…and “Elrond’s Bannocks”
In April of 2014, my beloved poochie was diagnosed with kidney failure. She was about 10 years old. We were never sure about her exact age because she was a rescue dog. Her disease was rated at a level of 1. I asked the vet how one would know when she was more like a level 3 or 4? How does one know when it’s time to intervene and euthanize your pet? She said, “You’ll know.”
She was right. On Friday afternoon, Lady had a stroke, or she developed some sort of vestibular disease, on top of the kidney failure, and on top of the highly elevated liver values (which might have indicated bone cancer). She was falling down and disoriented; she was not eating or drinking properly; she had bowel problems and she occasionally vomited. Saturday morning, we knew it was time.
It was the only time my husband picked up the dog. It was the only time she didn’t become a trembling mass of anxiety while we waited in the vet’s office. We stayed with her all the way to the bittersweet end. I didn’t know if I’d be up for it, since I’m the biggest cry-baby and I didn’t want to upset her. But I wept anyway and stayed anyway.
I remember her as an active Jack Russell mix who always wanted to know what was going on. I’m trying not to always imagine her dead eyes, staring at nothing. But I suppose even that memory will fade eventually and I can return to the happier ones. Her death was so peaceful, it truly makes you wonder why euthanasia for all who suffer is so abhorrent. I know that’s a simplistic idea and could be abused, but it does make you think…
The main problem is her lack of presence. You don’t really think about how much you cater to your pet—the myriad routines become second nature to you. And now her perky face no longer greets us when we return home.
From “The Hobbit”—Elves
Our culinary story continues in The Hobbit. Tolkien’s version of elves feature prominently in both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. They are immortal, tall, and elegant, though they seem mocking and merry in their initial meeting with Bilbo and company in The Hobbit. Jackson’s film version of elves portrays them as positively arrogant in their slender elegance. Never compare Tolkien’s elves to J. K. Rowling’s house-elves—Tolkien’s are not subservient or small in stature. And certainly NEVER think of the Keebler Elves as similar to Tolkien’s elves in any way, ever. Ever. EVER.
After the troll adventure, Gandalf leads Bilbo and company to Rivendell, a lovely place protected by the ancient Elrond. Along the way, they meet a few musical elves who sing, “The bannocks are baking!”
- 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon old-fashioned oats
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup salted butter
Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray or grease lightly. In a large food processor, pulse the 2 cups oats and the other dry ingredients until the oats are ground to a powder. In a 1-cup glass measure, combine the water and butter. Microwave in 20 second intervals to melt the butter. Add this to processor and pulse until well mixed. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead a couple times. Pat to a ½” thick circle, about 8″ in diameter. Lightly spray the top of the dough with water and evenly sprinkle the 1 tablespoon oats all over. Press oats lightly into the dough. Cut into 8 wedges. Place on the baking sheet 1″ apart. Bake 12-14 minutes, until they are barely brown on the bottom. Let stand on pan 5 minutes. Serve with plenty of butter, honey, and jam. Cover; keep at room temperature. Makes 8.