Friday, May 29, 2015

What's Cookin' Dad? Hedgehogs?

You just can't make this stuff up.

My dog, Rack the McNab SuperDog (TM) has a thing for Hedgehogs.

When I say a "thing" I mean a "I'm going to carry this around the house until it falls off" thing.

Every house that has pets, or rather pets and kids because after a fashion they are the same thing, has toys.  Toys that go everywhere.

I have a dog and a parrot and there are toys, fur, and feathers here.  If you are expecting a 1950s Mrs Cleaver house where everything sparkles I suggest you try the house down the block.  The one where I dropped off the mangoes the other day?  That one.  They have a housekeeper.  I'm too busy trying to live something that passes as a normal life while keeping up to date on technology.

Ever feel like you're out hunting a moving target?  Yo.  That's me.

The other day I was migrating from the dining room where I had my laptop set up, to the big green chair next to the window.  It was late enough after the dog walk that I wanted to push everything away and actually do what passes for relaxation here.  Turn on the TV, set the laptop on the table, plug it in and sit down and I hear....


That lump under my butt would be the hedgehog.

That noise called Rack over.  I didn't really mean to call him over, but it was going to happen.  He left his new hedgehog on the chair.  I say "New" because we had found one in a thrift store for a dollar and got it to replace the original hedgehog.  Then there were two.  Recently having the pleasure of a house guest, Craig, bring us two more hedgehogs, we're set for quite a while.  My little monster, Rack, is very gentle with his toys although he does have an unsettling habit of chewing the eyes off the stuffed beasts.

Handing the toy over to my dog with a cheerful "Hedgehog!  You've got a Hedgehog!", I went back to what I was doing not thinking too deeply about it.  Getting goosed by a stuffed toy is one of the hazards of having dogs in the house.

The next day I started cooking.  It was time to make some pork tenderloin for lunches.  Since you can get a really good slice of pork for much less than the price of some really cheap hamburger beef, I go for the pork.  Besides, it can be leaner.  Crock pot cooked to 140F in barbecue sauce and slice in the sauce will finish the pork by bringing the entire pot up to safe temperature and you have a meal better than Mrs Cleaver ever made.

But it has its own challenges.  It makes me hungry enough to chew my leg off.  It perfumes the house with whichever recipe I choose to make for that day, and usually a hint on the air for a day or three after.  It gets the parrot saying Hello every time I walk into the kitchen.  He begs.  Constantly.  I am a soft touch, so I usually toss a bit of fruit at the parrot because if he doesn't get what he wants, he can get loud.

Ear shatteringly loud.  Like Mount Krakatoa loud.  The noise that circled the world four times loud.  All from a pirate parrot bird.  SHADDAP!

But that merely brought Rack into the kitchen snuffling around.  He's looking for handouts as well.  I didn't want to get him started doing that begging thing but I'm used to it.  Practically every time I go into the kitchen, he's on task with the twin brown laser beams.

I turned around and stopped.  "How on Earth did you?".  He had a hedgehog stuck to his collar.

He also wanted some of that pork tenderloin that was swimming in the red Char Siu Barbecue sauce I had made up that morning.

Laughing I said "No matter how creative you are going to be with that toy, I am not giving out samples at this time!".

He merely licked his lips and went back to staring at the crock pot.

A loud "HELLO!" came from the other room.

I freed the toy from Rack's Collar and pet him on the head.  I was wrong thinking that would send him on his way.  He simply sat there and stared me down.

"Sorry, boy, you're out of luck this morning.  This is for lunch!".

It only takes 3 1/2 hours to get a 3 1/2 pound pork tenderloin to cook to temperature. 

Lunch was going to be a good one for me, and a sample for Rack.  Oscar the parrot? Nope.  Not happening.  I didn't have the right vegetables for him.  But we did all enjoy it.

Even the hedgehog.

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