10 August 2009

Good News and Bad (But Improving) News

First the good news. I made another batch of bean and bacon soup (recipe posted here previously), only this time I spread it out over several days. It's been so hot here that I really didn't want to make it in one session. Well, actually, it started after I soaked the beans and then didn't feel like making soup after all. Still, I was glad to find out that I could spread the process over a few days.

I picked over and soaked the beans about five days ago, freezing them after I rinsed them. Then on Saturday I sliced and fried the bacon and drained it, then put it in the fridge. This afternoon I took care of the onion and garlic, then put the peppercorns, bay leaves, onion and garlic, bacon, and beans (nuked briefly so they wouldn't be a great big bean lump) into the pressure cooker, set it, and sat down to see what was new on Facebook I'm Mary Shafer there, if you want to friend me.

It's finished cooking now and I've tasted it. It tastes pretty good, but it needs salt, of course. It's too hot to whiz with the stick blender; I don't like the idea of flinging really hot soup all over me and the kitchen. I'll add salt while I'm doing that, to be sure to get it evenly mixed. I didn't put enough in the first batch, partly because my cousin was coming and I wasn't sure how much salt she'd like.

Speaking of my cousin, we had a wonderful visit. We were so sad to see her leave. Even Gordo missed her and kept going to the guest room to look for her. He'd give me this pitiful look like "How could you let her go away?" and, of course, there was no explaining it to him. She's the one who introduced me to Starbuck's iced chai latte last year. I'm now a regular customer and it's all her fault. I don't drink coffee, so I hadn't known they sold tea. I got her back, though. I introduced her to the Kindle and loaned my Kindle 2 to her. Both she and her husband have been reading with it and they really like it. I suspect they're going to end up buying one (or, maybe, two). We're a reading family, even the people who marry in, and it passes on to the kids, too.

Now for the bad news. Gordo the Wonder Collie had to have extensive exploratory surgery on Friday. He'd managed to swallow a 3" by 3" piece of rigid plastic, as well as a bunch of smaller pieces of the same plastic and some other stuff, and this was really messing up his digestive system. We took him over to the vet after he vomited five times in the night. Collies have deep chests, which made the surgery more difficult. They cut open his stomach and pulled all the junk out of it, which took both hands, and then examined his intestines carefully for smaller pieces.

He had a small fever over the weekend, but that's gone (this is written on Monday). He's still not eating much, but he's always been a picky eater. We now have great hopes that he'll come home tomorrow, since he actually ate a little kibble today. I think he has to demonstrate that his digestive system works from end to end, as it were, the same way that people who have had surgery on their digestive tracts do.