My disappointment with corporate stores during the holidays – Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, pick one – is that they seem to be entirely focused on selling their souls out, rather than on giving something BACK to their customers at this special time of year, even when the messaging from these very same stores professes GIVING, CARING, and SHARING.
I’ve been around long enough to remember how much we kids (and adults) looked forward with great anticipation to what the Christmas windows would look like “this year.” There were themes and wonderful scenarios created in store windows that would lead the observer into a fantasy land, and for at least a moment, it was not about the buying but about the wonder and magic of it all. Even SEARS, a totally middle class store, went out of its way to set up a beautiful nativity scene in its picture window on the corner of Geary Boulevard and Masonic Avenue. One did not have to be a Christian to enjoy the fun and beauty of these decorations which proclaimed that this was not any ordinary month but one of celebration and appreciation.
Fast forward to our age of technology, and we are shopping less in stores, more online and hardly the tide will turn. So where and from whom can we experience the joy of celebration and appreciation? From BOWSER!
This year baking homemade treats for the special four-legged friends in my life has given me more joy than shopping for any present. The feedback from my furry friends is more than gratifying!
It takes no time at all to whip up these savory crackers. While designed with canines in mind, even Bowser’s owner can to dip a “bone” into a hot cup of coffee. Make them, share them and experience the magic of the holidays, when caring about BOWSER gives back in spades. Tessie’s Treats are sure to bring an enthusiastic woof from your pet(s) at home. Happy Holidays, one and all.
Tessie’s Treats: 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour or gluten free flour, 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour, 1 1/4 cups cornmeal or polenta, 1 1/4 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup wheat germ (toasted, optional), 1/2 cup date sugar, 1-2 tablespoons baking powder, 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt, 6 ounces sweet butter (cut into pieces), 1 full cup filtered water, 1/2 cup chopped herbs – optional (parsley, dill).
Directions: Pulse dry ingredients in a food processor to blend. Add butter, and pulse again. Add water, and pulse until a large ball forms. Divide the dough into two pieces, wrapping one in plastic wrap until you get to it. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a well-floured board, roll out one of the balls to 1/3 – 1/4″ thick. Use a cookie cutter (shaped like a bone) to cut your biscuits and place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet (those with air pockets work best for even browning). Close spacing is o.k. as these do not spread.
Gather leftover dough, and roll again to make more cutouts. (Optional: brush the biscuits with an egg or your favorite wash to make them glisten. Bake for 25-35 minutes until done and dry. Makes 5-6 dozen. Pack in festive cellophane bags for gift giving.