Scooter’s Perfect Day

It wasn’t bitterly cold yesterday, but we were having people over for our annual Chanukah party, so Steve lit a fire in the fireplace. A glowing hearth is welcoming.

It’s Scooter’s favorite thing.

Scooter stayed there while I put the Pomegranate and Prunes Chicken into the crockpot, finished the brisket begun the day before, made salad dressing and salad, put the Lemony Carrot and Raisin Salad and homemade applesauce into bowls, and baked Challah Rolls.

I cut the brownies and the Cranberry Nut Pie. Around noon I worried that I didn’t have enough food. Steve waits for this moment every year. He’s given up trying to convince me that the menu is complete. I always bake something at the last minute. This time I made Lemon Meringue Kisses, which are pillows of sweetness.

I set the table. Scooter woke up. He looked around. He stayed put.

Finally, there was a knock on the door. A five-year old boy arrived. Scooter loves little boys almost as much as sleeping by the fire. Scooter also loves brisket. It was a perfect day.

(Recipe for the Challah and the Lemon Meringue Kisses will be published in The Farmstead Egg Guide and Cookbook, to be published this April by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.)


  1. Scooter has it made. Sleep by the fire while you cook; then enjoy the company and food! Happy Chanukah, Terry.

  2. Happy Chanukah to you and your family. Wish I was laying where Scooter is! I’ve been out shoveling snow and ice this morning!

    • Right now I’d like to see some cold and snow. The night sky is filled with winter moths. Will be a terrible infestation of inch worms come spring.

    • Even I can’t replicate it! I made it up on the spot. Brown chicken thighs. Put in a crockpot. Add unsweetened pomegranate juice (about 1/4 inch up.) Chicken broth. Sauteed leeks. Cumin. Salt. Pepper. Honey. Hot pepper flakes. Prunes. And something else I can’t recall :) I keep building flavors until it looks right. It was really good.

  3. Oh, you are so mean! I was going to try the lemon meringue kisses! No recipe! sigh. Guess I will just have to wait for the book………….

  4. I love this blog and look forward to your postings every day! I also love watching the hens, goats, and rabbits. Happy Chanukah to you and your family! Scooter is so adorable!!!! Any chance you’ll be sharing the leftovers with the hens/goats/bunny?

    P.S. There was a slight problem on the cameras today. For me, it would blink white every second or so. I could deal with it, but I just wanted to let you know!

    • The goats and bunny were very, very happy with all of the carrot peels, tops and ends. The chickens got the tomatoes that the brisket was braised in. So, the animals got their holiday dinner, too. Thanks for the heads=up on the technical problem. Will pass it along to IT Guy.

      • That’s great! I bet they were so excited! The problem is gone today… but one of the goats (I couldn’t tell) had their butt right in the camera! Gotta love em!!! Wish I could have some someday!

  5. Happy Chanukah! I got my first Christmas card yesterday – I’d managed to forget about it until then! Scout would like to discuss optimum fire-sleeping distance with Scooter; he sleeps with his arms stretched out under the woodburner and every now and then I have to pull him backwards by his legs. He inches forward slowly and we repeat the whole thing several times an evening… I need to attach strings so I don’t need to keep hauling myself off the sofa.
    Those meringues look nice, and that looks suspiciously like a pint of Guinness next to the Challah rolls.

    • I’ve started to put a bolster pillow in front of the fire to block Scooter from sitting too close. Perhaps I should try your string idea :)

  6. Scooter reminds me of my ridgeback that I had. She would have found the carpet too far from the fire, and the bricks too hard to lay on. One time she tried to sleep standing up on the bricks with her head resting on the woodbox. Usually she whined and moaned until I felt sorry for her and got a blanket to cover her up with so that she could lay on the carpet at the edge of the bricks and still be warm.