I love these things. They're part of how I do things: create. Bake. Cook. And good cooks know that your equipment really shouldn't look Calphalon fancy, but be hold-the-heat-good!
This is my 4 1/2 quart Cast Aluminum Dutch Oven. It's not pretty. It's not fancy. But Cast Aluminum holds and maintains an even heat better than any other pan I've ever used, including the fancy new layered looks. Many layered pans have cast aluminum on the INSIDE layer, covered by copper or stainless because they're prettier, but when you're making sauces or candies, an even heat is crucial. With my cast aluminum kettles, I get that and you can find these babies for a SONG at garage sales. Because most people have no clue what a treasure they've got. And cast aluminum is HEAVY. If it looks like this, but it's light, it's not the right thing, so save your .50.
So mating dogs... You knew I'd get to that, right? Our Golden Retriever Sadie came into 'season' two weeks ago but with Christmas I wasn't sure if I'd messed up because we were busy. So I had Mick (our stud dog, and just a gorgeous fellow) come visit.
Libby-the-Poodle (gorgeous, smart, nice, did I mention smart? dog who has the nicest puppies I've ever met each and every time) goes into heat a week after Sadie. Which means simultaneous puppies if they both take, but that's another blog.
|This was Libby last spring, taking care of Maddie's puppies. And yes, she'd nurse them. She's such a good dog.|
Mick thinks Libby's adorable, but he FALLS IN LOVE WITH SADIE... Because now she's ready.
|Sadie with her 2011 litter of little red puppies.|
As for Libby? Well, time will tell. We're KEEPING MICK here for another week, just to cover all the bases. (Note the baseball analogy, spring training is short weeks away)... We've retired Maddie. She'll just stay here and be our dog now.
|This is "Maddie"|
|These are "Golden Doodle" pups.... a cross of a Golden Retriever and a Poodle. And yes, they're just as beautiful when they grow up!|
But I've learned a lot. And if we end up with two litters this year, a week apart, I'm in for a busy spring but that's okay. Life on a farm should get busy in spring, right? And if Dave caves and puts up fencing for Alpacas, well... :) Then I'll have some new animal friends to blog about!