Was that really only 6 weeks ago?

Wow, it’s hard to believe that only six weeks have passed since my last post. When I blandly noted on March 22 that it would be crazy to raise a puppy and a business concurrently, I was wildly understating the case.  These past six weeks have been filled with messy accidents on the floor, ongoing struggles to instil discipline, tail-wagging joys AND moments of pathetic whining—and that’s just for me and Little Kitchen Gourmet.

Jules and her boys, Archie and Zeke

Finley’s past month and a half has been equally eventful, with less whining.  He has almost quadrupled his weight.  He completed his shots at the vet and charmed his way into the heart of the staff there. He has learned to go to the door when he needs to do his business…but omits the crucial step of making noise so we’ll know to let him out in time.  He has ridden on the subway and gotten used to the car.  He has flunked out of one puppy school (long story for later) and started at another called Personal Paws, which is a million times better.  He has made a puppy friend named Zeke and enjoyed playdates I’ve set up with Zeke’s friendly owner Jules. (Yes, playdates arranged by texts!  Things have changed in the 30-odd years since I last had a dog in my life!)

Because of his incomplete grasp of house-training, when at home Finley is mostly restricted to South Korea (our kitchen). But we bring him for supervised strolls through the demilitarized zone of our living and dining rooms, under the baleful gaze of furry foes Leo and Leah.  They position themselves on either side of him to hiss and snarl madly, clearly prepared to go nuclear… while Finn wags his tail and plunks himself down to cheerfully chew on their catnip mouse. He is frankly oblivious to our cats and I think it is this ignominy they find hardest to endure.  There’s no fun in hating someone’s guts when they obviously don’t give a damn.

What me, worry? Finn slumbers with Lambchop, while a malign feline chorus hisses out of frame but less than a foot from his head.

What, me, worry? Finn slumbers with Lambchop, while a malign feline chorus hisses out of frame but less than a foot from his head.

In the meantime, I have set up shop in the wonderful commercial kitchen of Madame Gateaux.

Habanero jelly underway. FYI I use Realemon Juice instead of fresh lemon for most jams and jellies because it is dependably acidic. This is necessary for safe preserving. The acid level of fresh squeezed lemons varies from lemon to lemon.

Habanero jelly underway in Madame Gateaux’s gleaming kitchen. FYI I use Realemon Juice instead of fresh lemon for most jams and jellies because it is dependably acidic. This is necessary for safe preserving. The acid level of freshly squeezed lemons varies from lemon to lemon.

Madame Gateaux is a wonderful place on the Danforth just a few minutes from my home, owned by cake and pastry chef Noel Yim.  At the back you find her commercial kitchens where she prepares her own cake orders, and conducts classes.  When not in use, she rents the kitchens out for use by folks like me. I love cooking at that professional kitchen, with its multiple uncluttered, spacious, gleaming stainless steel counters that are perfect for prepping all my products…or performing an autopsy should I ever tire of jams and jellies. (Unlikely.)

What adds to the convenience is that, at the front of her business, Noel operates a baking and kitchen supply store. She has a terrific range of wares at great prices. This really saves time and money for me because if I need something mid-batch, I can often get it from Noel in a flash.

Must stop blogging and get moving. Finn needs a walk and I need to start finding spots for the show materials Fred and I plunked in the demilitarized zone last night.  We spent the weekend at the Buckhorn Fair in Buckhorn, Ontario, commuting both ways each day. About two hours each way.

We got nice comments on our booth in Buckhorn.

We got nice comments on our booth in Buckhorn.

Very tiring but well worth it because we sold a lot of product.  And because it’s so much damn fun to be out in the world, presenting products of which I’m really proud to a constantly changing cast of characters, be they customers or other vendors.  Every connection is a little slice of life and that’s awfully fine after more than twenty dogless years spent writing copy in my basement office.

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