A Barbara Bush favorite, my dog biscuits


McZENA MUSE - Louise Swartzwalder



If you’re a news hound, you pay attention to any day’s events.

Some of those events trigger many memories.

When I heard that Barbara Bush had decided to forego further health care, and would proceed with the passage into another life, I felt admiration.

Barbara Bush was an obviously strong woman. You got the idea that she didn’t suffer fools gladly.

She was loyal to her husband George H. W. Bush, our 41st President. And she honored her son, George Bush, the 43rd.

I had learned long ago that she had dogs, and loved those animals. They were Springer Spaniels.

This is a dog known for being affectionate, and its prowess at flushing game.

I can proudly say that some of my bakery products once fed Barbara Bush’s Springer Spaniels.

As founder, promoter and all other things at Takoma Kitchens, I would always be willing to undertake the unusual.

I had a scratch bakery, an oddity in Washington, D. C. because so much of that city had become compartmentalized and supplied by very large places where things would be manufactured.

This is a valid term, because much of the capital city was run by large corporations.

As a little business, I was more adventurous and would undertake sometimes confounding projects.

I was once approached by a woman named Becky Pugh, who owned a place called Bone Jour.

This establishment was first located downtown, not far from the White House. For her, we would make whole wheat flour based dog biscuits, cut out in several flirty forms doggies would love.

Not just plain dog biscuit shaped treats, these.

We had doggies and a variety of other dreamily shaped goodies.

They, of course, would be delivered to Bone Jour downtown.

Becky Pugh was a person who was not reluctant to talk about her fame. She wanted people to know how good her treats were, of course.

But more importantly, she wanted people to know who she supplied.

Making a delivery there once, I found out my dog biscuits had made it into the White House.

I had numerous people working for me, all of them Latino.

I would give them a recipe I had perfected, and they would do the baking.

My product line was enormous, with fresh fruit pies, breads, pastries, empanadas, pupusas.

And of course, the dog biscuits.

Having left Takoma Kitchens for nine years now, I still care for my recipes.

They were all devised by Louise Swartzwalder, at that stage in her life, an entrepreneur.

The recipe cards were fingered a lot. Most were overwhelmingly damaged by lots of bakers’ fingers.

One stalwart employee, Roxana Martinez, had endeavored to give them a little more sustainability.

She took a bunch of them and covered them with tape and clear plastic. Those became a little more damage resilient.

When I heard about Barbara Bush, I consulted my recipe files.

There, the dog biscuit recipe, written in Spanish.

It calls for 40 cups harina de trigo, 4.5 pounds margarine, 15 huevos, one cup preservativo, seven cups leche en polvo, and 10 cups of agua.

If you’re looking for a way to make a few bucks in the world, this is my gift to you.

I had lots of people asking for recipes for all my goods. I would refuse because those are all proprietary.

But since I’m not going to be using this particular recipe again, it is yours.

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McZENA MUSE

Louise Swartzwalder

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