Aug 21, 2008

Recipe for Disaster

By Stephanie Abney

NOTE: My life is so wonderful BUT SO CRAZY right now as I try to settle into a routine and have lesson plans ready at least a day ahead of my class ~ being a first year teacher at my age is just plain nuts... But, I love it and it's going well, as long as I don't sleep too much!! hee hee. I'm kind of running on empty and still have a mountain of things to do before I leave for school so please forgive me for posting something previously written. Those in my ANWA chapter are familiar with it and I even ran it past the online crtique group a number of years ago, but everyone seems to enjoy it when they hear or read it and I'm off to get school stuff ready so, for the many newcomers over the last few years, enjoy [TRUE STORY]:


I’m a rather off-the-wall and frugal homemaker, always on the lookout for new, unusual and inexpensive ways to manage our home. Whenever I come across an idea about making something from scratch, with things already on hand, I’m truly in my element.

Imagine my delight when the very morning that I emptied the last kibble of dog food into our dog’s dish I happened to read a recipe in the newspaper for “Homemade Dog Food Patties.” As I read the ingredients, my excitement rose. Oh, I have all of this on hand, I thought to myself. For the ground meat I could use that six-year-old elk meat at the bottom of the freezer. I knew that old weevil infested rice would come in handy some day… surely it could only mean more protein for the dog. She wouldn’t know the difference anyway. I was certain that they ate insects somewhere in the world so I figured I’d just broaden my dog’s horizons and consider this an intercontinental delicacy, weevils and all.

I dug to the bottom of the freezer, retrieved the ground elk meat and popped it in the microwave to defrost and then set the rice and weevils to boil on top of the stove. Next, I went to work chopping onions and grating carrots. I carefully diced the celery and joyfully combined everything together in a large bowl. I shaped about a dozen patties of homemade dog food on a cooking sheet and popped them into the oven. Finally, I washed up my bowl, pans and utensils, wiped the counter and got ready to run some errands. The patties were done just as it was time to leave the house. I left them on the stovetop to cool and congratulated myself on providing food for our dog while making use of ingredients that would have otherwise gone to waste.

About forty minutes later I pulled into my driveway. I noticed that it was perfect timing as my husband, Jim, had already parked his car and was no doubt home on his lunch break. As I entered the kitchen I was about to call out to Jim to see what kind of sandwich he would like. Instead, I stood amazed, staring at the three empty spots on the cookie sheet that had previously been home to my dog food patties. Hoping against hope that the cat had jumped up on the counter and helped herself, I called out to Jim, “Uh, do you know what happened to those patties that were here when I left?”

He replied, “Do you mean the ones you left out for my lunch?” YIKES!!!


  1. This is the first time I've read this and I'm laughing too hard to say more than in my house it's been the dogs eating the human food.

  2. I guess it means extra protein for Jim as well!! How funny. I guess he must have liked it, eating three of them :) Did he appreciate the humor of the situation, or did you find that in this instance silence was the best policy!! Life is great.

  3. lol...Stephanie, that is very funny! Thanks for adding wonderful humor to my day!

  4. I must not have read it before, Stephanie, for I surely would have remembered. My guess is that it will get from a chuckle to a belly laugh out of everyone fortunate to read it.

    As to the nutritive value of wevil, my husband said that during the really hungry period of his POW time in Germany, he was happy to see wevil in the scant cup of dehydrated vegetable soup the Germans were able to come up with. He at least hoped they meant it contained a bit of protein. He lived through it--just as your husband obviously did.

    Hooray for wevil. They, too, have their place in creation. YUCK!

  5. Actually, Jim is so easy-going with stuff like this ~ it must be the Boy Scout in him. He said they tasted good and he didn't care about the weevils. I do think he's getting a little tired of being teased about it though... so, if you see him, better not bring it up... hee hee.


  6. I'm guessing this was one of those startling events that make us stop our crazy lives and laugh hysterically. I love it.
    Sarah Albrecht

  7. It sounds too much like what happened in my family growing up. Dad and the boys went hunting every year for deer and or elk. Mom would mix some in with the beef or pork to make the tast more palatable. We always got weavels in the wheat and or rice. More than once we had hot breakfast cereal with a little extra protein - we were told since it was boiled it was safe to eat - and were given grief if we didn't down it. Your recipe sounds much like the meatloaf my mother made for our family to eat. She let us know we couldn't pick and choose. She was a child during the second world war and had nothing to eat so often she would remind us we were blessed and had nothing to complain about. Our dogs, pigs, and cows got the scraps from our table and the weeds from the garden. I can still remember my little brother stuffing his mouth full of the grain we fed the horses and cows - he thought it tasted better than the cereal we at in the house (rolled oats and corn.)


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