Last Saturday night, my husband Jerry and I dogsat for Penny, my adorable English Cocker Spaniel granddog, who belongs to my son Jeremy and his lovely wife Darya. Their good friends were moving out of town and they didn’t want to miss the send off party, so we happily agreed.
We left the house right after Shabbat, because we knew we would have the usual traffic on the way to their home in the city. Jerry dropped me off and he went hunting for parking. I rode the elevator with a cute bull dog named Chester. I asked his owner if he knew Penny, the English Cocker Spaniel. He replied, “Oh, the new girl in the building! Chester met her last week.” I love that there are always dogs coming and going in their building. The doorman said people walk their dogs at all hours of the night, so it keeps it interesting.
As soon as I walked in, Penny jumped all over me and smothered me with kisses. She’s such a cutie. They left and I played with Penny while waiting for Jerry. Well, let me tell you, I felt like chopped liver, when I saw the reception Jerry got from Penny. She would not stop licking and kissing him. I finally gave her a treat to separate them. About an hour later, I asked Jerry to take Penny out for a walk. I told him a ten-minute walk would be fine. Half an hour later, I wondered where he was. After 45 minutes I started to get nervous, so I called him but he didn’t answer. I tried again after an hour, to no avail. “Great” I thought, “Could he have gotten lost? Did he lose Penny? Or did he just lose track of time?”
I started thinking of what I would say, when the kids came home and their dog was nowhere to be found. I tried his cell one last time an hour and 20 minutes after he left. He answered and said hello. I screamed into the phone, “Where in the world are you?” Well actually it was a little harsher than that, but this is a family paper. He excitedly explained that a lot of people complimented on how pretty Penny was.
He went on to say one couple stopped him and the husband had tears in his eyes, as he explained he had the same breed and his dog died the year before and they were still mourning her. Then he met the woman who had a dog that would not separate from her. She had dog psychologists working with her and her dog but she couldn’t leave the house without the dog. Just then another woman stopped to pet Penny and when she heard the conversation she offered to dogsit for the woman. “How cute,” Jerry said, “I made a shiduch between those people. Of course they looked at me like I was crazy as they had no idea what the word shiduch meant.”
“Jerry, have you any idea how long you have been gone?” I yelled. “Did it ever enter your mind to call me after an hour and 20 minutes? Please bring Penny back now, before the kids come home.”
Life is always an adventure with Jerry, even if you’re a dog. Truth is every dog that meets Jerry falls in love with him.
Talking about dogs, here are two recipes for hot dog snacks that you can make for Super Bowl Sunday. One is vegan the other is downright fattening and contains beef.
Vegan Hot Dogs
Adapted from FatFreeVegan.com
4 whole carrots, cut into bun-length pieces with ends removed
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. garlic powder (or 1/2 clove garlic, minced)
Dash liquid smoke (Wright’s liquid smoke has a hashgacha)
Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook the carrots until you can barely pierce through them with a fork. Be careful not to cut the carrots when testing!
Combine all the other ingredients together in a plastic container or baggie to make the marinade. Place the cooked carrots inside, shake up, and set aside to marinate for at least 3 hours. You can marinate for up to a few days — we marinated ours for about 4 hours, and they turned out very flavorful.
When you’re ready to serve, pour the carrots and marinade into a large pan on the stovetop or grill on medium heat, rotating periodically, for 5 to 10 minutes, until carrots are heated all the way through.
Place on a hot dog bun, add the toppings of your choice, and enjoy! (You can cut them in half for smaller servings and have 8 instead of 4.)
Hot dogs with carmelized onions and pastrami bits
wrapped in puff pastry
Canola oil for frying
2 large yellow onions sliced into small pieces
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. Black pepper
2 packages frozen pastry dough
12 slices of pastrami, each cut in half
8 hot dogs cut into thirds
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and dark brown, but not burnt. Stir in salt and pepper strain and cool and set aside. In a small bowl, beat 2 eggs and set aside.
Arrange puff pastry on a baking sheet and cut into 24 triangles, each about 2 inches by 3 inches. Transfer sheet to fridge, cover with plastic wrap, and keep refrigerated while working on the next step.
Remove a few pieces of puff pastry from refrigerator at a time, so that the rest remain chilled until ready to use. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of onion onto a 3-inch end of each puff pastry triangle, and add a piece of pastrami, then top with a piece of hot dog and roll up starting with hot dog end first. Along the way, using your fingers or a pastry brush, dab the puff pastry with a bit of egg wash to help seal.
Transfer to a baking sheet, sprayed with Pam, seam side down. Brush lightly with beaten egg, and bake until puffed and golden brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve with mustard.