Thanksgiving Day is all about giving thanks, family, tradition and food.
We've used my aunt's recipe for cooking the turkey for years. Putting it in the oven in the evening, cooking it until the "smell of turkey" fills the house, and then turning the oven temperature down for the rest of the night.
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Even if we were to sleep through it, our dogs have always let us know when the oven temperature needs to be turned down.
While cooking Thanksgiving dinner for family and friends is the focus for several weeks, it can also include cooking a special treat for our dogs. Since a lot of people are cooking for their dogs, anywhere from feeding them a complete diet they prepare themselves, to occasionally baking a batch of homemade treats, there are a lot of recipes available.
I found one provided by Catherine Hess of the Humane Society of the United States that includes carrots, other vegetables and peanut butter. You can even freeze some of the dough and bake it later, maybe for your dog's Christmas cookies. (As always, consult your veterinarian with any questions regarding diet and nutrition for your dog).
2 cups cooked and cooled carrots
1 ripe banana, peeled, or another cup of cooked, cooled vegetables
1 cup soy milk
1-1/2 cups peanut butter
2 tbsp. molasses
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ cup nutritional yeast (optional)
2 cups white flour, plus more for dusting
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Blend the banana and vegetables (you can substitute peas, green beans, or your dog's favorite vegetable) in a food processor. Add the soy milk, peanut butter and molasses and blend again.
Sift together the whole wheat flour and baking powder, then add to the wet mixture and blend well.
Pour the batter into a large mixing bowl. Add the nutritional yeast, if using, and 1 cup of white flour and stir thoroughly. Knead in the second cup of white flour, adding more flour if necessary to make a stiff dough. Divide the dough into four parts.
Roll out a piece of dough on a floured board to 1/8-inch thick. Using a cookie cutter or knife, cut into shapes. Place the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet. You can put them close because they don't spread out.
Bake for 10 minutes, or until they start to brown. Turn them over and bake for another 10 minutes. They should be as crisp as crackers. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely.
Repeat with the other three parts of dough, or freeze the remaining dough to bake later. Store the cooled biscuits in a covered container in the refrigerator.
In addition to giving healthy foods to our dogs, Healthypet.com (the website of the AAHA -- American Animal Hospitals Association) lists foods that can be dangerous to our pets. These foods include alcoholic beverages, chocolate, any candy containing the sweetener Xylitol, grapes and raisins.
Thanksgiving dinner festivities and guests may be stressful on our dogs, so give them a calm, safe place with food, water, his toys and soft music. After the festivities, take him for a nice, slow walk around the block. Spending time with your dog is one more thing to be thankful for.
Santa Paws pictures: Mark your calendars for pictures with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Paws Dec. 1, 8 and 15 at the shelter. Photos are $7.50. The Buddy Boutique will be open for Christmas shopping and goodies from our bake sale will be available.
• Contact The Buddy Foundation at (847) 290-5806; visit us at 65 W. Seegers Road, Arlington Heights; or online at thebuddyfoundation.org.