Saturday, June 7, 2008

Trying To Make A Salad On A Saturday With The Help Of The Dragonfly Cottage Crew...

YOU try cooking in a kitchen the size of a shoebox
when three pugs try to help!

Sometimes I'm cooking with all FOUR dogs
in the kitchen. Moe is a lab-doby-something-
or-other mix. You do the math. Thankfully,
this time he watched from the doorway...

I began chopping raw vegetables. First the cauliflower
and then the broccoli. If the pugs had noses to speak of
they would have turned them up at the vegetables.
They were in it for the meat...

I scrubbed the carrots and got ready to chop them
but I knew I'd hear from the peanut gallery...


"Oh fer cryin' out loud, can't a bird preen
without all that choppin' in there..."

Henry, Grey Parrot, who has no use for dogs and
hates chopping because it is so loud. He later
recanted when all of the birds got some of the

"That bird drives me nuts."

Babs, who is no one to mess with...

I tried to chop the cabbage in peace but Lord, the
racket going on was louder than the chopping...

Coco gave up, it was taking too long for her, and
she went to take a nap on her favorite step...

This is the London Broil for the salad. It is a 2 day
process. I marinated it for 24 hours with salt, pepper,
plenty of fresh minced garlic, and Herbes de Provence.
Yesterday I seared it on both sides and put it in a large
pot with a little water, beef bouillon, and the rest of
the marinade. It baked for 8 hours at 250° and then I
took the pot out and let it cool enough to refrigerate.
Today I heated it, lifted the meat out which was now
so tender I only needed to use a fork to mash it up
in the pan above. Adding back a little of the cooking
liquid kept the meat moist.

"I smell something."

The raw vegetable mix and London Broil will make several
meals. I took a smaller pot and mixed some of the vegetables
and meat, using Annie's salad dressing, an Avocado Parmesan.
I'd never had it before. It is delicious. Tossed together it made
a wonderful lunch, and tonight I had some adding a little more
of the dressing, ripe black olives, and artichoke hearts. I'm
working on a carb and sugar free diet but that doesn't mean
I can't eat well! I can stir fry the vegetables, add grilled
chicken, or any number of things. It's an easy way to make
many meals with a few basic ingredients...

"I don't care how many ways you can
use that stuff, I want the beef now."

Lunch in the red cup, part of my dinner in the green pot,
and enough for a meal tomorrow...

"This is ridiculous. I'm waiting here under
Mom's desk. She'll slip me a treat."

Sampson, who is always right...

I do look forward to moving into a place with a nice big kitchen, but it's nice to have a little help around the house.

Maitri, who won't go hungry for days,
nor will the dogs, the birds, and anyone
else who happens by...


Craft Junkie said...

What I wouldn't give to stop by and help you chop, pet the babies and talk to the birds...and maybe share a meal of your wonderful veggies and London broil. Sounds wonderful.

Nadine said...

Awww the helpers are adorable! But, you just made me hungry! I need to find something for lunch!

Maitri Libellule said...

Hi CJ and thanks! I'd love to have you. You would of course have to put up with sassy parrots and pugalug kisses in the millions, but we're a pretty good crowd here. :o)

Thanks so much for stopping by!



Maitri Libellule said...

Hey Nadine! We've got plenty for you too! :o) And yes, I don't know what I'd do without them, little rascals. Right now they're all asleep and I'm listening to a chorus of pug snores coming from all different directions. Time to cuddle up with my little snuggle pug, Sampson, who is asleep on my feet under my desk!

Thanks for stopping by!

Maitri & the cottage crew...

BillyWarhol said...

that London Broil looks awesome Tasty*

i laffed I was looking at Photos from my visit to my Sis place in South Dakota last week + her Westie BUBS helps like yer Pugs!! U should see how attentive he is when it's BBQ time!!

;)) Peace*

+ he's like a Roomba Vacuum Cleaner in the Kitchen!!

Jenaisle said...

That looks delicious Maitri. The dogs must have known for they are standing guard. Very cute pictures too.
I wish I could do what you are doing. Stay in a beautiful cottage and write to my heart's content.

Thanks for sharing.

hannah fanna said...

My dog "helps" my mom make her bed.

AmyOops said...

I love pugs, want one so bad. Your are so cute

Lisa said...

Looks delicious! You've got a lot of help there.

knitting dragonfly said...

Great dish, love all of your animals.

Nodin's Nest said...

Looks wonderful, now I want lunch!
I'm partial to small cozy kitchens myself.

Anonymous said...

Love it. Miss Coco, the cutie. Love the pictures and the commentary from all the animals. They are so deprived, it looks like :) Hahaha. Amanda

MamaFlo said...

I just love your pugs!

Margaret said...

You are lucky that the bird didn't help himself to your chopped veggies. Mine all get in the way, stealing carrots (a favorite) along the way. They even throw some to the dogs as they love carrots, too.

Sounds a yummy meal and I'll have to try the london broil made that way!


Lisa said...

Thanks for letting me know a way to cook London broil. That looks so yummy!

By the way, I hope you don't mind but I tagged you for a meme b/c you're one of my fave bloggers. :)

Here is the url:

Have a great day!

Liara Covert said...

You remind me of an enchanted fairy who lives in a magical garden with all her loving animal companions. It sounds as though your life is simply delightful. Thank you for offering tidbits of your exciting life amidst the dimensions not everyone is ready or willing to experience. You bring joy into the lives you touch, inthis world and others.

Carole said...

You made the simple act of making a salad so entertaining. Your "helpers" stole the show... :-)

Salamat said...

oh, wow! I'm jealous:) hahaha! those pics are so cute!

Jacki said...

Sampson reminds me of our Dave! Very neat!

Maitri Libellule said...

Dear Ones,

I so appreciate all of your wonderful and fun notes and yes, the pugs are a blast and everybody around here, pugs and parrots, get a little of everything. It was a happy day for them when that salad got made!

Billy, I laughed at your comment because I have told many a pug person that they are JUST like the Roomba vacuums. Ha ha ha. They troll around the floor eating anything and are always looking for tossed treats under the parrot cages. I say forget vaccumming, just get a pug or three! :o)

And Margaret, "that parrot" helps himself to anything he darned well pleases because he half lives on my person! Ha!

I'm sorry to send a group note but my mother is in endstage cancer and these last weeks, especially the last few days, have been really bad. Your comments mean more to me than I can say, and I shall answer in a more proper, individual fashion as soon as I am able, but I read and appreciate every single one. The comments mean more to me than I could possibly tell you, especially now.

Blessings and a hug to each of you...


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