Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A pug's tail, Faleschinis and focaccia!

Jake's family is in town -- parents, aunt, and cousin with his son, in addition to the two cousins and grandma that already live here--and we all met up at our place and had some snacks before heading out to dinner. I had to work today, so figured it was a good opportunity to try making a quick basic focaccia. I found a recipe on the King Arthur website that seemed pretty idiot-proof, skipped some odd-sounding ingredients ("pizza dough spice?" "powdered Vermont cheese?") and stuck to olive oil, kosher salt, and a mix of herbs. My camera doesn't do it justice (although I have finally figured out how to turn off the flash, which helps), but there it is.

It was a hit, at least with Grandma Irma. The veggie box delivery people came by as we were slicing it up and also gave it a thumbs up, so I gave them the recipe.

I wish I could claim that it was complicated, but it wasn't. About 10 minutes to mix, an hour to rise, and 40 minutes to cook. It's pretty light and probably nowhere near authentic (it was a pretty sticky dough and I couldn't press proper dents in the top the way you're supposed to). So I think next time I'll try a double-rise recipe and take a bit more time with it. But it was salty and crispy and soft in all the right places, and definitely did the job. I think this is a good start to my week of holiday baking, which will involve many eggs and many sticks of butter. And one crock pot full of veggies I still need to deal with. The holidays are bad for vegetables.

On an unrelated note, a friend commented that Rocky's tail in the picture a couple of posts ago was straight, as opposed to its natural curled position. Her concern was that a straight tail is a sign of an unhappy pug (since curly tails are the sign of pug in its natural, happy state). What a good eye.

Oddly enough, Rock's tail goes straight only when he is asleep or really pissed off -- i.e., chasing a truck or plane, or trying to attack a pit bull or some nice pedestrian.

I don't want to concern anyone -- so here is Rocky looking undeniably happy.

This was post- play a while back, basking in the afterglow of a really intense lap around the sofa. I recently sent this to Elizabeth and her mom, who will be taking care of Rocky over the Christmas holiday. I am going to send them a picture a day until we drop him off next Wednesday, and I figured this smiley one was a good one to start off with.


  1. Hi Martha,
    Many thanks for the Pug Curl Clarification!
    I should have guessed that a sleeping pug must focus all his/her energy on dreamlife, rather than on curling.

    Elizabeth and her Mom are very kind to offer to care for Rocky during the hols, but they are going to LOVE LOVE LOVE having that pugster all to themselves. Rocky is truly an enlightened being. Rocky is a state of mind.

  2. What a perfect post! Except I'm always interested in what is happending with the disertation. Rocky is looking great. Do you think he likes seattle? I'm guessing he might miss the lard bread, but don't we all. Am looking forward to your take on it, recipe wise. If I could make it at home, would be quite excellent. xxxooo Lisa

  3. Lisa! Lard bread! Can you believe I forgot it existed for a minute? I'm on it. Seriously. I'm on Diss stuff, too, albeit less enthusiastically this week. But update to come, thanks for asking.

    And thanks Beth! I'm glad you share my love for the pug! I hesitate to characterize Rock as an enlightened being, though. I guess he definitely lives in the moment, that much is true. XO

  4. If it is true that, as you say, Rocky "lives in the moment" ... then truly, Rocky is a Zen Master.

    New York City is blanketed in the first heavy snow of the season. Flakes as big as cottonballs.