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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Berry-cherry Pie

Isn't it funny how sometimes, less is more?  After the hunnie left for work this morning I was unable to fall back to sleep, and yet with less sleep I still had a hugely productive morning.  I walked the doggies, got the car detailed, and of course did the usual weekend tasks of laundry, vacuuming, and sweeping.  I even did some work in the garden.  Now, I've got the whole afternoon open, to...work from home :-(  Did I mention that less work on the weekends is more fun?

One area where "less is more" is null and void...pie.  Yes, how could less pie be more?  And what about the pie filling...why do just one fruit filling, when you could do a mixed berry, cherry filling?  Whoever said more fruit is worse?  I'm pretty sure nobody.  My hunnie is a big fruit pie fan, and yet I have admittedly never made a mixed berry pie before.  So in the midst of getting so much done today, I decided to play around with one of Betty C's berry pie recipes.  One bite of this pie brings a burst of sweet flavors, leaving you wanting...well, more!  Happy Saturday!

Berry-cherry Pie
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoon cornstarch
16 oz frozen mixed fruit*
1 pie crust
1 recipe crumb topping (see below)

In bowl, gently toss frozen fruit with sugar and cornstarch.  Let the coated fruit thaw for 30 minutes. 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out single pie crust and place in greased 9 inch pie pan.   After fruit has thawed slightly, pour onto pie crust.  Pour crumb topping over center of pie and use hands to evenly spread the topping over the pie.  Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.  Remove foil and bake another 25-30 minutes until fruit is bubbling and crust is golden.
*I picked up the strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, cherry mix available at our Super Walmart and added in some frozen raspberries.

Crumb Topping
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch ground ginger
6 tablespoon butter

In medium-sized bowl, stir together oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and ground ginger.  Using a fork, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Foster Update + A Cautionary Tale

I'm sure you've all been wondering...whatever happened to that sweet, yet very rambunctious hound we were fostering?  Well, after a couple training classes to establish a stronger relationship and understanding between dog and human, Holmes has transformed from that lovable Tasmanian devil to....well...a MORE lovable, slightly less devilish dog.  So, in case you haven't figured it out yet....we failed as foster parents, because in the end we ADOPTED Holmes!  The truth is, we have fallen for him...especially my hunnie, who has found his new best bud.  You can't help but fall in love with his big floppy ears and those dark melancholy hound dog eyes.  You can't help but laugh when he gets a new squeaky toy and just squeaks and squeaks it like its the coolest thing in the world.  And you can't help but smile to see the Holmes and Georgia together, whether playing or napping, like best buddies. 
Now to my cautionary tale--
One morning last week, I could hear the dogs tussling through the house as I lay in bed trying to sleep. This is standard doggie behavior and never malicious, but when I heard Holmes give a high pitch yelp...a sound not of excitement, but of pain...I jumped from bed to see what had happened. At first I thought Georgia was biting his mouth and wouldn't let go, but I quickly realized the reason the dogs weren't separating despite my efforts to break them apart was because Holmes had gotten his lower jaw twisted in Georgia's collar and was stuck. I calmly tried to pry his long skinny jaw from her collar, but after he panicked and struggled to free himself, I realized he was strangling Georgia (the dog of all dogs, the princess of the house) and her lips and tongue were turning blue and her body was becoming limp. I screamed at Holmes to "relax", and in my own panic that she might be dead, I began to cry. Thank goodness I had enough sanity in that moment to grab the meat scissors from the knife block and cut Georgia's collar off of her. She slowly took in a few breaths, Holmes licked her face to comfort her, and a couple minutes later she was breathing normal, walking normal and even wagging her tail for a treat. This was a close call, and after searching online, I realized that this is not as unique an event as I thought--many dogs have rough-housed and gotten themselves into this predicament, and unfortunately if the owner wasn't around, many of those dogs have died. Thanks to the invention of the Break-away collar, incidents like this can be prevented. A breakaway collar is designed with a safety clip that releases if caught or tugged on.  
Georgia's arrived today and I now feel confident that we've done everything we can to prevent her from another strangulation incident.  See here for more info.  Like I said, Holmes and Georgia are back to normal, playing and wagging their tales like nothing ever happened.  My hunnie and I are so thankful to have these silly dogs in our lives and only want them to be happy and safe.
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