Friday, August 5, 2016

Goodbye, Cujo Bear

Cujo was no ordinary dog. To me, he was my bear. If I weren't such a nerd and had a  name picked out for him before his PARENTS were even born, he would have been named either Teddy or Bear. Instead, he was my Cujo-Bear. The nickname took so well that even my friends called him that.

Being with him at the end, seeing him off on whatever doggie angel adventures he's on now, was gut wrenching. It knocked the breath right out of me. I never wished for my asthma inhaler like I did last night. But I wanted to make sure, that no matter where he was, or whatever might have been left of him, even in that snuggly little body. to know he wasn't alone and that he was loved, even past the end.

It was heartbreaking to see my husband, normally kind of a stoic kind of guy, to continue to hug, kiss and pet Cujo, even after he was gone, and whisper that he loved him. "You'll always be my buddy."

I held his paw, like I did the day we brought him home, and told him to go find Dixie and our Mom's so he wouldn't be alone. Shane rubbed his head and told him to also find Bud, our family's first dog.

Poor Orion seemed confused last night when we came home without him. He'd had an upset tummy while we were at work and had an accident in his bed, so when we came home, it was time to start the laundry. His bed's gone now and an exercise bicycle sits in its place so that we don't have that hole there. Instead, the hole is just emotional. That is just as bad.

Today is the first day without him. I feel like I've been stabbed in the chest. Laying in bed after my husband left for work, I started crying already. It's going to be a rough day.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

One Dank Tomato Pie/33 Recipes Down

This afternoon's recipe comes from Just A Bunch of Recipes, and apparently was named by the friends of Sam's son. FYI: dank here is meant to be good, but it can be overused by people who don't know any better.

I think tomato pie must be a Southern thing, because I' never heard of it before moving down to Virginia. The idea of a tomato pie struck me as kind of gross, but since it's here in the book, I had to make it. Damn, I'm glad I did!!

What did I learn from this recipe? 
Holy hell, this is not an appetizer...this is your main course!

I had store bought tomatoes and homegrown tomatoes from Nicole the Knitter. I told her about making this pie, she said she'd never had it and gave me tomatoes to make one for her. When everything was said and done, I had enough to make 2 regular pies (1 with store bought for me, 1 with homegrown for her) and 1 little pie (with homegrown for me), because the pie crusts I'd bought were just a touch too big for my pie pans, so I put the extra to good use.

Stick with the homegrown tomatoes here. Don't bother with the store bought ones.

Until I started eating these homegrown tomatoes, I couldn't tell the difference between them and store bought by taste. Now, the store bought ones taste so mealy and mushy.

Don't get me wrong, the store bought tomatoes still made a good pie but just not as good as it could have been. And the homegrown tomatoes bake up in the pie shells a lot juicier than the store bought ones. You could easily see the difference between the two. I had to carefully drain some of the juices from those pies before doing anything with them.

Plus, one good thing to point about the homegrown tomatoes and this recipe: it's a good way to put some ugly produce to good use. "They may not be pretty, but they're still perfectly tasty and nutritious. And there are lots of efforts to keep these cosmetically challenged foods (think gnarled carrots, or funky, misshapen apples) from landing in the landfill because they don't meet retailers' beauty standards."

Sam says to slice the tomatoes. I think the next time, I'll just cut them into wedges and then mix the goat cheese throughout it, instead of putting it just on the top.