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Sunday, September 17, 2006


We have a major skunk problem in the neighborhood this year. Every night they come into the yard and stink us out. Last night Lucy (our dog) got sprayed in the face at bedtime. Hideous! Poor girl had to sleep in the studio, which really annoyed the cats. Rick went out first thing this morning for tomato juice. I mixed it with hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and shampoo. Then we both suited up in old clothes and gave her a bath. She hates baths. It was not pleasant for anyone involved... The good news - there was ice on the bird bath this morning, which means that the little stinkers will go into hibernation soon... hopefully not under our porch...

I'm quite sure we deserve some delicious vodka cream pasta for dinner tonight. It's a Rachel Ray recipe. I saw her make it on Oprah the other day, and have been dreaming of it ever since.
Maybe you need some too. If you can't come over, here's the recipe:

"You Won't Be Single for Long" Vodka Cream Pasta
Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray
Serves 4

Vodka Cream Pasta It's Rachael Ray's most romantic dish!

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, once around the pan in a slow stream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (32 ounces)
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • 16 ounces pasta, such as penne rigate
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 20 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn
Serve with:
  • Crusty bread, for passing

Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add oil, butter, garlic and shallots. Gently sauté shallots for 3 to 5 minutes to develop their sweetness. Add vodka to the pan (3 turns around the pan in a steady stream will equal about 1 cup). Reduce vodka by half, this will take 2 or 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.

While sauce simmers, cook pasta in salted boiling water until cooked to al dente (with a bite to it). While pasta cooks, prepare your salad or other side dishes.

Stir cream into sauce. When sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from heat. Drain pasta. Toss hot pasta with sauce and basil leaves. Pass pasta with crusty bread.

* For more information about Rachael Ray, visit


nonniejoyce said...

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm gooooooood!!!!! sounds delicioso!!!! i can also relate to the skunk spraying.our lucia many years ago got sprayed in the face and it was around midnight as we were getting home from vacation and my daughter, you know sandy, let her out assuming she had to do her business and lo and behold got sprayed, in the face.......we could smell it a half mile on the way up the street before we got home!!!! i had a sick feeling.........well,feeling was true and we did the vinegar and ketchup thing and hubby slept with her all night on the enclosed deck that was not quite finished.....we will never forget that......lucia was an awesome dog and long since died but will always be in our hearts.....she was a 15 year old sweet rottie!!!! joyce c.......

edie said...

The story I am about to tell is true. I swear on a pile of big, beautiful beady goodness.

Last saturday night my back door was open to let the breeze blow into the house. I was in the kitchen when I saw my dog coming in from the patio followed by a skunk. I screamed like a maniac because I was afraid the skunk would spray in the house. Then I ran into the living room, hoping all the while that little animal would run for the hills. Well, that skunk chased me around my house! He CHASED ME AROUND MY HOUSE and then he bit me on my foot.
Prince Valliant (aka my husband) chased the skunk out into the night. As luck would have it he never sprayed in the house.

The police came and ended up shooting the skunk because everyone suspected the animal was rabid. The tests came back positive so now I am in the middle of a series of painful rabies vaccines.

So, the moral of the story is please remember to vaccinate your pets and keep the back door closed.