Updated 2011-08-23 17:46:00 ID=648:0

© 2011 The Romantic Table
©2008 The Romantic Table, Susan McGourty's Table Talk, a California Central Coast Lifestyle blog. 2011-06-09 16:33:16:80
©2008 The Romantic Table

Susan McGourty's Table Talk

Manly-cooking for the two males in the house.

Though I've been married for almost thirty-nine years, it wasn't until I started cooking for my ailing German Shepherd did I learn just how similar my dog and husband food cravings are!

As I mentioned in an earlier Blog Celebrate the Little Things, my German Shepherd and best side-kick has Lymphoma Cancer and the Vets are treating him with chemotherapy. It's been a learning and emotionally tolling experience in more ways than one!

I've been walking a fine line of catering to him (my dog!) while trying not to over-spoil him and turn him into a monster! He loves to go for rides, so at least once a day, I load him up in the back of my Jeep and we drive down to one of the neighboring wineries, pick-up the mail and paper and have a few private moments together doing our errand together.

The cardinal rule for canine cancer is "don't let them hurt and don't let them go hungry." Well now, I'm a cook --and Italian- and those two facts alone instill in me the mantra "Feed!' "Feed!" "Feed!" --especially when it's my best-buddy with those penetrating eyes! But it wasn't until this past weekend when I thought that my GSD (German Shepherd Dog) was on his deathbed that I REALLY pulled-out the all the stops and started making custom-cooked meals to pull him through! That's when I discovered (though I had plenty of hints earlier over the years) just HOW SIMILAR my husband's food-cravings and those of my GSD are almost the same--excluding the wine!

My dog hadn't eaten a full meal in three or four days and we were desperate to get him eating and strong again! As my husband rummaged through our refrigerators, and started pulling out a lot of his favorite cheeses and meats. "This is the time for manly-foods-NO chick-foods for us guys!", he proclaimed to "Brock", my dog.

Sunday afternoon as my two most-loved males in the world lunched on a smorgasbord of homemade meatloaf, Italian sausages, cheddar cheese, asiago cheese, provolone, and cotija cheese, I marveled at their food-fun adventure together. Then my GSD had a few pieces of his stinky dog kibble "beasty-chow" for dessert! (My husband though chose fruit and Double Chocolate Milanos for his!)

While the two of them nibbled (or should I say gorged themselves!) my husband was running commentary to "Brock" that "this is a lesson out there for all those unmarried females who are hoping for their 'Mr. Right' to come along. Feed a man like you would a German Shepherd and you'll have marital bliss -- and always plenty of food in the pantry!"

While I was watching this odd scene, I was mentally conjuring up all sorts of ideas as "the perfect 'Brock-food' recipes." So on Monday I went to the store with the most carnivorous grocery list I had ever written! Now normally when I get into the check-out aisle, I usually get a comment from a fellow grocery shopper such a "you eat a healthier diet than I do" as they marvel at my 80% quantity of produce -and get multiple bags of grocery items yet manage to keep the register balance at a reasonable amount. --Not that Monday! --Judging from all the meat, cheese and dairy products I bought, you would have thought I was feeding a boys high school football team! --But it was all for my GSD --and my husband!

Now by Tuesday, I HAVE cooked up some of those "Male-laden no-chick recipes" and my dog and husband have had a remarkable improvement! My GSD's "abnormally HUGE" lymph-nodes have shrunk back to normal-size (also with the help of some extra new drugs that the new Vet has prescribed) and now he's enjoying himself with all his "custom meals." And my husband has feasted on plenty of manly meats to get him through a few more of my "unmanly chick-food recipes!"

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A tip from Sue!

The Practical Cook

At the heart of great cooking is a practical cook. Don’t experiment with a new recipe for company.

Use tried and true recipes for those occasions so you can reduce your worries and enjoy the meal and entertaining.