May 9th 2008 1:50 pm
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Being a young lady of only seven (almost eight) months, I have no first hand knowledge of my previous sister, Buffy. But, my mum has told me all about her, and this is her story!
Buffy came from the southen most part of Michigan from a well respected breeder. Mum and pop had gotten a pug from them before, and when the time came, they had no problem going back to them for their second. They drove the eight plus hours it took to get there, and picked up their little baby, who they called Buffy. She was a beautiful girl, and they loved her dearly.
Poppa found out that he had cancer, and Buffy became the love of his life. She sat on his lap, and snuggled with hi, all day long. They use to dress her up in any number of costumes and different clothes, and she loved it. She even had a corncob pipe that she would walk around with in her mouth. Many pictures were taken of her with it, and it even ended up in the paper!! He was so proud!!
Then, papa died, and Buffy was lost without him. Mum had to take over, so that she did not get sick from depression. They went everywhere together! She became mum's little girl. They loved each other so much. Then, little by little, things started to go wrong with Buffy. Small things, at first, then major things. But, mum had such a good vet, that he kept Buffy reasonably healthy for many years! She got a tumor on her leg that was cancer, and the doctor fixed that. Then, they discovered that she has allergies to just about everything under the sun. Mum had to start cooking her food for her. Then it was the inflamed bowel syndrom, and the enlarged heart. So many things!
One day, when Buffy was ten, she got sick for the last time. There was just nothing more that the doctor could do for her, so she went to sleep. Mum was so sad, she swore that she would never have another dog! It was too heartbreaking!
So, this is dedicated to Buffy, who brought so much love into my mum and papa's lives while she was here. I wish that I could have met her, because she just sounds like the most wonderful Puggie!! I hope that you enjoyed my story, about my sister, who went to the Bridge, before I ever met her!!!
April 26th 2008 12:07 am
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Today I chatted with a very special Lady! Her name is Lexus, and she is SO sweet!!! My mum tries hard to give me all that she can, and it is enough for me! She put me into this wonderful Dogster world, where I could meet, chat, and play with you all, and led me to Lady Lexus!! This is her diary entry, because I wanted to let everyone know how sweet, kind, and generous she is!!
Because my mum has medical problems, she is not able to by the frills in life. Lady Lexus did that for me! She gifted me with Dogster Plus! Not that much, you might say, but to me, it is the moon and stars!! I am so grateful for that gift, that I wanted to let you know that!! She did not know me, has never met me, but did thid anyway!! So, if you read this, and you know my lovely friend, please stop by her page, and show her some love!! I know I am!!!
April 19th 2008 3:12 pm
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WHAT IS AN AMERICAN PICNIC?
A celebration of human spirit, culinary diversity, and adventure. Picnics are personal. We choose the foods we serve, our dining partners, and the venue. Planned or impromptu, they are very different from public outdoor dining events: community feasts (New England clambakes, Texas barbecues, New Orleans shrimp boils), al-fresco dining (trendy waterfront bistros, central city cafes), and fair food.
What do we eat? That depends upon who we are. As true with most holiday meals, family favorites reign supreme. Impromptu picnics are meals of happenstance. Thus defined: a American picnic can be:
"traditional American foods" prepared at home and served on a blanket in a local park
ethnic cuisine celebrated by an extended family in an urban riverfront location
an artfully presented basket of gourmet delights served on fine linen and china
box lunch obtained from a convenience store consumed at the beach
bread, cheese, and grapes shared by best friends in a canoe
a family passing peanut butter crackers and bottled water at a highway rest stop
a child serving imaginary cakes to stuffed animals beneath the protective branches of the family's backyard tree.
It's the spirit, not the food, that makes this meal special.
Suggested outdoor menus printed in cookbooks and magazines are good markers for period preference but cannot possibly convey the full depth of true American picnic fare. People living in the same place and period may set very different picnic tables. To wit? Newly emigrated peoples historically dine on old world favorites
while wealthy folks fuss over professionally prepared hampers. The fine line between traditional picnic (fully-prepared transported meals) and outdoor cooking (grill-ready foods) is often obscured. Many outdoor meals combine the best of both traditions.
APPLE PIE - A Bite Out of Cultural History
Just how American is apple pie?
We’ve all heard one of the most patriotic and appetite-inducing phrase many times over: “As American as apple pie.” No other idiom stirs the salivary glands, although “That’s how the cookie crumbles” and “There’s the icing on the cake” come pretty close. But just how genuinely American is America’s beloved classic dessert? Of course, questioning the “American-ness” of the American Apple Pie is bound to stir pride of some, but we can’t always have our cake and eat it too. Nonetheless, here’s the tantalizing story of how a great dish became the favorite of a great nation . . .
By definition, a pie is any dish that consists of a crust that encloses or holds a scrumptious filling, such as meat, fruit, vegetable, nut, or cream. In this case, an Argentinean empanada would constitute a pie, as well as certain Chinese dumplings, and everyone’s favorite, the pizza.
Pie-like pastries were found in the days of the Ancient Egyptians. Historians and archaeologists have uncovered records of fruits and jellies baked into Egyptian breads. The tomb walls of King Ramses II (ruled 1304 - 1237 B.C.) contain etches of such delicacies produced by the pharaoh’s finest bakers.
The first resemblance of modern pies actually go back to the Ancient Greeks, who created pies that consisted of a flour-water crust that kept the juices of meat while cooking. When the Imperial Romans finally came around to conquer the Greeks, the Romans not only took with them the land and people of the defeated as prizes of their victory, but they also obtained the Greek recipe for pies (“there’s the icing on the cake!”). The Roman elite eventually developed the recipe to include fillings of mussel, oyster, fish, and other fine meats.
Skip several centuries and a couple of latitudes northward towards fourteenth-century Jolly Old England, and we see the first written records of modern pie come into existence. These pies were first called “coffins” or “coffyns” (the Dark Ages were a period of poor lighting, resulting in poor eyesight, which eventually led to learning disadvantages and poor spelling. Linguists pass this off as “Old English” as to not hurt anybody’s pride). Morticians eventually borrowed the word (and spelling) of “coffyn,” for somewhat obvious and very morbid reasons.
In these days before the invention of the refrigerator, pie crusts were made for the sole purpose of storage and preservation of food. Pies were made with closed crusts, resembling a modern day calzone or empanada, often with very hard and inedible crusts. Open crust pies were called “tarts” (still used by the English today). An English recipe for apple tart from 1361 (“For to Make Tartys in Applis”) is one of the first records of the modern apple pie, and shows how far back recipes for apple pie go, and how poor the English were at spelling and grammar. This “Tartys in Applis” was virtually identical to twenty-first century apple pies made in America, with the exception of certain spices.
As for the key ingredient in apple pies, there were no apples in the Americas before the arrival of Columbus. The English Pilgrims who came in 1620, if not earlier European explorers, were the first to bring apple seeds from the Old World and introduce them to the New World.
If there’s any fable to the story of the apple pie, it’s that apple pies are a priceless success of the combination of multicultural influence, many centuries of innovation, and good taste (pun intended). Further research into the idiom “As American as apple pie” reveals that this particular one is a shortened version of its original, “As American as motherhood and apple pie,” intended to give that feel-good, wholesome sentiment. The phrase itself is reflective of how nonexclusively American apple pie really is. After all, there were mothers before pies or the States came along. Regardless, it’s always nice to have Mom bake you an apple pie, so you can have that wholesome American experience -- an experience that’s truly as multicultural as apple pie.
Recipe for Mock Apple Pie, a truly American type of apple pie!
Background: In the nineteenth century, American pioneers, short on supplies of fresh apples, came up with an innovative way to make their favorite pie without apples. Their secret: soda crackers. Americans, though disappointed with the lack of apples, became so enthralled with a easy-and-quick-to-make pie that tasted very much like the original that the recipe became a public success. In 1935, Ritz Crackers introduced a recipe that called for their very own round-shaped crackers. This recipe has become a classic:
Prep time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Pastry for 2-crust 9-inch pie
36 Ritz Crackers, coarsely broken (about 1 and ¾ cups crumbs)
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoon cream of tartar
grated peel of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
½ teaspoon ground cinnmon
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Roll out half of the pastry and place in 9-inch pie plate. Place crack crumbs in crumbs and set aside.
Mix sugar and cream of tartar in medium saucepan. Gradually stir in 1 and ¾ cups water until well blended. Bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low. Simmer 15 minutes. Add lemon peel and juice, and allow to cool. Pour syrup over cracker crumbs. Dot with butter, sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll out remaining pastry and place over pie. Trim, seal and flute edges. Slit top crust to allow steam to escape.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is crisp and golden. Cool completely.