Halloween and Labor Day

While you are all out there enjoying Labor Day and the end of summer I thought I would give you a little Halloween. This is a sterling silver salt cellar shaped like a cauldron.

A vintage fortune telling game.

Click for a better look.

And now some Labor Day food. This is what yesterday's baked beans look like right out of the oven. For a 'beans from scratch' die hard like me....these are fantastic!

At my children's request I made mac and cheese. I decided to make it with small pasta shells. First I boiled 2 pounds of shells for 5 minutes. You want them under cooked because they will continue cooking in the oven.

Melt 10 tablespoons of butter in a heavy pot.

Add 5 tablespoons of flour and stir for 5 minutes to make a roux.

Add 5 cups of whole milk and keep stirring.

It will start to thicken.

Beat one egg in a separate bowl.

Add some of the hot mixture to temper the egg. Then whisk this back into the hot mixture.

Add grated cheese. I used cheddar, monterey jack, and gruyere. You can use all cheddar if you like. The total cheese should be about 1 1/2 pounds.

Stir until the cheese melts.

Add salt and pepper to taste, some seasoned salt if you wish, some smokey paprika if you have some and a dash of grated nutmeg.

Then stir in your cooked pasta.

Put it in a heavy casserole and cook until browned and bubbling around the edges. I made this a day ahead so it won't hit the oven until later this afternoon.

I am smoking ribs today so I thought I would show them to you just as they go into the smoker. The neighborhood is smelling good!

I am adding a precaution here today about a very serious subject.


Poor Teddy suffered heat stroke yesterday. As I type this, she is in the hospital. This is her second or third time suffering from this and hopefully I am now a bit smarter than I was before. I think most of us think dogs can just get heat stroke from being left in hot cars. That is a no brainer! NO dog should ever be left in a car unless it is downright cold outside.

But. dogs can suffer heat stroke from all sorts of conditions. Some dogs even get heat stroke from swimming! A dogs normal temperature is about 103 degrees. Dogs also are not very proficient at cooling themselves down. Once their body temperature goes over 103, it can be very hard to cool them off. Dogs suffering from heat stroke may develop diarrhea or vomit. Most often they pant heavily and seem disoriented. Teddy refused to lay down or eat. I didn't think she had heat stroke because her nose was ice cold. However, her underarms and groin were very warm. Now I understand that the dogs internal thermostat goes haywire. It is quite possible to have a cold nose and warm body while this is happening. Once a dog has heat stroke it is much more susceptible to developing it in the future. Always error on the side of caution. If you suspect heat stroke treat it as such. You can always change the prognosis later. Heat stroke can kill within 1o minutes. The first thing to do is take the dogs temperature. If it is 105 or higher, heat stroke is the likely culprit. Gently cool the dog down. Use cool water on the belly and groin area and bring the temperature down to 103 degrees. Don't take it down any lower. Also, do not use ice water because it will constrict the blood vessels which will hinder the cooling process. Get to the vet as soon as possible. Don't even waste time calling. Go straight to the vet and let them know you suspect heat stroke. They are very well aware of the emergency situation. A dog who is overheated needs temperatures below 80 degrees with low humidity to cool off. Never wet a dog down and then put it in a cage or an enclosed area. This will create a sauna effect. They need breezes or fans or circulating air to properly cool off. I am waiting for a call from the vet to pick Teddy up. Hopefully, we squeaked through this time with no real damage. I will be the most vigilant mommy in the world going forward.


Wow, valuable information on the heat stroke Jaz. I am so glad you got your dog to the vet on time. Hope she is doing well this morning. What a beautiful dog. I have a Scottie and because he is black, he gets hot quickly. I am going to be more careful and watch for this because I think he over heats quite easily. The macaroni looks good too but the ribs have me drooling. Thanks for sharing the info.
Autumnforest said…
I'm so glad you showed that cauldron. It had me thinking about doing that on a tripod with chain for my Halloween party to serve a killer punch.
Pricilla said…
I am sorry about Teddy. I hope he is OK. You be sure to let us know.....
Laura said…
Keeping you and Teddy in my thoughts and hopefully she is feeling much better now. Those ribs look delicious! And I love the mac and cheese recipe. I've never made from scratch before but will have to try your recipe out.
happy labor day
Jeanne said…
Poor Teddy! And poor Mommy! I know how worried you must be! Keeping you both in my thoughts.
The food all looks so delicious! What time is dinner?
Anonymous said…
Oh...that's so horrid...poor Teddy!
That sort of thing doesn't happen here much, if at all...we have too much cold and rain up here in the mountains of North Wales.
Hope she's okay and back home to you soon.
Give her a hug from me!
Thankfully we soldome get it so warm here that my dogs risk heat stroke. But those times I think it might happen I take them down to my cellar where it always is cool. So far it has worked, but ones never knows. Great that You told people about this. I really hopes Your chow is better now!
Rue said…
Thinking of you and Teddy. I didn't think heat stroke happened to dogs who had access to shade and water! Thank you for the valuable information!

I've never been a fan of mac and cheese - but I think you just changed my mind! YUM!
Anonymous said…
Poor Teddy.:( Thanks, for the information on heat stroke, that is good to keep in mind.

And that mac n cheese looks absolutely delicious!
Victoria said…
Yummy recipe and thanks for commenting on my blog about your spellbooks. I LOVE your collection (and I'm more than a bit jealous of a few of them!). I'm about to add you to my blog list so I can keep popping in and checking you out over here. Peace!
VintageSage said…
Wow, everything looks great, Jaz! But POOR TEDDY!!! I hope he will be okay. Do you think shaving his hair a little would help? I don't know much about Chow Chows. Poor boy. Keep us updated!
Hibiscus Moon said…
Oh no! I hope Teddy gets well very quickly. Sending healing energy her way.

BTW, that mac and cheese looks scrumtuous.
Illustrated Ink said…
Poor Teddy! I hope he gets well soon! On a lighter note, that mac n' cheese has me salivating!
Bella Foxglove said…
Oh my, I do hope Teddy is better. Thank you for the tips, I was not aware of that!

The mac and cheese looks awesome, and I adore it homemade.

I hope you are doing ok yourself with Teddy in the hospital...

Lots of love coming your way!
Touchatou said…
Poor baby... I didn't know about heat stroke... It is much cooler up here. But one never knows, when the info might get useful.

The Mac and cheese looks delicious. But my favorite are the ribs. Yummy. ;)
Dede said…
The cauldron looks great! The mac and cheese looks so yummy. I didn't realize that an animal could get heat stroke, other than the being shut up in a car or something of that nature. Geeish I hope Teddy is OK and gets home very soon. I know you have to be going out of your mind. Please keep us posted. Give Teddy a gentle hug.
Aussiemade said…
I am so sorry to hear that Teddy has been affected by heat stroke. I have also heard to put wet cloth over the dogs body, and wet paws also?
For me it is great information as we head into summer down here, our boy has a double coat, so can feel our very warm days. I am just sad that Teddy has to be ill for us to remember. My thoughts are with you all.
Aussiemade said…
I can smell those baked beans, and macaroni cheese all the way down under. Yep more recipes for me to have to try..glad I am not living next door, lol would have to invite myself over with those ribs smoking smell..lol
Laurie said…
Keeping Teddy in my thoughts.
That is some wonderful looking mac and cheese. Nothing beats homemade! I will have to try adding gruyere nest time.
Well I tried posting here about 10 times last night and finally give in out of exhaustion. Something went wrong with my blogger. So this is yet another attempt. I just wanted to say that I was sorry to hear about Teddy's ordeal and that I wish her a very speedy recovery! Hopefully this posts!