Monday, June 2, 2014

Abby Update - Home Lab Experiments

A house without a dog (from my friend  Dann in Ohio)
With a dog.

Abby is settling well into the household. As many rescues are, she was quite shy the first couple of weeks but is now more actively being a lab playing with her toys, retrieving a ball, the tail thump thump thump against the couch when I come into the room. She is very well behaved, not chewing on anything that's not a chew toy, obeying basic commands and learning new ones each week. She's been allowed on the bed to sleep just twice, after the initial trip here from foster care and after that first trip back and forth to the Range.  She seemed to know it was a treat, and will not go up on the bed unless invited. Once invited she will pretty much take up every inch of it
She does well in her harness and likes her rides in the vehicles to visit friends or run a quick errand while one of us stays in the car with her. The "exploding retriever" experience of our first trip north is but a memory (hey, we've all gotten car sick)  On the trip home from the Range she laid quietly on the seat snoozing the whole time but for one time I turned on some Classic Country and she sat up with an irritated look that said "they're playing LeAnn Rimes - if she yodels I'm going to start barking". I turned it off.

The only other non snooze moment was a stop to stretch legs and get a Chick Fil a. Like her Mom, Abby loves Chick Fil a, the smells from the bag setting her tail on high rpm.
Like all labs,  Abby does like her food, going into a full body wag each morning as I get up to feed her a bowl of kibble.

That doesn't mean she sometimes would prefer people feed her something else.
That's not a treat, that's a large hamster pellet.  A treat is made of meat.

This weekend, being on call, Partner in Grime drove down from home to hang out with us.  Fortunately the bat phone did not ring, but for a consult. 

With everything quiet, Sunday called for pancakes, but the big puffy baked ones, of which I'd not made one in a couple of years and had no idea where the recipe went to. There was one in this little book of Swedish recipes I picked up out West, though and I thought I'd try that  In mixing it up, the proportions seemed a bit off, and the amount of batter seemed like too much for the size pan recommended and the recommended temp a bit high. But I tried it anyway thinking, "it's a published cookbook, how can it be wrong".   But I said that about the "overnight, no knead yeast bread" recipe I got from a well known website. And we know how THAT loaf turned out
The pancake was assembled and after 45 minutes  I had what looked like a giant pan of hot jello in the oven, even after cooking an extra 15 minutes. I'm not sure how the edges can be  almost burned dark brown AND raw inside, but they were.  I poked it with a spatula and it rippled and growled. I've had science experiments that looked less toxic.
I disposed of it like any good bio-hazard.

Abby played dead to avoid having to act like she wanted to try it. . . .
while Partner started looking for cold cereal (or the nearest exit).

I double checked the recipe and I'd made it just as directed.  Oh well, that's what I get for following the rules as opposed to my usual cooking style of "Watch this!" with the fire extinguisher handy.

Not willing to admit defeat, I tried again, this time just winging it, Partner patiently waiting, as anyone that hangs around someone that likes to experiment with stuff, often does. Since an oven pancake is sort of a cross between a pancake and a popover, I adapted my standard popover recipe to the bigger pan and added some Cardamom and Lemon Zest. Melting four Tablespoons of butter in the pan, getting it all nice and hot before pouring the batter in, didn't hurt, either.

Puffy Oven Pancake

This is what the doctor ordered.  It was perfect, with a tender crunch to the edge, and soft and fragrant in the middle.
Served the traditional way with powdered sugar and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
I do think the second try was worth the wait, as my faithful lab assistant seemed to agree.


  1. LOL, ah yes experiments... :-)

  2. My wife likes those sheets, they are pretty accurate but not quite fair.

  3. Experiment#2 looks like something I made years ago called kaiserschmarren. Very tasty!

    I think most rescues just "know" they won the doggy lottery

  4. Yep, we call them German Pancakes, add apples and you have a Dutch baby. Yummy


    They this. Very tasty. You can add all kinds of fruit to it.

  6. Dutch babies! Got the recipe eons ago from a cousin that can COOK. I like them a lot, and then some!

  7. One will never achieve greatness without some kind of experiment fail/exploding, hehe.

    How cool to hear Abby is doing so well. You won the Lab-Lottery once again. And really, the one OMG mess she had was due to that snack sneaking situation. She learned that lesson the hard way. Still, she seems to have a more mellow personality than Barkley did (not that that's a bad thing, just so different.)

    And cats, in spite of their small size, seem to take up a huge amount of bed space too. LOL.

  8. I had three politically incorrect dining experiences on the road in Texas last week: Chick-fil-A and two trips to In-n-Out Burger.

    I had not been to Chick-fil-A in four years when I spotted the sign on the way to the airport.

  9. How much for that pancake in the window?

  10. Looks like Finnish Kropser.
    Try it with some thimbleberry jam.

  11. I've had something similar before called German Pancakes. I googled it and the pics looked identical to yours. No matter what you call them, they're mighty toothsome.

  12. So glad that Abbey is settling in well! Looking at that oven pancake I'm now looking forward to my next trip to Chicago or the burbs- do not pass go just find a Walker Bros!

  13. Damn, she's just too precious.

  14. That last photo of Abby is heart-melting. And the pancake is mouth-watering.

  15. Looks just like a Yorkshire Pudding to me, but sweet not plain.

  16. Old NFO - I will always admire you for making my 72 layer cream cheese biscuits. I think you were the only one brave enough.

    Sunnybrook Farm - I keep to my side of the bed. I however am told I take ALL the covers.

    Monkeywrangler - she seems very happy here and is slowly coming out of her shell.

    Tewshooz - THAT'S the difference I couldn't figure out why the variance on the terminology. Thanks!

    Rob - I will try that. Thanks!

    Brighid - I am not surprised you had made them. I'm going to make one for Dad next time I pop out for the weekend.

    naturegirl - she's been fine, digestion wise, since the "incident". Yes, indeed, she is a much mellower personality (Barkley was a force of nature), but right now, it helps, as she's just calming and gentle, and allows me to relax a bit with her in the evening.

    Roscoe - get the extra spicy Chick fil a and a small coleslaw, and put half of the coleslaw on the sandwich with an extra dash of their packet hot sauce. Ye Doggies!

    Ed Bonderenka the first one would have been free, the latter attempt, didn't last long enough to sell.

    jon spencer - you are right. It seems most Northern European countries have this dish.

    Island Bob - I ate half of it. I probably will be eating carrots sticks the rest of the week, but it was so worth it.

    Sarah - wave if you're up there, we're not too far away.

    Murphy's Law - she is a cutie, 62 pounds but putting on a bit of weight, she probably didn't eat as much during the heartworm treatment.

    Mathew Paust - thank you, she is really shy of the camera (an early flash scared her) so I was happy to get the shot.

    Freyalyn Close-Hainsworth - welcome to HOTR. You are correct, an almost identical recipe to such dishes, but with the sweet topping.

  17. I have not commented for sometime. What words are there to sincerely convey support and condolences to someone you admire from afar. Wifev2.0 and I struggled to find words to console you after Barkley. Then Big Bro went home, and we felt whatever we could say would be woefully inadequate.

    Abby and Partner are truly gifts in your life that inspire gratitude. Warm, sincere prayers from our little household of people and dogs to yours.

  18. Looks like Abbey is settling in well! I bet she loved that (2nd round) pancake. I love the pic of her rolling on the couch. Seems like she might be coming to grips with her non-photogenic personality disorder.....


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