well, that stinks
where skunks meet cinnamon: plum cake on a raisin + a porpoise
where skunks meet cinnamon: plum cake on a raisin + a porpoise

Hi, fellow dog-owners! A couple of helpful hints to share with you quickly.

  1. It’s spring and many of our sleepy woodland friends are becoming more active. If you live in a rural area, you may want to keep a few common household items collected and handy, in case your companion animal gets tangled up with one.
  2. If you just sat down to dinner and one dog is still outside, then yes, that was a skunk he was barking at.
  3. Here it comes. Like ten hundred million onions but not fresh ones.
  4. It’s more of a noise than a smell. As close as a smell gets to a noise. However you say ‘deafening,’ but for a stink.
  5. How little chance there is that the skunk sprayed in the yard but missed the dog makes the question basically not worth asking.
  6. Isn’t it fortunate that you remember that some brilliant samaritan pioneered a formula which combines hydrogen peroxide + dish soap + baking soda, and you have all the ingredients? Feel smug about that for a second.
  7. You mustn’t get that stuff in the dog’s eyes, says the internet.
  8. Why do they say the recipe is to “remove skunk scent from dogs and other pets”? Does this happen to hamsters and parakeets? I feel like hamsters are smarter than this.
  9. Determine, at no small personal cost, that the bulk of the skunk hit was concentrated along the ear-to-whisker and forehead-to-sneezer axes of the dog’s face.
  10. Eyeball country, basically.
  11. Are there dogs who approach skunks with their elbows leading? Why give me a skunk odor removing formula that I can’t use on the part of the dog that the dog uses to goose the skunk? Nobel committee will be hearing about this, buddy.
  12. Remember to wear rubber gloves! Very important because as soon as you get that skunk juice into solution with the foamy stuff, dog will shake skunk smell all over your head.
  13. Return to the internet while dog freezes near solid in his watery coating on porch.
  14. You can use a douche on the dog’s face! Who among us can remember the dark days before the internet made such miracles known.
  15. The drug stores are closed but the grocery store is still open.
  16. You expect to encounter a wall of options in the feminine needs aisle but there is literally not one douche. There are 19 personal washes, including lavender nighttime wash and island splash daytime wash, both topics for another time, but no douches. Next to the washes (so many washes!) there is a shelf tag for a douche product, just the one, but there is nothing there. All gone.
  17. How many times have you now said the word douche, even just in your head, against any earlier personal record that you can recall that did not involve an unpleasant guy in a nightclub.
  18. In your twenties could you have ever imagined your life would come to this, on a Saturday night.
  19. This is a small town. A rank-smelling woman tempted to rush a supermarket employee while urgently requesting douche-locating assistance would do well to consider the long-term implications of her actions.
  20. Oops.
  21. Have a little chuckle with the manager, about it’s fun to have dogs in the country! And, hmm, strange we are all out of douches—“not sure what could cause a spike in need there.” That is an actual quotation verbatim word for word straight up because you can’t forget a statement like that.
  22. Drive all the way across town to the other grocery store.
  23. Can you tell where this is going?
  24. They are all out, too.
  25. Is this a horror movie. What is going on in this town.
  26. Go home with a fresh bottle of peroxide. Double down with the foamy stuff and an old toothbrush, applying eye ointment (to dog) before you begin.
  27. This is not a dog who relaxes into grooming jobs. Think Wrestlemania X, but with splashing and bad odors.
  28. Other people in the house are going to be all over you with help because you are making it look so fun to be involved with this. STOP WITH THE HELPING, you might have to not say even one time.
  29. Believe you have gotten the worst of it off the dog.
  30. Ha.
  31. Understand, in the morning, from across the room without even interacting with the dog, who had to sleep in his crate, much to his dismay, that you believed this only because the scent receptors in your nose and eyeballs (need to confirm with MD friend but pretty certain there’s a bunch of them in the eyeball too) were scorched, and because you wanted to go to sleep.
  32. Remember the last time he did this (also research: do dogs have learning curve?) how you didn’t do a good job rinsing off the peroxide before you put him into the crate, and like the victim of some slow, awful Vegas magic, the black dog who went in the crate the night before was a brown dog when he came out in the morning.
  33. Approach crate slowly, fearing shiny black animal may have been replaced with Courtney Love.
  34. Nope.
  35. Phew.
  36. Use less peroxide and more baking soda, so it’s like a paste and you can really glomp it on the non-eyeball noggin areas with some precision.
  37. He probably shouldn’t eat the stuff either but you try explaining that to him.
  38. Isn’t this fun.

Finally: tomato juice is a lie. No faster (legal) way to make your bathroom look like a crime scene, and it has zero effect on smell of dog. Zero. I appreciate the sentiment, but please do not speak to me of tomato juice, even in jest. IT IS TOO SOON.

where skunks meet cinnamon | plum cake on a raisin + a porpoise
where skunks meet cinnamon | plum cake on a raisin + a porpoise

Plums and cinnamon and butter and sugar smell good!

Here is a cake. I know I just posted a cake. Tant pis. Here is another one. Fasten it over your nose and mouth (and eyeball) and breathe normally.

My mother taught me to freeze prune plums, split and pitted, when the plum trees were feeling generous, so plum kuchen could be had in winter. This isn’t a kuchen in the way she makes a kuchen, but it smells good and that carries a lot of weight around here for the nonce. Maybe (and I will admit that this seems likely) you do not have a bag of split and pitted prune plums in your freezer like I do. Do you begrudge me that? With the stink-faced dog? Anyway if you don’t have plums in the freezer you can use some other fruit. A stone fruit is ideal but I bet a firm-ripe pear or something would work fine, as would subbing in AP flour for the oat and tapioca options here, if gluten is your friend.

Have a nice day.

where skunks meet cinnamon | plum cake on a raisin + a porpoise
where skunks meet cinnamon | plum cake on a raisin + a porpoise

plum cake

  • 6T unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2T extra virgin, extra good and fruity olive oil
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1t vanilla
  • 2/3 c oat flour
  • 1c almond meal
  • 2T cornstarch or tapioca flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1t baking powder
  • 2T milk
  • 4 or 5 prune plums, split and pitted, or a firm ripe pear, cored and sliced
  • 1.5 t cinnamon
  • a very hearty twist (or five) of black pepper
  • 1T sugar

Heat the oven to 350°. Lightly butter a 9" tart or spring form pan (removable bottom is a plus).

Using a mixer, cream the butter and olive oil very well, then add the sugar and beat for several minutes, until quite creamy and smooth.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating very well after each and scraping the bowl down well in between.  Add the vanilla.

In a small bowl, combine the flours, salt and baking powder. Alternate the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the milk in two, scraping the bowl down well in between additions.

Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.  Toss the plum halves or pear slices with the spices and remaining sugar. Tuck these into the batter, neatly spaced, and sprinkle any extra spice mixture over the top.

Bake 35-40 minutes, until the top and edges are nicely browned and the center is set.  (More fruit will make this take longer).

Cool about 15 minutes before removing the pan's sides.  Take it neat or with a dollop of creme fraiche on top.  And keep an eye on that dog.