Mr. J , 8 weeks old.
A year ago, Jack entered our lives. Brooke and Grant met Jack’s mother at TheTrouthunter(read about their wonderful food, beautiful views here) in Island Park, Idaho, while on a fly fishing trip. She (the dog, not Brooke) was preggers. Brookie bonded with Jack’s mom immediately. Tom (owner) told Brookie in a few weeks, his dog would be having puppies.That’s the day the campaign began.
“WE” needed a dog (because our long time pup, Hershey passed a few months earlier). Well, actually Hersh was no longer a pup, but for some reason, people in our house called him pup his whole life. Even when he was 12, or 72 (dog) years old. Is he 72 dog or human years when he is 12 years (by the calendar) old? Because dog years are more difficult than human years?? Yeah, I guess all of that napping and eating wears on you. If you’re a dog. Confusing.
Anyway, over the course of two months, I caved, and on August 3, 2010, Jack joined our fam. Since then, he has become the new baby. It’s been said labs are either chewers or diggers.
Hersh was a digger. Jack- well, I think it’s safe to say, is a chewer.Here’s the list, to date Not that I’m keeping track, or anything like that:
- chew toys, he pretty much shreds these in a matter of hours, sometimes minutes, even the toys that say, “Will last for months!”
- shoes, socks, towels
- flowers, plants
- bbq tools
- 12 foot umbrella on patio table (my neighbor witnessed him on top of the patio table, with a piece of the umbrella in his mouth, running in circles, umbrella spinning and shredding).
- cushions on patio furniture
- patio lounge chair
- two large pillows for dogs
- mats for inside his kennel
- new PB pillow
- new PB blanket
- 3 rugs
- electrical connection on trailer
- new dining room chair
- base in entry
- upholstery on chair
- electrical connection to ice cream maker
- sprinkler heads
The most memorable Jack-offense (for me) took place last May. My friend’s son was coming home from a 2 year mission, and I wanted to make him a birthday cake. I baked up my all time favorite cake, Laurie and Amy’s Amazing Chocolate Cake, which btw, if you haven’t tried it, is the best chocolate cake.
In the world.
I had just finished frosting the cake, and decided to run upstairs to change clothes before delivering the cake. I was upstairs for maybe a total of 3 minutes. When I came down the stairs, Jack was licking his chops. And looking very guilty.
I looked around and couldn’t see what he was up to. Then it hit me. THE CAKE.
I looked over on the island counter, nothing. Had he pulled it onto the floor?
I ran all the way around the island, nothing.
What? He devoured the whole cake in 3 minutes? Not possible.
I glance to the right, there it is. Was. Sitting on the kitchen table. Looking like this:
Can you say melt down?
Lots of screaming. Asking questions. WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS??? Yes, dog interrogation.
I text my friend. Sent her the pic of the cake, and a pic of the dog, with the message:I’M KILLING THIS DOG.
After I threw the gnawed cake in the garbage, I made myself a sandwich, said a few more choice things to Jack, put him in the backyard and went up to my bedroom where I got into my bed, (with my clothes on) and ate my sandwich. I called a few friends who listened to me rant about my dog, then I did what every sane person would do to have closure. I baked another cake.
1 3/4 cups boiling water
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, OR chocolate chips (for a double recipe, use 15 oz. chocolate chips, which equals 2 1/2 cups.)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder*
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
10 oz (2 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 9-inch round cake pans with circles of wax paper or baking parchment.
Pour the boiling water over the chocolate chips. Add cocoa and stir until mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool. Cream the butter and brown sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and half of the chocolate mixture. Beat on low to combine, then on high for 1 1/2 minutes. Add the remaining chocolate mixture and beat on low until mixed.
Pour batter into pans and bake 30-40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out completely clean. Cool for 10-15 minutes; remove from pans. Wrap in double layers of plastic wrap while still warm and freeze. Double recipe makes two 10″ layers plus two 8″ layers or four 9″ layers. Never fill pans more than 2/3 full.
1 1/4 cups plus 2 T. butter, softened
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (For really dark frosting, use part Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa, about 4 T.)
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup plus 2 T. Milk
When cake is frozen solid, frost between the two layers and spread a thin layer over the whole cake. Freeze again for about 20 minutes. Frost again. Repeat if desired. (Frost the last time on the day you plan to serve the cake and let it stand at room temperature to thaw.)
-*The best kind is Saco Premium Cocoa, which comes in a round container with a picture of a baker on the front.
-I doubled this and it made 4 perfect 9″ layers.
-I liked the frosting best with about 1/2 cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa and 1/2 cup regular unsweetened cocoa.
-If you don’t have time to frost and freeze the cake, freeze the layers, and frost the cake while still frozen. Use about 1/4 of frosting between layers, 1/2 on sides of cake and remaining 1/4 of frosting on top of cake.
-A few good decorating/cake baking tips can be found at:http://www.hospitalitymanagementschools.net/blog/2010/cake-decorating-tips-to-remember/