Mar. 16th, 2019

I'm sure there's a true canonical version, so we can assume this is not that. This is a variation of Helen Corbitt's Beef Stroganoff, and if you can find The Helen Corbitt Cookbook (I think that's the title), I recommend it highly for being bar none the best cupboard cookbook in history for recipes that for the most part you will have all the ingredients on hand and with easy instructions. The woman worked the Neiman Marcus Zodiac room and still wrote how to eat like a normal person. Two thirds of my base recipe list come from her and I have this book in hardback that I got from my grandmother because if the end of the world comes and I have no internet, I still want to eat well.

beef strognaoff )
cream sauce fixes anything )
For [personal profile] alexseanchai: a less sweet and more bread-like coffee cake but it's not called coffee cake. I've posted this before but I can't find it so whatever, it's a damn good recipe.

This is also from The Helen Corbitt Cookbook.

vienna coffee cake )
The Magicians are giving me so many goddamn feelings I don't even know what to do with most of them. This is very much due to the fact that for the first time since I was in Queer As Folk (US) fandom, my pairing is going canon.

the magicians, queliot, mental illness )

This has been your rambling not-even-meta.
So growing up rural means you generally need to have at least one dog; that's just making sure rattlesnakes avoid you, water moccasins avoid you, feral dogs and cats avoid you, and a decent burglar alarm. Specifically, a dog that could survive: a middle-large to large dog.
background info: life and rural dogs )
My mother, all this time unbeknownst to me, has always wanted a small dog: a teacup poodle or--much much more--a Maltese. When we lived in the country, it wasn't practical; when we moved and kids still lived with her (multiple kids), it wasn't a good idea; now, however, she only lives with one child over the age of ten and my youngest sister. She is ready for her Maltese lap dreams to come true.

(The first time she showed interest a few years ago, things interfered, so this is technically Try Two At Maltese Dreams)

Mild digression: despite the fact she is not actually a cat person, Mom has four cats.

You're asking how. Fine.
yeah, this is how it happened )
My mission: to get my mom a tiny dog. An impractical dog. An overbred dog, even. A dog that sits on laps like animate fur and barks at a painfully high pitch and you can brush and groom and literally could fit in a purse. An adult, not puppy. I'll take a maltipoo or yorkipoo or maltiyork (not sure of name????) or shi-maltz or basically any single breed or crossbreed from a reputable breeder OR that shows up in a rescue or shelter and has been evaluated for temperament et al that involves a Maltese and/or Yorkie; it must be tiny and useless as other that adorableness. Pretty easy, you'd think.

I want to do this without having to take out a loan: not easy.

Here is what I learned about shelters: they almost never have tiny dogs except chihuahuas and vaguely impossible/unholy/wtf chihuahua crossbreeds, because rescues get them before they go public.

(Note: It's not that chihuahuas aren't awesome, I've been around them/played with them my entire life, but if you've met one, you understand that's a dog you have to want specifically for what it is, be ready for, and commit to. It's made of nothing but energy and barking, and unless you can be damn sure of the temperament, not one to be around anyone under ten at best as they get cranky. Like, yeah, there are exceptions--I've seen some zen Chihuahuas--but you really can't count on that.

Exception: one of the random dogs that appeared in my life when I lived in the country was a dachshund-chihuahua mix and broke all the laws of both breeds by being what you might consider a particularly lazy sausage-shaped, chihuahua-headed sloth of good humor who preferred to be supine above all things. People who met it were utterly baffled by its existence, and I doubt I shall ever see it's like again.)

So far, I have learned this about rescues from Mom (and from contacting them or reading their literature): it takes less effort to get a goddamn passport (and possibly, security clearance at the Pentagon) than to secure a tiny dog.

One required an application, home visit/home assessment, family assessment, and then you could meet the dog (FOR THE FIRST TIME) under controlled conditions and perhaps at some point may actually get it no promises. One also had a background check. One had super strict rules about having other pets in the home across the board, not just relative to a dog's evaluation of temperament. All required some genuinely unsettling contracts you had to sign. Some had waiting lists that apparently can take decades. Fee ranged from $300-$600. This is only the stuff I remember, by the way, and that doesn't take into account how they make you feel really super judged when no, you're not really interested in the dog with some problems with children/other animals/existence and has a speckled history when it comes to using his teeth or bladder.

So reputable breeders and possibly taking out a loan for a pet-quality dog or retired show dog: oh God and I have no idea. See, that would require them answering inquiries about their dogs (as their sites have a tendency not to want to put up prices or even vague price ranges), which seems to be something of a problem since it can take a month after I ask about the ones I saw on the site for them to tell me all their dogs are gone like months ago (so why didn't you update your goddamn site already?) or the site says 'they could have dogs please inquire' but same problem as above.

Which means I'm on craigslist, even though it makes me nervous for various reasons including but not limited to:

1.) unless they're a reputable breeder, I could be hitting a goddamn puppy mill or backyard breeder and no. Fortunately, I am not in the market for puppies of any kind so not much of a worry.

2.) if it's a rehoming of an adult (and I assume 'one' isn't true), I have no idea about individual temperament or judge the probability using the dog's parents and generally you need more than a few minutes to judge how a dog reacts to cats, children, yards, et al. Yes, the seller said it's great with pets and kids, but don't they all? Who the hell says 'dog is hostile to the Achilles tendon and eats baby toes' or 'likes to pee in snoring mouths' or 'tried to kill me in my sleep with its tiny teeth, picture of scars available on request' and expects a response, much less anyone to pay $750 for their little psychopath?

3.) fee is $300 to $900 and are you fucking kidding me?? For your used, potentially demon-spawned luxuriously furred monster??????

It's so frustrating because yes, I get this isn't serious or a huge issue, but growing up, we were working class to poor most of the time. My mom didn't get to buy new clothes for years, she didn't get to have nice things or do nice things (she had to worry about paying bills and if the phone would get turned off and how much my dad would spend whether he was employed or not), she worked full time to make ends meet while clinically depressed, with anxiety, and subject to panic attacks sometimes on a daily basis (all this while on medication), and honestly, I don't think she actually liked living in the country and that doesn't include what little but very unpleasant knowledge I have of her childhood. Yes, now she's doing wonderfully financially, she can pay all her bills and even has a stock account, is in a better place and everything, but that kind of history lingers.

So by God, I want her to get her luxury dream dog. An impractical dog. A tiny dog whose only duties are to be goddamn adorable and sit in her lap and let her brush it's fur or whatever. And for less than two semesters at a community college, please.

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    We wouldn't hurt you, Lex, and we'll give you power and greatness and oh so much sex...
    Wow. That was scary. Lex is like Jesus in the desert.
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