Cosmo Baud: The Dog, the Friend, the Legend

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For the second time in less than a year, the Baud Squad has had to say goodbye to a key member. Cosmo Kramer Baud (yes, named after Kramer on Seinfeld) left this world at about 8:10pm on June 21, 2015. Another huge hunk of my heart has been ripped out, and once again, our family won’t ever be quite the same.

For the past week, Cosmo had been acting uncomfortable, drinking more, urinating more, and not eating food like usual. On Sunday, he didn’t want to go on his evening walk, so we knew something was very wrong at that point. Off he went to the emergency vet, where we found out that Cosmo had a cancerous mass in his stomach that had caused a rupture and thus, internal bleeding. With surgery, his prognosis was three months to live (if he survived said surgery). This came as such a shock to both Sam and I. Cosmo has always been our healthiest dog. He’s never been overweight, he’s hardly ever been injured, and he always got the “healthy and strong” diagnosis from the veterinarian every year. In fact, he went to the vet less than nine months ago and received a clean bill of health. This really came out of nowhere, and it was and still is a huge smack in the face. After weighing all of our options, we knew that we didn’t want to put Cosmo through a dangerous and painful surgery just for him to only be with us for a few more months. We had to let him go, and it was so, so hard.

Ever since I first laid eyes on Cosmo in the Maury County Animal Control facility in Tennessee on a late February day in 2008, I knew he had to be a part of my family. We brought him home, and he fit right in with our crew. Over the years, he has proven to be loyal, kind, understanding, patient, goofy, curious, and full of love–so much more love than pretty much any other dog I have ever met. He went from being a stray to being a beloved family member. He was the perfect example of what it means to be a shelter dog success story. He died too soon, and I’ll always have a part of me missing because of that. However, he died after living the life of a spoiled house dog who was loved unconditionally, not life in a cage or worse.

The life of a pet parent is full of heartache, but more so, it is full of love and smiles. Dogs will always leave us too soon, no matter how long they live. I’m heartbroken, but I would do it all over again. Every day with Cosmo was that much better just because he was there. And no matter how much Missy may claim he got on her nerves, she’s going to miss her big little brother so much.

Rest easy, and I’ll see you again, my little Cosmo boy, 2005(?)-2015.

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Historic Everyday Eats – Jumbles

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Hello, friends! It is time once again to delve into the world of historic recipes. This week, I was lucky enough to come across a tasty recipe for some little treats in a cookbook published in 1832 titled Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats (a book I have used before in my historic eats endeavors). This recipe was for baked goods called jumbles, which don’t exactly sound too appealing but are indeed delicious!

The recipe for “Jumbles” reads as follows:

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“Three eggs.
Half a pound of flour, sifted.
Half a pound of butter.
Half a pound of powdered loaf-sugar.
A table-spoonful of rose-water.
A nutmeg grated.
A tea-spoonful of mixed mace and cinnamon.

Stir the sugar and butter to cream. Beat the eggs very light. Throw them, all at once, into the pan of flour. Put in, at once, the butter and sugar, and then add the spice and rose-water. If you have no rose-water, substitute six or seven drops of strong essence of lemon, or more if the essence is weak. Stir the whole very hard, with a knife.

Spread some flour on your paste-board, and flour your hands well. Take up with your knife, a portion of the dough, and lay it on the board. Roll it lightly with your hands, into long thin rolls, which must be cut into equal lengths, curled up into rings, and laid gently into an iron or tin pan, buttered, not too close to each other, as they spread in baking. Bake them in a quick oven about five minutes, and grate loaf-sugar over them when cool.”

Most of the ingredients listed are typical in our kitchens today with the exception of rosewater and mace, which as I have explained in previous posts, can be found in places like Whole Foods or specialty shops. Both of these ingredients pack very powerful punches, so small amounts are all you need to make a difference in a recipe! Let’s see how they made a dessert like jumbles taste:

(For the purposes of this recipe, the ingredient measurements were roughly cut in half to control the portions.) The ingredients are: 2 eggs, 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 stick butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 tablespoon rosewater, 1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon mace, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

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I first creamed the (softened) stick of butter and cup of powdered sugar in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed.

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I then added the two eggs to the butter and sugar mixture. This is a little out of order from what the recipe states, but it makes it a lot easier for the batter to come together!

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I then added the flour, spices, and rosewater to the mixture and mixed it on medium speed for about 4 to 5 minutes.

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I then rolled out portions of the dough on a floured surface and shaped them into circles. I realized later that perhaps they were supposed to be tight circles and not large like I made them, but they still turned out great!

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I placed my jumbles on a buttered baking sheet and baked them in a 450 degree oven for 8 minutes–just a tiny bit longer than what the recipe stated.

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Once the jumbles came out of the oven, I sprinkled them with more powdered sugar.

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Even though these are probably much larger than they were meant to be, my jumbles turned out to be very delicious and pretty!

While I have no idea what “jumbles” were originally intended to look like, I thoroughly enjoyed my large, sugary circles. 🙂 The rosewater and mace add very distinct flavors to the dough, and this is actually a very simple recipe to follow that does not take a very long time to make. For their ease and tastiness, jumbles would be great for any parties (or lazy Sundays) you have planned in the near future!

 

What is the Best Part of Living on Planet Earth?

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Today, April 22, 2015, is the date internationally recognized as Earth Day–a day when we celebrate all the things we love about our home in the cosmos. What I love most about Earth are the many various animals that reside on this planet with me.

Recently, Sam and I spent a weekend walking around some parks in Chicago and visiting the Lincoln Park Zoo, where we saw many fabulous and awe-inspiring creatures.

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I am always trying to get a good picture of a squirrel, and this may be my favorite squirrel picture ever! Photo taken in Lincoln Park.

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This turtle was lounging on a tree branch in the North Pond in Lincoln Park.

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Now for my favorite animal in the zoo–the sea lion! To me, they’re just like big, swimming dogs. 😉 That’s why they’re so adorable!

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This sea lion is showing off his upside down swimming skills.

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Hey there, buddy!

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Macaque monkey at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

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Rhinoceros!

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Hyenas. (AKA doggies to the little boy standing next to me at the habitat.)

Whatever you love the most about Earth, be sure to celebrate it today!

 

Six Months in the City

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As of April 1, 2015, the members of the Baud Squad have been residents of Chicago for six months!

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It has been a life-changing, fun-filled, and eye-opening six months in the Windy City. Sam and I planned and planned and planned our move for so long, but we never knew what it would actually be like once we made it here. What it’s like is unbelievable–quite frankly, life has never been better. While not every part of this change has been nice or easy, it has been worth it. From the wonderful friends we’ve made to the amazing sights we’ve seen, it has been an incredible experience.

Here’s to many more “six month” celebrations to come in our new home!

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The Dog Days of Winter: A Follow Up

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Well, today is officially the last day of winter, everybody! (According to the calendar, at least…) You know what that means–the Baud Squad has officially survived our first winter in the Windy City! Back in November, I wrote about how we had prepared our pups for the upcoming winter months. Today I’m going to tell you how that worked out for us.

We took several measures to make sure Cosmo and Missy would be as comfortable as possible this winter. We bought dog jackets to keep the pups warm in the subzero temperatures. We bought a balm called Musher’s Secret to keep the pads of their paws protected from salt and ice. We tried to ensure that they would have as easy of a time in the cold as possible, but nothing could actually prepare us for the first day it hit negative temperatures with ice and snow everywhere. The dogs were confused to say the least, and they definitely didn’t like standing on the ice (and the road salt people used to melt said ice) for extended periods of time. No matter how many layers of Musher’s Secret I put on their feet, my pups just wouldn’t stay outside for more than five minutes at a time on the coldest days. I could tell they weren’t happy about that, so I caved and bought them booties. My dogs HATE people touching their feet, so I knew this would be a problem.

Enter Pawz booties.

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These little rubber boots were a lifesaver this winter for us. They look just like balloons, and they slip right over your dog’s foot, creating a barrier between their pads and the ice, yet allowing the dog to still feel the ground (thus no prolonged walking-horse-style steps or attempts to remove the booties). It took some effort to get these on our dogs (especially Cosmo, who freaks out at the drop of a hat), but they were SO WORTH IT! Our dogs were able to stay outside for much longer periods of time, and they really didn’t mind the booties once they were on–they just didn’t enjoy the process of putting them on their feet!

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Cosmo says, “I guess I can tolerate this.”

Pawz come in several sizes, from tiny to extra large, so you can find any size that works for your dogs on their helpful size chart. Luckily, both of our dogs fell within the “medium” range, so we bought one $14 package for both of them (there are 12 boots in a package).

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Missy says, “I guess they’re not so bad.”

Both of our pups were so much happier and excited to go outside once we started using the booties, so I am eternally grateful for them! They don’t slip off easily, and they look completely adorable. The only downside to the boots is that they can tear, but we had enough replacements in the package to make it through all the weeks of extreme cold!

As for the other equipment we purchased for the winter–the jackets came in handy on several days. If it was below 10 degrees, Cosmo and Missy had their jackets on, whether they wanted to or not! And while the Musher’s Secret wasn’t quite enough to protect their feet, it actually was very helpful for keeping their pads moisturized when they got dry. I even used it on Missy’s nose this winter too. (She loved shoving her head in the snow, and the snow that stuck to her nose would make it dry. Musher’s Secret helped with that problem!)

Both Missy and Cosmo had fun this winter, even if they didn’t always enjoy the temperature outside! Being prepared went a long way toward making the winter enjoyable for everybody, but I think I can speak for our entire crew when I say that we’re glad spring is here!

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The Baud dogs are ready for warmer days ahead in the Windy City!