Thursday, December 13, 2007

xmas dog treats

Sitting in the kitchen of an old County Cork farmhouse that's been in the family for generations, I must have stared at the one-pound block of butter on the table for days. I was transfixed. Butter came in such quantities? Amazing. In the States, we'd had sensible Land O'Lakes, conspicuously manufactured and neatly wrapped into thin, refined rectangular prisms.

The butter changed my life. This fascinating big hunk of heavensent fat alerted me to the inherent limitlessness of hedonism, a greedy reality that has never since left me, not once. Up to that point (I think I was around seven), I'd not only lacked a consciousness of food and its various local incarnations, but of where it came from in the very first place, what seasons brought which produce, how things like butter were even made.

And that, not really in any kind of linear thought progression that holds the conceptual hand of you, dear and ever-patient reader, brings me now to tins of biscuits. As phenomenally farmy as the bacon, butter, and bread were, the biscuits at said family farm were a tremendous disappointment to my young Wonder-bread palate. Likely packed with rolled oats, wheat germ, and other wholesome dust, the biscuits served in that heatless canister of a house delighted my grandparents and parents alike. Me, not so much. I rolled the mealy lumps around in my mouth and hardly took my eyes off the butter, which I just wanted to take, dip in sugar, and eat. (I had done this before with Land O'Lakes.)

Still, it is with some wistful reminiscence of those dreaded biscuits—and the kitchen with what stands in my mind now as an old Wedgewood and below it, Mick the meanest Jack Russell staring and growling at me after a long day's herding cows—that I present to you dog biscuits that (yes, I tried them) bear an uncanny, and therefore sentimental, resemblance to my greataunt's miniature oat bran ship anchors/biscuits.

They're easy to make. The dog will love them. Mick guarantees.