The past week and half has been a whirlwind of furry fun. My daughter and son-in-law were in Europe for 10 days and I got to host their adorable dog Murphy. As if that wasn’t enough of a treat in itself, I also got to babysit for my son, Jeremy, and his wife Darya’s pretty English cocker spaniel, Penny, for 8 hours while they took a Lamaze class. Remember those?
Murphy arrived on Thursday and felt right at home, as he’s been here many times. His first spot is always at the back door, so he can run around and explore in the backyard. It’s all fenced in so there are no worries. He spent the night and then went to his other grandma, Deborah, for Shabbat and Sunday before returning to my house on Sunday night and staying for another week. I was able to spend the entire Sunday watching Penny in her apartment. Penny has this uncanny ability to literally run right past me and get to the place that I was heading to before I did, without once having me seeing or hearing her.
I always think I am outsmarting her. I look back at her sleeping and then tiptoe ever so quietly to the next room and then look back again, and she still lying there and then within a second she’s in front of me in the room that I walked to. She is extremely graceful, quick and smart. Oh, and she’s one amazing kisser. Once she starts kissing me there is no stopping her and I literally have to come up for air. But it’s nice to be loved.
When I got home, Murphy gave me that “I can smell that you were with another dog” look, but he gave me a warm welcome anyway. The rest of the week was filled with long walks, chasing squirrels, cats, birds, and falling leaves. He had a play date with Madison Kaufmann the Puppy, and Molly Grob, the much older dame.
The only problem I have with the dogs staying with me, is that I do not have the heart to leave them by themselves. I know they’re just dogs and dogs can stay by themselves and they probably sleep most of the time, but when I’m getting ready to walk, they just give that look with those eyes as if pleading, “please don’t leave me here.”
One day when I was running to take Jerry to the train, I was going to leave Murphy behind, as it would just be 10 minutes. As my husband and I walked to the door, I said, “It’s really not a big deal to leave him here,” as if trying to make myself feel better. Then I scooped him up put him in the car and said, “Murphy, did you think I was actually going to leave you all alone?”
Then there are the home cooked meals that I prepare especially for him, and the hour-long walks that Jerry takes him on (I’m good for half-hour walks), and romping in the backyard and first step of our swimming pool, which hadn’t been covered yet. Which led me to the reason that I decided to have him groomed before I drove him home. Between burying and unburying his bones, rolling around in the mud when it rained and scampering through all the piles of leaves, he was definitely in need of some spa treatment.
On the day that I was taking him home, I brought him to the groomer and when asked what type of services I wanted, I looked at her and said, “Do I look like a grandmother that wouldn’t get the best package for their granddog?” She laughed and told me he would get special treatment. And he certainly did. He looked very handsome when he was done. There were no telltale signs of all that happened while he was here — because whatever happens in with Woodmere, stays in Woodmere, right Murphy?
And having nothing to do with the dogs whatsoever, this recipe is for those of you that didn’t get around to buying a big turkey, are only having a few people over, or just that want to keep it simple. It’s really a delicious recipe from Ina Gartner.
Ina Garten’s Herb Roasted Turkey Breast
1 whole bone-in turkey breast (5 to 7 pounds)
2 Tbsp. good olive oil
1 Tbsp. minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp. dry mustard
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage leaves
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup dry white wine
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the turkey breast on a rack in a roasting pan, skin side up.
In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture evenly all over the skin of the turkey breast. (You can also loosen the skin and smear half of the paste underneath, directly on the meat.) Pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan.
Roast the turkey for 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours, until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read meat thermometer registers 165 degrees when inserted into the thickest and meatiest area of the breast. Check the breast after an hour or so; if the skin is over browning, cover it loosely with aluminum foil. (Every oven is different so be sure to use your meat thermometer. I had to roast my turkey for about 2 hours. After 1-1/2 hours I tented my turkey and continued to roast another 30 minutes until the temperature read 165 degrees.)
When the turkey is done, remove from the oven, cover the pan with aluminum foil, and allow the turkey to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve warm with the pan juices.