Grizzly on a run with me when she started whining at the door. Usually when people or cars go down the street, she'll bark so I thought it was a little funny that she just whimpered.

I went to the front door and looked out - there was a black lab roaming around our front gate! I thought it was our next-door neighbor dog that got out but then I saw a brown hound close behind it. They sniffed around the gate and came in our yard! I watched as they sniffed around and came close to the front door. At this point Grizzly was fixated at the front door, her ears pulled back on high alert. The black lab came up the front steps and I could see it had thirsty-foam around its mouth, so I found one of Grizz's old stainless steel bowls and took it out the side door. I started filling the bowl with water from the hose when the hound came bounding toward me and attacked me with kisses. Whew - these were nice dogs (though I did tell Mr. Crabs I wouldn't have gone outside to give them water if they looked agressive).

They both had collars on with tags with phone numbers - the area code was three hours away! I looked up the address on one tag and it was also a few hours' drive. I left a message on the one working number and went and fished Grizzly's old playpen out of our storage room. I got the brown hound in pretty easily, but the black lab was a little wary of my antics. Even bribery with treats only got her front paws in the gate! I was able to pull her in by the collar and close the door behind so I could let Grizz out of the house without worrying about a confrontation.
They were so cute! All they seemed to want were kisses and playtime. I tried to call the Department of Animal Services but they didn't open till 9 (the hound had a tag saying she had a microchip, but no serial number on the tag!). I tried calling the owner again but no luck. I didn't want to turn them into DAS, because if they're not claimed within five days they go to a shelter. I called Mr. Crabs and got a quick "we're NOT keeping the dogs!"

At 8:58 I got a call from the owner - they had just recently moved one street over and their electric gate latch didn't catch right. The sweet dogs were reunited with their family!

UNFORTUNATELY... it was already 9:15 and getting HOT - I lost almost two hours to the dogs-capade. So Grizz and I will have to wait till tomorrow for a run... because I had to start getting ready to have some friends over for a Hurricane Party, in honor of Tropical Storm Isaac.

I made some 100% whole-wheat hamburger rolls, my grandmother's guacamole, Jarlsberg cheese dip (though it didn't taste as good as the real thing!), and some whoopie cookies from The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook. I did substitute whole wheat pastry flour and honey for the all-purpose flour and white sugar, and demerara sugar for the brown sugar... but there is no "real" substitute for marshmallow creme and mini chocolate chips :) They did turn out pretty awesome. I also made my other grandma's mac and cheese, using brown rice penne from Trader Joe's. If I didn't know any better, I would have thought it was regular wheat pasta!
I am stuffed after tonight's dinner!

Grandma Lydia's Guacamole

- 10 grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1 small white onion, finely chopped
- 2 small jalapeños, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped
- Juice from 1/2 a lime
- 4 ripe avocados - save the pits!
- Salt and pepper to taste (just a bit)

Mix together all the ingredients until the avocado is as creamy or chunky as you like. Push the pits gently in until the tops are flush with the guacamole. Press saran wrap onto the surface, and place in the fridge for a few hours for the flavors to integrate. Remove the pits before serving, but save them in case there are leftovers - the pits help keep the avocados from browning!

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