Summer Grilling and Naughty Aja the Butter Thief

The idea was to fire up the charcoal grill, thus keeping the kitchen cool. Appealing, yes? In spite of this, I had the craving for a twice-baked potato …that canceled out the aforementioned cool kitchen. Oh well. They were worth it.

Do you want the recipe first or would you like to hear about the disobedient shiba inu? Hmmmm…Let me tell you about the potato first, it’s quick.

Wash the taters, rub them with salt, poke a few holes in the top and bake at 425 F for an hour plus…squeeze the potato and see if it’s ready. Now let them cool. You can do this an hour or so ahead of time.

Once cool, slice off top and scoop out flesh. Smash the cooked potato flesh with ricotta cheese, salt and pepper, and a touch of shredded cheddar. Pack this creamy mixture back into the potato and top with more cheddar. Bake another half hour at 375 F.

In the meantime, Doug and Tristan are grilling filet steaks and eggplant.

And I am getting the table set up, bread out, slicing the cantaloupe…….then I make the mistake of stepping out of the kitchen for under a minute, literally under 45 seconds. I hear a thud, I scuttle back into the kitchen to see Aja, standing on her hind legs like a Far Side dog, gripping the small tub of butter in her mouth and turning ( in slow motion it seems) to dart out of the kitchen and escape.

(This is a photo from a while back.....and she did not secure her target at this time...but you get the idea)

“Noooooooooooooooooo!” I honestly don’t know why I yelled because this only motivates her to run faster.

From outside, Tristan heard me yell NO and then I did call to him, “Tristan I need your HELP!”

Sprinting between the two kitchen doorways to cut off the means of escape, Tristan goes through one door and I though the other. As we advance on our wily shiba, comical to behold as the butter cup is up-ended over her snout, her eyes are bright as she outmaneuvers us and gets away, behind the sofa. Busted!

That butter, needless to say, had to be trashed.

And that isn’t the first time. Just two weeks ago Doug saw her grab a butter tub but she was able to dart upstairs and get under the bed. A perfectly straight and rigid line she was, dead in the center underneath the bed where we couldn’t reach her; lapping the butter up as fast as she could. Fortunately Tristan was home that night too and he did manage to grab her.

(For the record, if your dog has constipation issues, a dab or two of butter evidently clears the path of the problem. Enough said)

Back to dinner………very juicy, flawlessly charred filets, olive oiled grilled eggplant, twice-baked potatoes, baguette, salad, cantaloupe and wine.

Cool and crisp enough to put the overworked oven out of our thoughts. The potatoes were worth it, I have to say. And the butter now sits squarely in the center of the table …always monitored.

Grilled food has to be one of my all time favorites, how about you? What do you like to grill and do you prefer charcoal over gas?

We are charcoal fans but I am starting to see the wisdom of having a gas grill for quick jobs such as hotdogs or anything that needs a few minutes of cooking time.



Lord of Squirrel Head Manor said...

I seem to recognize that last photo of Aja...

Janel said...

Mmmm butter, it's what's for dinner! I cracked up reading about the theft and evasion technique.

Wandering Coyote said...

Bad doggy! They really will eat anything, eh?

Delicious meal, Pierce!

Katerina said...

Beauty can be found in simple things. All of them look very tasty.

Pierce said...

D - Oh, I knew you would :-)

Janel - Given opportunity, she'll eat anything. The way of the dog.

WC - The shibas are a challenge, but Hextall was the same about stealing. Thanks, it was good!

Katerina - Thank you so much for nice comment!

Magic of Spice said...

Your butter thief is gorgeous! And I would defiantly heat up my kitchen for one of those potatoes:)

Pierce said...

Magic of Spice - thank you, Aja says thaks too :-) I love potatoes, totally worth it.

Cajun Chef Ryan said...

Hey Tina, I agree with the outdoor grilling to keep the heat out and the cool in!

Don't ever give up on charcoal, as there is no shortcut to perfection!

Bon appetit!

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