Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Baking The Devil's Dogs: How To Celebrate Your 90-Year-Old War-Hero Grandpa

I just wanted to post some pictures from my grandpa's 90th Birthday Celebration.

I also wanted to show off what my mom and I made for his birthday.

It's a selfish post this week.


My grandpa, you may or may not know, is one of Those Guys who did amazing things in his life.  He even has a book on it:

His biography, "Conversations with Marco Polo: The Remarkable Life of Eugene C. Haderlie" is for sale on amazon.com, if you're interested in reading more.  Or you could just ask me for my copy.  I've already read it and have had my fill of feeling inadequate.

Anyway, mom wanted to do something special for his 90th birthday since he did the whole War-Hero, Scientist-Extraordinaire thing.  I recently got her hooked on the online cook/blogger/photographer/gardener/allthingsdomesticgoddess The Pioneer Woman.

So, we decided to tackle her recipe for Devil Dogs for my grandpa.  He has the sweetest sweet tooth--even at 90.  And personally, I feel as though if you've arrived at the ages that are multiples of both 9 and 10, you're allowed to eat as many sweets as you like.

If you haven't clicked on the above link that will take you to that recipe, be prepared for a picture-documentation of the party's festivities starting now.

Thick, thick (not Thich Nhat Hanh) frosting
That was a bad buddhist monk pun, if you hadn't caught on.  Then again, this recipe certainly made me live in the moment.

Anyway, skipping past the process of mixing and baking the cake batter, mom and I were delighted at our success in re-creating Ree Drummond's recipe.

We began piling them on, and I had the brilliant--alright, alright it was cheesy--idea to frost his initials on the mini cakes

Note:  the very necessary glass of wine next to the baking site.  When baking for family events, it's good to be prepared.

Even Woo had a problem staying away from the packed food and goods readied to be taken down to Monterey.

Either she's pulling a new yoga pose for pugs that I don't know about, or she's snooping.

"What?  I wasn't...I mean...what? I'm CUTE."
I think grandpa enjoyed the cakes.  At least, I made sure to bombard him with it.  He had no escape.  You might think that it was because he was in a wheelchair but honestly I doubt it--he can move fast in that thing and it's frightening trying to outrun him.  I just know a man with a sweet-tooth is easy to bamboozle with a tray filled with cake.

My Grandpa (aka Hell on Wheels), the Devil Dogs, Joanna and Me
Anyway, we celebrated, we ate, we laughed, we cringed when he got grumpy and didn't like us fussing over him and we went home.

Ah, family.

One last thing, though.  I got to hang out on my grandma's memorial bench.  

Why is it when you try to wear black to minimize the boobs they just get bigger?

If you're ever hanging out around Hopkin's beach in Monterey (basically right across the way from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of the many things my grandpa has had a hand in oi...) you should come on by and say hi to Aileen Elizabeth Watson's bench.  It's got a great view.  

No, I don't mean me.

Although I'm pretty schnazzy.


I think that's enough self-exhibition.  For now.


WOO UPDATE: Remember how I mentioned Woo was running amuck (for once) in the local dog park?  Normally she's an anti-social dog, who prefers the company of humans.  We were so excited to see her run, which again looked like a strangled attempt and double-dutch jump rope for dogs.

Anyway, mom decided to take her back to the park and let her "run wild" again.

But, mom made a mistake.  It was raining and Woo wasn't having it. 

Mom decided to walk forward, yelling encouraging words back to the dog she thought was right behind her.  Several minutes later she looked back and saw this:

I'm not sure exactly what she's trying to convey with this look...but perhaps....


  1. hiiii larious.

  2. I agree, haha. oh this sweet family of mine!

  3. looking niiiice on that bench there, beryl. ::wink wink:: ^_______^ how're you? let's hangout!

    i <3 the pioneer woman blog. another stranger to stalk. :P

  4. Moon! I know. I look schnazz-tastic. I am doing better but honestly this is a recent turn of events as I have been poor in health for a while now; I've had a monstrous sore throat and virus/fever off and on for the past two weeks. How are you?

    And yay! Pioneer Woman...ah, she converts another!

  5. Oh Woo, I love your little raincoat!