Sunday, December 2, 2007

Somethin' Cookin' in the Kitchen

My constant complaining about a lack of rain must've worked. Somehow. Because Friday and Saturday it poured for hours. Fortunately we have several drains set in our ground out back, so the footing and paddocks are fine. The neighborhood horse trail that runs along the front of our house? Not so much. It began to resemble a mini-Grand Canyon by sunrise. That's now fixed, though, too, because my husband is nothing if not a one man construction crew.

When it rains, and I'm stuck inside, I tend to cook. And with this being the holiday season, I began to reconsider my past experiences with concocting homemade pet treats. They make clever, homestyle gifts for animal-loving friends and families. Allegedly. I always seem to have a success rate of about 50%. Half of my homemade animal goodies end up being "do overs." But then, that's about the same success rate I have with human cookies. Only a few end up being fit for public display or consumption.

One year I tried to make "healthy" doggie treats for everyone I knew who had barn dogs. I remember hunting down organic flour from a health food store and a special brand of (human) baby food that was, more or less, minimally processed strained calve's liver. Mmmmmmm!

You can imagine how scrumptious my kitchen smelled for days. Not even industrial strength Christmas candles labeled "Balsam Fir" or "Peppermint Snowstorm" could alleviate the odor of whole grain flour baked with liver-flavored baby food.

They stunk. They were ugly beige colored lumps that fought being disguised by my colorful attempts at gift wrapping. But the barn dogs did eat them.

That escapade has left me a little circumspect about making horse treats for my barn friends this year. However, these recipes found on Horse Channel seem foolproof, though I would strongly suggest laying down wax paper across your kitchen counter tops before beginning the process:
Make a Mess, Make Horse Treats

Of course, that's part of the fun of making homemade goodies, whether they're for horses, humans or canines: getting your hands--and most of your kitchen utensils-- dirty.

So let me conclude by saying that if the weather continues to be unpredictable, and I'm therefore prevented from riding, I may just be forced to resort to whipping up some homemade animal treats for gift giving. Secure your spatulas now. And plug your noses.

If you have any comments-- horse treat related or otherwise-- feel free to relate them by clicking on "comments" below.

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