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Hawthorne Stumpwiggle Update

16 Feb

Hawthorne has been with us nine months.  He is a different dog than came to us; calmer, happier, healthier.  He is a trickster but he wants, most of the time, to do his best and what he knows is right and required for obedience.  He does not mind not being top dog, most of the time. He loves to run.  He loves to play. He loves being part of a family or pack of kids.  He loves being loved.

Last night after 5PM I took him out for a short walk up back.  He stopped to check out the old woodchuck holes where the foxes or coyotes had visited a couple nights before–their smell fascinates him.  I kept on walking up the laneway.  Eventually I heard him coming but to my surprise he zipped right by me and headed up the hill.  I lifted my head to see what was up: eleven deer silhouetted on the ridgeline, tails up, running to the west.   He chased them for just a half minute, then came at my call for a little cheese.  He is a cheese hound, and the only time he gets it is on walks or after we come home, in his food.

We continued our long oval trek.  He ran down ahead of me and went west, outside the fence surrounding the blueberries, head down, seemingly like he was going to ignore my call to come.  That way lies the road and trouble.  So I squeaked a little rodent-in-distress noise.  He turned and ran back, past me, to the bird feeders, found a big hunk of suet and ran east around his pen.  Oh no, not suet.  He ran in his pen and eventually (with help) dropped the chunk in exchange for cheese.   Then into the house.

At 2AM he woke me with his frantic scratch/hits on the downstairs door between the dining room and living room.  I knew then that he must have eaten some of that suet.  I ran down, put on some pants, a sweater, a jacket, boots, his lead line and he pulled me out to poop.  Uff.  Diarrhea.

But no mess in the house.

Repeat at 5AM.

Can you tell he does not do well with pure fat?

hawfeb09But he loves his chewies.  And he loves to help clean pans, taste whatever is cooking, share whatever you are eating.

Oh, and he has the most wonderful groan; imagine a dog trying to purr, when he is sleepy and you love him up.

Kumquat Marmalade

16 Feb

My favorite toast toppers are from fruits not native to this area: orange marmalade, lingonberry jam and kumquat marmelade.

Orange marmalade is a regular treat and change from the  mystery wine grape,  raspberry, peach and other home made jams in my cellar.

Lingonberry jam is a once yearly treat as jars imported from the european northlands are dear.

And kumquats?  Ooh, they are only in the stores about two months.  And they have gone up in price this year.  But a pound or two of them,  sliced very thin, seeds removed, put in a heavy bottomed saucepan with a little sugar and turned on low until the juices start coming out, then turned up to medium to bring to a simmer, results in a lovely, lovely tart-sweet marmalade you can not have for love not money.

Unless you live with me or make it yourself.

kumquatmarm

When we visited my brother and sister-in-law a few years ago in February, they took us to play miniature golf at a place where there were lots of mature  shade trees.  They live in the hot south.   While we were tooling around, I walked past some head high shrubs/ small trees  and noticed small orange,  oval fruits littering the ground and covering the trees.

I called my sister-in-law over and she agreed they were kumquats.  We loaded our purses and pockets with as many as we could carry and ate them fresh for days.    Rose and her friends know of areas where Kalamonsi (tangerine-kumquat cross) trees are used as commercial business decorative plantings and regularly harvest those.  She says kalamonsi taste similar to kumquat.

It seems rosemary is also used regularly in the south as a decorative low-growing shrub in commercial areas.  I have harvested it in two different states from parking lot plantings.  Wash well before use!

Around here, there are lots of Juneberry trees used in commercial areas and in the past I have eaten my way to and from shopping.

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