Amid all the hype of the season, lights, shopping, cooking, wrapping, baking, eating, drinking, celebrating.. sometimes we tend to forget the reason for the season:
This is my nativity scene. I did not have a creche for many years as I searched for what I thought was the perfect scene.
The scene that suited me.
I did not like the multi colored ceramics that are popular. With Angel wings spread wide and luxurious robes.
I absolutely did not like the "kid" scenes with big eyed, cherub looking children depicting the Holy Couple.
I didn't want anything too big or too colorful or too.. I don't know.... holier than thou? I wanted what I perceived to be the true feeling of His birth.. simple, humble, understated, yet exalted...
I found this set a few years ago and I fell in love with it.
It is by Willow Tree and it suits me and my space.
It sits on the mantle of the fireplace in my kitchen. Notice all the animals. According to Christian legend Christ was born in a manger, surrounded by God's most humble beings.
In that spirit, I make these "cookies" for my animal:
Holly Bear's Bones: makes about 4 dozen medium sized "bones"
1 pound ground beef
2 eggs, beaten
3 cups (plus) whole wheat flour (you can use all purpose, but whole wheat is better for the dog)
1 cup quick style oats
1 cup water
In a blender or food processor combine beef and beaten eggs until well blended. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine flour and oats. Gradually mix in beef and mix with your hands (or an wooden spoon) until well blended
Add water and stir to form a sticky dough
Divide dough into 2 balls
Knead each dough ball on a well floured surface until no longer sticky. About 2 minutes, adding more flour as necessary until no longer sticky.
Roll out dough on a floured board to 1/2 inch.
Cut into shapes that your dog will love. (okay - you love)
Bake at 350 degrees F on a lightly greased baking sheet for 1 hour. Cool on a rack and store at room temperature in a tin with a lid.
A Cook's Notes: Holidays can be a stressful time for pets. Routines are broken, attention can be at a minimum. Make sure you include your beloved pets in your celebrations - after all, animals were there at the first Christmas - they deserve special attention at yours.