Pets & Critters
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Zucchini 101-preparation is key
Lots of little squash babies were born.
Now I better get cooking ’cause the zucchini are exploding in the garden. I mean they are rapidly producing cute little squashes, that turn into big huge monsters. They multiply like rabbits if you don’t watch out. Luckily I have several wonderful recipes that I depend on for my bounty.
Wash and dry a bunch of summer squash. No need to peel. Chop into food processor size chunks. You can remove any large seeds that look tough, especially in large squash.
Insert the shredding disc into a food processor or use an old-fashioned box grater on largest side. My Cuisinart is more than 20 years old and still works like a charm. Start grating squash, emptying bowl as it fills up with shreds, several batches should do it.
The shredded squash should look like this.
My large metal bowl is full of shredded zucchini and can be used in my recipes. It is nice to have a bowl of this, on hand, in the refrigerator for lots of great recipes. From stir fry, soups, breads and my favorite savory appetizer, zucchini pancakes, you’ll be actually glad you have so much squash. And yes, Dixie does eat raw zucchini and I can get my son, John to eat it too, if it’s hidden in these recipes.
Now we are cooking. Coming soon, the recipes, stay posted!
We just got back from a wonderful overnight buying trip in Southern Maryland and on the way stopped at our Nation’s Capitol for some sight-seeing and culture. On our week-end trip, we decided to leave on a Sunday and spend the day in Washington, D.C. which is about 60 miles away from our home and store in Washington County, Maryland. Sundays are an excellent time to see Washington, the government is basically closed and traffic is lighter. What a great plan, not only did we find parking right on the street, it was free on Sundays with no time limit.
Did you know that the Smithsonian National Museums are totally free? According to the literature, the Smithsonian Institution consists of 19 national museums and the National Zoo, in Washington, D.C. Most are open daily from 10 AM to 5:30 PM and they are located right on the National Mall. The telephone number is 202-633-1000 and information can be found at www. smithsonian.org . We parked very close to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. This is right next to the fascinating Air and Space Museum and the Smithsonian Castle and information Center.
I dove right into the Hirshhorn and enjoyed the modern art from Andy Warhol to Alexander Calder and many other masters of fine art. Outside on the mall it was a mild winter’s day and Dixie enjoyed the sights , not to mention the grass. If you bring your pet make sure to bring an emergency bag for any indiscretions! We walked all the way to the reflecting pool outside of the Capitol Building. The view is amazing and at the other end of the mall is the Washington Monument, truly breathtaking. Dixie was very impressed.
Other places not to miss are the American History Museum, the Natural History Museum and the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue,near the Washington Monument. Be prepared for plenty of walking on the cinder walkways, so comfortable footwear is a must. Fast food is available at kiosks selling hotdogs, pizza and pretzels if you get hungry. There is also a children’s carousel that is sure to delight.
While Dixie was allowed at the outdoor areas of the mall, pets are not allowed inside the museums. We love to travel with our little dog, Dixie. Lucky for us several major hotel chains now take pets free of charge. The two we have had good experiences with are La Quinta’s Inn and the Drury Inns chains. Pets are welcome in any room and according to staff the pets are often better behaved than many of the human guests. Make sure to pack your pets food, water bowl and a few dog biscuits to make them feel right at home.
It was bound to happen, living in rural Washington County, Maryland. We were on a routine call to a country farm to decorate the front porch with fresh greens, just in time for a New Year’s Day party. We were greeted by a flock of Guinea Fowl. Then I saw the rooster and chickens, peacocks and turkeys. It was a bird lovers paradise. Me: Oh look beautiful birds. There are hens and Toms everywhere! John: We have work to do. Concentrate on the flower boxes. Me: But look PEACOCKS!!! John: Go get the greens out of the van. Me: And they have barn cats….. John: Get to work! Me: Ok…..Let’s get these flower boxes finished Me: These birds are everywhere and they are watching us. John: Let’s finish up so we can get out of here. Me: But there are turkeys in the van!!!! John: There are turkeys in the VAN???? Me: They must be relaxed after the holidays and all. John: Keep those $%^@***!@*%$# out of my van….., remember those terriers that ate the porterhouse out of my van?! Me: I love living in the country!
I wanted to take a picture of the dogs for Christmas but they would have none of it.
and then a very funny thing happened…..
We made the decision several years ago to adopt a shelter dog. It was one of the best decisions ever! Making a house a home often includes loving a pet. Dixie came into our lives about two years ago. Our local Humane Society of Washington County, has a very clean, modern facility. I was impressed with the friendly, dedicated staff and the healthy looking animals. The cats had a private area and seemed happy, content and playful. The dogs had their own kennels and there were even two roosters in the outside kennels!