Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Maggie on Monday

      Sweet Maggie.  What a great companion she has become! In a mere two weeks she has made so many improvements.  We're almost to the point that she sees cats as tolerable, chickens and turkeys bearable, the horses scary, and the sheep - they still look like a lot of fun to chase.  What progress! What a neat dog! What a glowing tale could be told this week!
     Well, that was two days ago.  With sunrise today, Maggie fell off the wagon so to speak.  Sleeping just a little later than normal, I awoke to a phone call and Maggie ripping into her super strong bed for super strong chewers.  The zipper was off and she was starting to unstuff it.
     A dog whisperer would say that when something is wrong in Maggie's world she just starts to rip and chew.  She must need to go out. So with coffee cup in hand and Maggie's empty stomach, we went out.  Everything was going well, she more or less left the cats alone.  With all animals out it was time to clean stalls. 
     Now a farm and animals have their own routine and the sounds that go along with them.  The continuous pitch of the gobbling turkeys sounded an alarm. Sure enough, there was Maggie with a rooster pinned to the ground.  Where were the other chickens to help their com padre? Not a single peep out of them. They hightailed it out of there; after all, they are chicken.  Scolding Maggie and rescuing the rooster was my immediate mission. Fearing the worst, I watched to see what, if anything the chicken could do next.  Up and running, the rooster joined the others while proudly crowing. The winner of the battle! Who would have thought?
     Maybe next time I'll feed Maggie before I go out. 
     The rest of the day was shaky at best as everything, to include a scrub brush, seemed to taste better than her bone.  Apparently cleaning for Thanksgiving was just not giving her enough attention. However, her eyes tell me there is still hope.  I don't always have to clean that much. : ) She is still staying.

An OMG recipe - Pumpkin Banana Mousse Tart
             FOR THE CRUST
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (14 crackers)
1/3 cup sugar
14 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ lb unsalted butter, melted
½ cup half-and-half
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3 extra-large egg yolks
1 package (2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
1 ripe banana, finely mashed
1/2 tsp grated orange zest
1/2 cup cold heavy cream
 2  Tbs sugar
1 cup (1/2 pint) cold heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
Orange zest (optional)
1. Oven 350
2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter in
a bowl and mix well.
3. Pour into an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and press evenly
into the sides and bottom.
4. Bake for 10 minutes, cool to room temperature.
5.  Heat the half-and-half, pumpkin, brown sugar, salt,
cinnamon, and nutmeg in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water
until hot, about 5 minutes.
6. Whisk the egg yolks in another bowl, stir some of the hot pumpkin into
the egg yolks to heat them, then pour the egg-pumpkin mixture back into the
double boiler and stir well.
7. Heat the mixture over the simmering water for another 4 to 5 minutes,
until it begins to thicken, stirring constantly.  Remove from the heat.
8. Dissolve the gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water. Add the dissolved gelatin,
banana, and orange zest to the pumpkin mixture and mix well. Set aside to
9. Whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and continue to beat until
firm peaks form. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the pumpkin
mixture and pour it into the cooled tart shell. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.
10. Whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the sugar
and vanilla and continue to beat until firm peaks form. Pipe or spoon
the whipped cream decoratively on the tart and sprinkle, if desired, with
orange zest. Serve chilled.
11. This tart can be made a day or two ahead and kept refrigerated. Decorate
it with whipped cream an hour or two before serving.
Cooking Tip: Use a defrosted banana from freezer - it mashes more easily.
Cooking Tip: Grate zest early and allow to dry - it sprinkles on cream more
easily.  Used fine and medium microplane.

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style by Ina Garten

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