Christmas Day is a Good Day for a Birthday
Despite a very busy holiday season with work – I worked this entire past week, including Christmas Day – I was still able to gift my dogs their all-time favorite present – time outside with me.
Luckily for us, the day was stunningly gorgeous. But it would not have mattered. We still would’ve gone on a hike even if it had been pouring buckets of rain – which it was the Saturday before Christmas. No pictures from that day. Too wet.
I deliberately started my holiday pet visits as early as I reasonably could so that I could carve out a few hours for my crew. I was determined not to neglect them on Christmas day.
I had another reason for wanting to get out with them. It was Rhys’s third birthday on Christmas Eve.
Poor Rhys. Christmas Eve was an insanely busy day and he got to do absolutely nothing. Nada. Zilch. He wasn’t too happy about it. He probably would have been even more unhappy had he understood that I ditched him when I had a few hours late that day to meet a friend for a margarita and some tequila shots. Okay, who am I kidding? He did know and so did the other three.
Luckily, I was forgiven for my sin and more than made up for it on Christmas day with seven wonderful miles (for me) and two and a half hours of joyful worship at the feet of Mother Nature.
And then I blew their minds with a special birthday celebration dinner for Rhys.
December 24 marked Rhys’s third birthday. I was going to write up a wonderful tribute to him and wax poetic about how he has become such a remarkable and wonderful dog and about how much he means to me, but that will be for another time.
Right now I want to talk about his special dinner.
I know you want to know the secret behind this exciting gourmet meal that likely would rival any prepared by a famous French chef and served at some famous and exclusive bistro.
The secret was the salmon oil demi glace.
Since I’m sure you’ll want the recipe, and since it’s Christmas and I’m feeling semi-generous, I’ll share how to make this special meal, complete with the ingredients.
First, start with freezer-burned turkey burgers. The kind from your local big box club store work best.
Next, break them apart with a hammer. This part could be messy, but is a step that needs to be taken. It may help to do what I did, and that is to run them under some hot water first. However, be warned! It does make the hammering part even messier. Do this is your kitchen sink.
Next, set your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and place the burgers on a cookie tray that has been lined with tinfoil. This is to capture the tender juices and weird white fatty bubbly bits that will be rendered from cooking. Allow to sit in the oven for an undetermined amount of time, but at least until they look like they’ve been thawed and cooked. They will be of a rubbery consistency. That is your sign that they are properly tender and ready to be served.
Allow to cool before placing in a fancy dish if your dog is ten years old or older. A five year birthday is also a properly warranted fancy dish occasion, but a third birthday is not. Therefore, place in individual dog food bowls.
The individual dog food bowls have already been prepared with a special kale garnish. My dogs enjoy plain old raw kale because they are a bit weird. If yours does not, you may try sauteing the kale in olive oil or butter. My dogs tell me that is even better than raw kale, but I only had so much time and energy on Christmas day, so raw is what they got. No one complained.
Set the rubbery cooked turkey burgers on top of the plentiful kale garnish. Next, drizzle some salmon oil on top of the turkey burgers. Be generous and feel free to add extra to the kale leaves for a special glistening effect.
A bit of a warning here. Do not inhale deeply. Salmon oil on top of warm, rubbery turkey burgers smells bad. Very bad. Really, it is very stinky.
Now for the special last step. Spoon a full dollops of leftover marina sauce on top. This adds a bit of a festive flair, in addition to releasing more depth to the overall tasting experience.
Sing happy birthday and wish all a very Merry Christmas. Add a few assurances of “best dogs in the world” before releasing drooling dogs to their special feast.
In fact, my recipe for happy, fulfilled and tired dogs is a hike and a fabulous meal.
Youke is not pictured because as soon as the meal was over he went upstairs to bed and was not seen again until I had to leave for 90 minutes to go finish my nighttime round of pet visits. He made a brief appearance after I got home for the last pee before bed and then we were all in bed by 9:30 pm.
It’s been a long holiday stretch for us all.
Things eased up today though and the next week won’t be quite as crazy, so I will be home a bit more. Plus, the winter solstice just occurred and call me crazy, but I feel like I can already feel a tiny bit of difference.
Maybe that’s just because we’ve been able to catch glimpses of the sun for the past few days.