After 13 years, Bentley, our dog, got sick. She had a mass in her abdomen and before we could find out exactly what the mass was, she took a turn for the worse. Thanks to an amazing vet, Reinmarie Williman, from Veterinary Care of Mt. Pleasant, who is probably the most caring doctor I have ever met, we decided, as a family, and with her guidance, that the best thing for this member of our family was to put her out of her misery. But taking her to the vet’s office was going to just stress her out and that is what we all wanted to avoid. So, before her work day started, the doctor came to us. Bentley was able to stay on her bed, in our arms, as she was allowed the grace to no longer be in pain. Her life ended as she had lived it; surrounded by so much love, the same love she had always given us. Just before the end, Reinmarie bent down and gave her a kiss.
I miss her sitting next to my desk as I work. No longer there to talk to or hug when I want some company. It’s lonely. When I look outside, I see a stone marking where she now is. The place was one of her favorite spots, it was where she surveyed her property and watched over us.
I won’t tell you about her crooked smile, or her white eyelashes, or how her ears perked up when we asked if she wanted the exact thing she did want, or how much she loved her squeak toys and watched every stitch I made when I’d repair one of the toys she’d gotten too aggressive with, or how extraordinarily loving she was, because if you’ve had an animal you already know.
It was going to be a miserable day unless I found something that would keep me focused and distracted. There was a French recipe for Pain d’Épices (spiced bread) that I’ve been wanting to make and this seemed like the perfect time.
Pain d’Epieces is a cake/bread that is widely available and eaten in France and one of my favorites. It’s versatile and served as a snack for le goûter (afternoon snack) or thinly sliced served with foie gras or as a wonderful contrast when combined with cheese like blue cheese, goat, camembert, or brie.
I’m not a natural baker, so I really have to focus on the recipe and all the steps necessary to get the result—perfect distraction.
My brother and sister-in-law came by for lunch and stayed all afternoon. I was going to cancel so I could indulge my sorrow, but instead I decided that it would be great to see them. They would understand if I got teary in front of them. Spending the day with them was a blessing. They allowed me to be sad, while listening to me reminisce about a loyal friend that I loved.
The result of my baking challenge wasn’t great. I liked the flavor, but the texture was dense and gummy. It’s going to take more research and a few more tries to get it right. My motivation is the thought that I won’t have to wait until I’m in France to eat a slice of pain d’épices.
As soon as I find the right combination of spice and technique, I’ll post the recipe for you to try.
IT’S A JOURNEY
Follow along and find out what I’m doing to have Le Kitchen Cookbook: a Workbook become a best-seller in 2022.
I need to keep in mind that my attention has to stay on just this one goal, and make certain that what I put down to do is laser focused on the result I want to achieve—no distractions allowed.
Check in next week and see how I’m doing and what is next on my agenda. I’ll be honest and let you know.
Thank you for all your support.
Want to be part of the conversation? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll get back to you. Merci
Comments will be approved before showing up.