So Saturday night was one of the most traumatic nights of my life. Our sweet little snuggle man, Chai, had an encounter with a raccoon in our backyard.
We (being the over protective parents that we are) have never let Chai out at night. We let him outside in the morning and in the afternoon but when it starts to get dark we get him inside.
For a couple of reasons, one because we are a little crazy and our worries are taken care of when we know he is snugged up, safe inside and two our backyard is surrounded by huge laurel hedges and at night we have critters that inhabit the hidden space between the leaves and fence.
They have never been of harm before and to be honest we had never actually even seen one until Saturday night. Obviously we knew it was a raccoon that had always made a home there but he had never come out of the hedge before and this year we were not even sure if he still came around because we had not heard any rummaging for quite some time.
Until Saturday night….it was getting pretty late, way later than Chai is normally out (he has a curfew, no I am not ashamed) and I knew I wanted to get him inside so I went out with some treats and started shaking them for him to come onto the deck. I got him on the deck and I was standing behind our back door, playing hide and seek with him (my way of luring him in a bit further so I could grab him without him sneaking away, he is a quick brat but loves hide and seek and I can always get him that way) but when I peered around the door one last time he had moved further away and was standing back at the edge of the deck, back hunched, eyes locked on something.
And there he was the infamous raccoon emerging from the hedge in a stare down with Chai. My heart instantly dropped, I yelled for him to come to me but in his “I am big and strong and the man of the house” attitude he jumped off the deck and ran up to the raccoon. They both went into the bushes where I couldn’t see anymore and all I could hear were screams and rustling.
At this point I was balling, screaming for Chai. Of course dressed for the occasion in my lamb covered housecoat and slippers, I grabbed a shovel and went down to the bushes with protective Momma rage; Chai suddenly came running out, seemingly unhurt but definitely on defense. I called Paul (he was at work) panicked, tears rolling and completely incoherent, I think all I said was “Chai, raccoon, seems ok, but it's still here” and without me finishing or making any sense he said “I AM ON MY WAY HOME” (this is his baby through and through and the worry in his voice in once sentence broke me even more).
For the next 10 minutes Chai paced the hedge. Every time he moved I would yell his name to stop and he would look at me and then back at the hedge. I kept rattling the shovel on the deck and yelling his name in an attempt to get him to come to me but also to scare the raccoon away. I knew I couldn’t just go and grab Chai because he would run away from me and my worry back into the hedge.
About a minute before Paul got home Chai eventually came to me and I quickly grabbed him and ran inside. I have never been so scared; the thought of him getting hurt just crushed me. Both Paul and I searched him over and over, to our relief he wasn’t hurt in the least. Lock down began!
We now have Chai on a strict curfew (which we kinda had before but lately had been a bit more lenient), he can go outside in the morning and afternoon but 6 is his deadline! Yes we laughed at ourselves too but better safe than sorry.
Needless to say Sunday was all about cuddles, kisses, afternoon naps together and comfort. I couldn’t think of anything more comforting than a buttery, onion infused, bacon scented potato so I whipped up my new favourite summer time salad.
warm shallot butter roasted potato salad + avocado, radish, bacon & arugula
3 medium size red potatoes (or any other nugget style potato)
12 stalks of asparagus
3 cups of arugula
3 slices of bacon
1 avocado, sliced and quartered
2-3 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
an extra splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Cut the potatoes into large chunks, fill a large pot with water, add potatoes, bring to a boil and cook until tender (about 20-25 minutes).
While the potatoes are boiling, heat a pan on medium and cook the bacon, once cooked cut into small pieces (keeping some of the bacon fat in the pan). Finely chop the shallot, cut the asparagus into 1 inch pieces and thinly slice the radishes. Set all aside.
Once the potatoes have cooked drain them. Warm the pan back up that you cooked the bacon in and add 2-3 tbsp of butter. Once melted and hot add the shallot and cook for 4-5 minutes on medium heat until there is a nice brown to the onion. Add the potatoes, asparagus and bacon to the shallots and turn the heat up to medium.
Let the potatoes get nicely browned with a bit of crunch and the asparagus tender.
In a large bowl mix the arugula with a splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, set aside. Slice the avocado.
When the potatoes and asparagus are done, plate them first, then add the avocado and top with the arugula and radishes.