Monday, September 26, 2011

Love, loss and comfort(food)

Today’s blog was supposed to be filled with all the joy that a five-year old’s birthday can bring. It was supposed to have pictures of birthday cake, kids batting a pinata, and running wild with reckless abandon as only little children can.

And then life happened.

A phone call from work usually means one thing. Someone called in sick and the ED needs staff. But today was different. “Angel your neighbor called and said your dog is sick. Really sick”.


Told my sis-in-law bye and flew home.

Found my Choco boy in the corner of the yard in a full-blown tonic-clonic seizure.


That’s what I’m trained to do.

Call the vet. Oh crap, it’s Sunday. They’re closed. Call the ER Vet.

Ok, get him in the car. He’s too big. I can’t lift him, especially while he’s seizing.


My sisters came immediately, without question or a moment’s hesitation.

Titi rode in the bed of the truck. I watched her in the rearview mirror and was overwhelmed by what I saw. She held my boy, stroked him, talked to him. She prayed the entire ride there. He is her family, too.

Sissy sat beside me & kept me grounded.

Get to the pet ER. All eyes on us. Brief history and the vet techs take him away, still seizing.

Permission to be mom again. No longer detached. Wait, worry. Worry, wait.

Mrs. Preza the doctor will see you.

“Guarded”, “no prognosis”, “gastric lavage”, “intubate”.

Back to the waiting room. Now Duke’s here.

Back to see the doctor again. Same story all over for Duke.

VIsit Choco. Prone, unconscious, unsedated and intubated.

“Go home & rest. I’ll call in the morning”.

10:45 the vet called. “He’s better. He’s swallowing and we extubated him. I’ll call in the morning”.

Stupid, stupid false hope.

11:30 another call. “Choco’s in arrest, respiratory and cardiac. We’re doing CPR”.

“Stop. Please. Just stop. We are on are way in to see him now”.

Sign papers. Pet my boy one last time. Go home. No, not yet. Just a second longer with him. One final time to touch his chocolate muzzle.

Ok, now. Breathe.

Purple collar in hand, we head home.

Woke up this morning with a sense of profound loss. But comforted by all the texts, messages, emails, and calls we have received. My friends, my familiy, you have comforted me.

Choco bear, you came into my life as a gift from Duke because I had a run of bad luck. 10 years you have been in our lives and have given us a hell of a time our “special” son. We love & miss you!

Now food is the last thing on my mind, but my comfort food as promised. 

Mini Mac and Cheese Pies

Servings: 8


1 and 1/2 cups Ritz crackers, crushed**I used one whole sleeve and used my food processor to crush the crackers

2 cups white cheddar cheese, grated and divided

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

4 and 1/2 cups cooked elbow macaroni (about 8 ounces uncooked)

One 5.2-ounce container of Boursin Garlic and Herb cheese

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold

2 large eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pinch red pepper flakes

Parsley, for garnish, optional


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Generously spray 8 cups of your muffin pan with cooking spray.

3. In a large bowl, combine the crushed Ritz crackers, 1 cup of the shredded white cheddar cheese, and the melted butter, mixing well until the mixture holds together and resembles coarse sand.

4. Divide the mixture among the 8 muffin cups and, using your fingers or the back of a spoon, firmly press the crust into the bottoms and up the sides of each muffin cup.

5. In another large bowl, combine the cooked (and still hot!) macaroni with 1/2 cup of the shredded white cheddar, the Boursin cheese, and the butter, mixing well.

6. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, milk, sour cream, salt, and red pepper flakes, mixing well.

7. Add the egg/milk mixture to the cooked macaroni, mixing until all the ingredients are melted and smooth.

8. Place about 2-3 tablespoons of the macaroni mixture into each muffin cup (you will probably have a little leftover macaroni-I did. Save this and bake it separately, if desired.)

9. Top each muffin cup with the remaining white cheddar.

10. Bake the mac and cheese pies until lightly golden on top, about 20-25 minutes.

11. Let cool slightly before removing from the muffin pan, garnish with parsley, and serve immediately.
Source: Adapted from The Deen Bros. Take it Easy, via Epicurious.

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