Monday, February 4, 2013

Puppy Love...

I had a lot of big plans for the weekend, but work got in the way.  Sort of.  I was absolutely determined to have success making puppy jerky this weekend.  It was my mission.  Ever have that kind of feeling, that something is important enough to you that you are willing to push yourself to make it happen?

My boys have been a bit down, since all their favorite treats have been recalled and my cousin was taunting me, whether she knew it or not.  The post with my favorite dog recipes was posted, the challenge thrown down, and my Gator was missing his meat.  He is definitely a meat eater, and a Milk Bone biscuit was simply not going to cut it.

A quick internet search told me where the nearest store was with a jerky gun and I already had two dehydrators.  Long story.  On the way home I stopped by Bed, Bath & Beyond and picked up an inexpensive jerky gun and came home prepared to master Dog Treats 101, Jerky. 

I had picked up the chicken livers and ground beef the night before, and despite my immense dislike of livers (how many different words are there for GROSS anyhow!) I set about chopping them into small bits.  My Gator and Neeko watching with immense interest.  Mixed the beef and chopped livers, convinced it was strictly love that was going to get me through that adventure, ewwww...

I did not have much luck with the gun, but then I also don't use a cookie press.  Somehow despite the chunks of liver causing me issues I managed to fill 8 trays with rather pathetic looking jerky sticks.  Hubby was sweet enough to snap pictures for me, and I was pretty proud of the fact that I had made it work, sort of...

Fast forward four hours, the directions said wait four hours and they should be ready.  Well... they.... were.... sort of.  They were leathery and smelled like dog treats, unfortunately they were also stuck.  Livers don't become jerky well.  My boys were in heaven, looks don't really matter when you are talking chicken livers and beef, they were both very happy with the shredded jerky.  Very happy! It looked like that shredded jerky kids buy pretending it is tobacco.  But when you are a four legged fur baby deprived of meat treats because of poison, they are heaven!

Not to be deterred I started doing more research.  I found a new website, that actually included directions to make chicken jerky, Gator's favorite treat in the world.  First thing this morning before leaving for my dentist appointment and work I was off to the store.  Determined to make my boys true jerky treats.

Sharpening the knife, I carefully sliced the chicken breasts into equal thicknesses and loaded the trays.  This was definitely going to be something new for me.  Then I mixed up a batch of "people jerky" too, I was determined to master that gun. Carefully I squeezed out semi close to the same length and thickness strips of beef jerky and loaded another four trays.

The waiting started, the waiting when you are not a patient person is brutal!  Thank goodness I had a dentists appointment anything to keep me busy. I left hubby babysitting the jerky, it wouldn't make his headache worse and I was hoping he wouldn't succumb to the delicious smells filling the house.

I stopped back home before heading in to work.  Unfortunately it was not done and I had to go to work.  I kept waiting to hear from hubby, to let me know how it was  turning out. Nothing, nothing, nothing... AMAZING! The pictures and texts showed me that I had figured it out. The boys munching the strips of chicken jerky and rapidly running back, hoping for another strip confirmed it!

I can't wait to try another batch, but it is going to have to wait a few days, hopefully they won't look too cute while staring at the fridge.  They are smart enough to know that is where it is stashed.  Good thing they don't have thumbs to open the fridge themselves.