It’s Labor Day weekend. One last family gathering, one last BBQ, one last picnic.
It’s Labor Day weekend. The last of the garden has been harvested, all the fruit has been picked, red, white and blue decorations has been replaced with pumpkins and foliage.
It’s Labor Day weekend. The last weekend before the pool closes. The last weekend of tourist season. The last weekend of summer. Summer homes and cabins are closed up for the coming of winter, shorts and swimsuits are put away until next spring, cool refreshing salads are replaced with hearty soups and stews.
It’s Labor Day weekend. It’s potato salad, slaw and beans. It’s watermelon and homemade ice cream. It’s hotdogs and ribs on the grill, smoke curling up through the trees, the aroma of grilled meat lightly flavoring the air. It’s dogs underfoot and under the table, hoping to score a dropped hotdog or a rib bone or two. It’s three Bernese Mountain Dogs praying someone will toss them a bone. It’s three dogs, each hoping to grab the bone before the other two dogs discover who has the prize. It’s discovering dog bones might be good puppy sitters, but the vet bill is much, much more expensive….
Now, when we go over to friends for BBQ, and we want the girls to be on their best behavior while we are gone, we bribe them with Kongs. Filled with peanut butter and placed in the freezer, Frozen Peanut Butter Kongs can keep the girls entertained for hours while we enjoy our night out. Tiamo would grab hers and run for her special spot in the middle of the living room. Amore takes her Kong into the bedroom to her dog pillow and Dolce jumps over the couch on to her blanket, the Kong clenched tightly in her jaws. Not a peep is heard out of the dogs except the slurping and licking while mauling the Kongs to get to the cold treat inside. About an hour later, Tiamo moseys’ over to Amore and Dolce, slyly investigating to see if they are still working on their Kongs, and unsuccessfully trying to steal their treat. Amore covers her Kong with her paw, not letting Tiamo close enough to be in grabbing distance. Dolce has taken to the habit of carrying her Kong with her where ever she goes, not willing to risk one of the other dogs taking her Kong.
PBK’s are our new puppy sitter. It is the only time, the girls don’t care if they are left behind at home. In fact, they are so excited at the prospect of a PBK, they can’t wait for us to leave. And, let me tell ya, they know when there is a possibility of getting a Kong. They know the sound of the freezer door opening and sound of rummaging around for the Kongs. The minute we hand them their Kong, we don’t even exist. Each dog is in their own Peanut Butter nirvana.
It’s Labor Day weekend: BBQ, Ice cream and Peanut Butter Kongs!
PEANUT BUTTER & CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 cups whole milk
- 4 eggs
- 2 cans sweetened condensed milk
- 1 1/2 cups chunky peanut butter
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- rock salt
In a double boiler, bring the water to boil. Combine sugar, chocolate chips, and whole milk in top of double boiler. Reduce heat to low, and cook until sugar is dissolved and chocolate chips are melted, stirring occasionally. Stir in peanut butter and eggs, remove from heat. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Mix until completely blended.
Pour mixture into freezer container (3 quart size). Place freezer in the ice cream bucket and add about 4 inches of ice in the space between the freezer and bucket. Layer ice with 1/2 cup of so of salt. continue laying ice and salt to the top of the bucket. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. When freezer stops, remove the freezer paddle from the container and place container in freezer for at least an hour before serving.
WARNING: Do not let dogs near peanut butter jar. Has been known to disappear.