Saturday, June 16, 2012

Dumplings, Donuts, and Dogs

Parker woke up the other morning determined to make Asian dumplings. It was a busy morning for me so I couldn't help him, but he figured it all out even with all the chaos in the house that day (a friend was also over to hang out before he moved out of state). I didn't get a chance to taste this first dumpling attempt and he didn't take pictures because they all fell apart, but he ate happily ate it all. Parker was not deterred so he was back in the kitchen a day or two later. He blogged about his second dumpling batch. Rob and I did get a bite this time and they were really good. I mean we were pretty skeptical because Parker said he wanted to make them with dried mustard seasoning. He is really on to something. I could have eaten these all day. I am no good at working with rice paper wrappers so Parker is pretty much on his own. He has more plans to experiment with the recipe since he wants to steam them, but they end up sticking to each other and the bamboo steamer (that was fun to clean up). Any suggestions, leave a comment on his blog.

I made Baked Sprinkled Donuts from Chloe's Kitchen for breakfast. Yep, the kids love me. I promised Josie I would make these when I first checked out the cookbook from the library so I couldn't take it back without making a batch. I even (pretty much) kept to the recipe. I didn't use my white whole wheat flour instead of all purpose, but I did omit the powdered sugar in the icing recipe because we are out and the kids didn't mind a bit. We had several friends over throughout the day and they all liked the donuts too. In fact, they would say "Where did you get the donuts?" and I said, "I made them." and they looked at me like I had a cape and big SM (for super mom, of course) on my shirt. Chloe is a fan of nutmeg and I am too so these donuts were spot on for me, but if you don't like nutmeg you might want to scale it back a bit. I don't make donuts often and I was a little skeptical of Chloe's method of piping the batter into the pan. I figured a lot of dough would get stuck in the plastic bag and be wasted. Never fear because one could just pipe the dough directly into one's mouth so none of the good stuff is wasted. Not that Josie and I did that, just conjecturing.
We are taking care of our friend's dogs and cats. We've been the care-takers for cats before. When Rob and I moved in together we both brought cats. We have never been dog people. We both grew up with dogs around, but my dogs were backyard dogs and I rarely interacted with them (my older sister was the dog person in the family). I think it was a similar situation in Rob's family. Dogs were outside - period. Over the last couple years I've been thinking more and more about adopting a dog. Our cats have all lived out their long happy lives and passed on. We've been fur-free for years. One of the reasons we haven't adopted another cat is food. Our cats ended up on a vegan diet because of health issues (long story, but one of my cats was told he had a few weeks to live and we transitioned him to a vegan diet and he lived several more years without the health problems that had plagued him since I found him as a stray kitten). We didn't feel comfortable having vegan cats without the other issues so we made a decision not to adopt. I totally understand why people feed their companion animals all sorts of different things, but for me I can't take in a cat and then feed the cat another animal I've paid to have killed. The cat is not more important than the chicken, lamb, cow, fish, etc. that would be served up as their dinner. Do I fault cats in the wild for taking a life? Of course not. I get the web of life, but it is different to me when I take this being into my house and make all the food choices. Would I be okay with a cat that caught, killed, and ate her own food? Sure. We all have our lines and our ethics. This is my line right now. I've been feeding our friends' companion animals a raw food diet this week. I totally understand raw meat for cats and dogs. I get why they do it and I can see the arguments for the health of the cats and dogs. Yet, I am more sure than ever that I could not do raw feeding in my own house. I feel like Lady Macbeth walking around all day cleaning my hands to excess trying to get the blood off. Yet, I really enjoy taking care of the dogs and cats, seeing the personalities shine through, and I like getting to know how they all interact as a family. The kids have loved helping me take care of all the animals and when I see Josie and Dema walking the dogs and cuddling with them it makes me more sure that a dog would be happy in our home and would add to our lives. One of the reasons we are still dog-free is I don't take this decision lightly. Even taking care of our friends' animals for a couple weeks is a big deal to me. They completely depend on my care and I want them to be happy and healthy. It is a big having a child, but one that never grows up past four years old and will need to be walked, fed, poop cleaned up, etc. for their entire life. I care deeply about my children and spend a good deal of time thinking about their nutrition. The same will be true if we bring a companion animal into our lives. We've had several friends over the years who've very successfully fed their dogs a vegan diet. We have neighbors who are giving us a lot of tips on cooking veg food for dogs. I know it can be done, but I still want to be sure that I'm doing the right thing. I know for sure now that I can not offer meat (raw or kibble) to anyone in our home so should we just remain fur child free? Should we adopt a dog and have them on a veg diet? Should we adopt a naturally veg animal? So many questions and I don't have the answers yet, but I'm enjoying my time with the animals in our neighborhood and hoping I find what works best for our family.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

I know it can be a hard decision when it comes to feeding our canine family members. We had 2 dogs in our family already when I became vegetarian and then vegan. Up until this past March I continued to feed them dog food that had animal ingredients in it and I really struggled with it. I did a lot of research and finally felt comfortable with the decision to start them on a vegan diet. They are doing well and I don't feel like they are suffering because of it. As a matter of fact, my youngest dog loves eating baby carrots for a snack, they both love sweet potatoes, and my older dog loves bananas. I feel so much better now that I am not torn between what I feed them and what I feel is right. I have to admit they really do add a lot to our family and I love them immensely. Good luck with your decision.