Our poodle boy Max has learned a new trick. And just like any boy with a new toy, he’s using it every chance he gets.
It would be only a slight exaggeration to report that I’m feeding this dog every hour on the hour. And of course, being true to the heritage of the French, not just any food will do for our Standard French Poo. Max prefers baguettes and freshly cooked meat and home-made rolls. Dog food? Pleeease.
It should shame me to admit that I cooked more for Max last week than I did for my husband. But ever since Max lost 8 pounds over six days, I do what I can to tempt Max with a morsel that he can’t refuse. And it’s good to see Max eat. And eat. And eat some more. But what’s NOT good is what happens after Max is as full as the proverbial tick, when Max barks me back into the kitchen demanding another course of food.
Like the smart poodle mom that I am, I’ve begun exercising a little tough love to curb Max’s recreational bread habit. “Just say no” — isn’t that what First Lady Nancy Reagan encouraged us to do when staring in the face of addiction? So now when Max barks, after consuming his abnormally high six courses, I bark ‘No’ back. Then rewarding myself with an imaginary pat on the back for standing up to my poodle, I scurry back in a hurry to my latest episode of Mad Men.
But last night after our kitchen standoff, I’d hardly sat down before I saw Max standing at the back door, woofing to be let out. So dutifully, I trotted out to the kitchen to open the back door. But instead of going out, Max turns around and heads straight to the refrigerator freezer where all his baguettes and home-made rolls are stored. With eyes locked onto the freezer, Max barks out another big woof. Hell’s bellls. You know it’s bad when an adult over the age of fifty is outsmarted by her poodle dog. And it’s sure hard to remember the word ‘no’ when he’s looking so hopeful and cute, after pulling out his new bait and switch poodle trick.
Max’s favorite home-made dinner rolls are called Rocket Rolls. Rebecca Rather, the proprietor-chef of the Rather Sweet Bakery & Cafe of Fredericksurg Texas, relates a cute story of how these rolls came by their name; in her cookbook, the Pastry Queen, Ms.Rather assures her reader that the rolls have nothing to do with rocket propulsion. But for the record, I’m pretty sure Max would disagree; a course of Rocket Rolls seems to fire Max’s poodle jets just fine. Yesterday I pulled this much favored cookbook from my baker’s rack shelf. And to the company of Max laying nearby, I made a fresh batch of poodle propulsion. A couple of hours later, once the risen bread dough was ready to shape into rolls, Max moved in for the kill.
I’m convinced Max knew exactly what I was making. Maybe it was the scent of two dozen rolls cooling nearby on the baking rack that tipped Max off. But ready or not, Max was ready to eat his poodle manna from heaven. And once Max began grazing, he ate and ate; at least half a dozen rolls until I just said no.
And unlike Mr. Max, I’m not a woofing.