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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Happy Summer Solstice!

Little Bear, all decked out
 Bonfires. Singing and dancing. Drum circles. Trekking to Stonehenge to join in chants of "All Hail the Sun!" All common ways to celebrate the summer solstice, but slush and dogs? 

Slush and dogs is exactly how our newly-made dog park family decided to celebrate the day of birth, sunlight, growth, and joy: the summer solstice. Our dogs played fetch, while we sipped slush, conversed, and even sang a few tunes.

Dogs enjoying dog slush

The slush was really the star of the show. People got creative. The slush menu included brandy slush, watermelon slush, a banana-berry mix slush, a slush for the doggies (made of Braunschweiger and milk), and our rhubarb-strawberry slush. Turns out making slush is pretty easy, and when we returned from the festivities, we made a peach-pluot slush.

Peach-pluot slush



To make this summer slush concoction for yourself, you need the following:

  •  8 cups water
  • 4 cups fruit (or to taste)
  • 2 packages of gelatin
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1.5 cups of sugar (or to taste)
  • vodka to taste
  • 7-up to taste

1. Boil water with fruit until fruit turns to mush. Lower heat.

2. Scoop out mush (and save it for breakfast fruit, to add to yogurt, or to give to your chickens!)
3. Return water to boil.  Add sugar and gelatin.  Boil until sugar and gelatin are dissolved. Remove from heat and cool.
4. Add vodka and freeze. We started with 2 cups of vodka, but you could easily add more or less, if desired.
To serve: scoop out desired amount into cup. Top off with 7-up or like soda.

My friend Jennie and I also made dog treats for our best friends.
Za tries to take his treats early

Jennie received the recipes from a friend, and the dogs LOVED them. Here they are:

Cheese And Garlic Dog Cookies :
• 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
• 1 1/4 cups cheddar cheese --grated
• 1/4 pound margarine -- corn oil
• 1 clove garlic --crushed
• 1 Pinch salt
Cream the cheese with the softened margarine, garlic, salt, and flour. Add enough milk to form into a ball. Chill for 1/2 hour. Roll onto floured board. Cut into shapes and bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until slightly brown, and firm.
MAKES 2 to 3 dozen, depending on size.

Peanut Butter Puppy Poppers :
• 2 cups whole-wheat flour
• 1 tbsp. baking powder
•1 cup peanut butter
• 1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 375 F. In a bowl, combine flour and baking powder. In another bowl, mix peanut butter and milk, and then add to dry ingredients and mix well. Place dough on a lightly-floured surface and knead. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness and use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes (actually we just made them into balls and pressed them with a fork, like peanut butter cookies). Bake for 20 minutes on a greased baking sheet until lightly brown. Cool on a rack. Store in an airtight container.

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