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Next Time We’ll Bring A Battery Pack

I had a family reunion in Southern California last week.  Scott hadn’t met my dad’s side of the family, so he booked a ticket too.

In the days before the trip, I peppered him with helpful hints about my family.

“We always have strawberry pie for dessert when we go there,” I told him one night. “So try not to mention that you hate pie.”

“My little cousins gave Thunder a middle name,” I said, as we fell asleep. “So try to call her Thunder Twinkle.”

“One of my uncles is a police officer,” I reminded him at breakfast.  “So try not to do anything super illegal by accident.”

I thought Scott’s eyes were going to get stuck, permanently, in an over-the-top eye roll.

When it came time to go, we boarded a flight to Santa Ana.  As the drink cart rumbled by, I whispered, “Oh, and my aunt is a psychiatric nurse, so if we drive you crazy, she’d be a good person to talk to.”

He looked relieved.

“And that’s it!” I assured him, as I slapped his leg. “Just relax; they’re going to love you!”

And they did–especially my cousin Dottie–but it didn’t turn out the way I had imagined.

Sweet Dottie is four.  She lives in New York.  She likes Hello Kitty and pizza without cheese.

When Scott introduced himself to Dottie, she thought his last name was ROBOT.  (This is understandable–it sounds kind of similar.)

She looked at me for confirmation.

“Yup!” I said, “I brought you a real robot!”

Scott bent down from the waist, like a robot, so she could look him in the eye.

“What do you eat?” she asked, skeptically.

In his best mechanical voice, Scott explained that he got his energy from battery packs.

Dottie looked distressed.  She did not have any battery packs.  “Can he have a chocolate muffin, instead?” she asked me.

“I’m not sure,” I said.  “It’s worth a shot.”

And so Dottie fed Scott a chocolate muffin.  And she kept feeding him chocolate muffins whenever he looked like his energy reserves were getting low–basically, whenever he started to look relaxed.  This went on for four days.  “I’ve never met a real robot before!” she’d giggle, as she stuffed another muffin in his mouth.

Scott looked like he was having a blast.  And then he looked a little wired.  And then a little feverish.

When we got back to Alabama, he asked me to feed him lettuce and water until the caffeine and sugar attacks subsided.

So this recipe goes out to Scott The Friendly Robot and anyone else suffering from too much of a good thing.

Chilled cucumber soup: the opposite of a chocolate muffin.

It takes minutes to prepare, and it’s a light, refreshing accompaniment to a meal.

On a hot day, or when you’ve had your fill of treats, this soup feels good.  It’s got a slight tang from the vinegar, and you can dress it up a million different ways.

So for anyone who doesn’t have a favorite cucumber soup recipe already, here’s the one we make in my family–my big, robot-lovin’ family.

Cold Cucumber Soup {Download & Print Recipe}

Ingredients: (for 6-8)

3 medium to large cucumbers, peeled and roughly chopped

1 bunch green onions (I used 6 green onions), roughly chopped

1 clove garlic

2 c. chicken or vegetable broth

2 c. plain yogurt or sour cream, or a combination (I use 1 1/2 c. Greek yogurt and 1/2 c. sour cream)

1-2 tbsp. white wine vinegar or rice vinegar

salt & pepper (preferably white pepper)

tomatoes and/or fresh dill (chopped. Optional, for garnish)


Puree the cucumbers, green onions and garlic in a blender or food processor until smooth, adding the broth a little at a time.  Pour into a pitcher and whisk in yogurt/sour cream and vinegar to taste.  [If using mostly yogurt, you’ll probably only need 1 tbsp. vinegar.  If using sour cream, you may need more.)  Add salt and pepper to taste, and chopped dill (if using).  Refrigerate until cold.

Garnish with chopped tomato and/or sprigs of dill, if desired.


It’s even better the next day, after the flavors have mingled.


Thunder’s still doing her thing: breaking a stick into just the right size. . .

contemplating it with all her might. . .

and then chewing it to pieces.

As for Seymour, we were gone for 6 days and feel like he doubled in size!

He’s still kind of unsure of his feet, so he tumbles a lot in the yard.  His favorite thing to do is to lie next to me. . .

and look at the leaves.

33 Comments Post a comment
  1. Amy #

    Seymour!! He’s so cute. Thunder too.

    This cucumber soup sounds totally refreshing. Hopefully Robot Scott recovered just fine. Sounds like you guys had fun!

    July 11, 2012
    • I’m with you on the no-bake recipes lately. It was extremely hot here, but it’s been raining for the past 24 hours. It feels awesome (but is no time to be potty training a puppy. Arg.)

      July 11, 2012
  2. Your soup looks delicious – YUM:) The little pup is getting bigger and Thunder concentrating on that stick – priceless!

    July 11, 2012
    • When we got him, he weighed 10.1 pounds and I think he gained 3 or 4 last week alone! I learned today that he doesn’t mind the rain at all, which is funny because Thunder can’t stand it.

      Hope you’re well!

      July 11, 2012
  3. Scott was really sweet!! Though I am sure he will not look at muffins for some time to come….maybe he can exchange notes with my guy…he will be sooner or later meeting the “family”…he is super excited…after all his own are all normal and rational…..while mine, well they may be the more crazier branch of your dad’s family!! 🙂 Love Thunder Twinkle!!

    July 11, 2012
    • Yeah, I have to say that Scott was a champ last week. A veritable champ. I predict that introducing your guy to the family will be a hoot– do report back! Thunder Twinkle and the rest of us want to know how it turns out.

      July 11, 2012
  4. a #

    Scott is a very good sport. Next time, maybe a quiet word to the parents might forestall the constant stream of muffins, though.

    This soup sounds really delicious.

    July 11, 2012
    • Well, we kind of wanted to see it play out without any interference, because it was hilarious. Then it became apparent that Scott had overdosed on chocolate muffins. She did let him have a chocolate milkshake at the pool, though, to change it up a little. 🙂

      July 11, 2012
  5. Ginger Cobl #

    Looks yummy! And if I do say so myself those tomatoes are beautiful!

    July 11, 2012
    • They are beautiful, indeed! (I threw in some red ones from somewhere else for the photo, but I ate yours separately because they were so delicious.) Thank you so much for them, Ginger! Also, my mom and I LOVED your homemade peach butter. I had it on fresh buttered bread. It was divine. Perfectly spiced!

      July 11, 2012
  6. Aww that is sweet! I’ve never had a cold soup – I know it’s totally normal, but I’ve still never had one. I slightly Fear them.

    July 12, 2012
    • That’s fair. One of my best friends hates gazpacho with a red hot passion. I don’t get it, but to him it is a very real nemesis.

      I hate mayonnaise. I made my own the other day and I could totally do that– it was like basic french salad dressing. But the consistency of white mayo from a jar sends shivers up my spine. I Fear it.

      July 18, 2012
  7. So, do you use seasoned rice vinegar? Or non-seasoned?

    About those dogs…could you PLEASE make them a little less cute? PLEASE? I can’t stand it…my face hurts from smiling at their pictures.

    July 12, 2012
    • Hm. You know, the bottle doesn’t say, so I’m guessing non-seasoned? Mine just says organic (wow, look at me being all fancy), traditional-brewed rice vinegar.

      Seymour’s growing like a sprout! He gained 6 lbs in 2 weeks. His legs are getting longer, but his body hasn’t caught up, so he still falls over just as much as he first did. It’s adorable. I fall a little more in love with him every day. I worried that Thunder was really jealous about him, and was having a hard time with the transition. But today I walked into the bedroom and Thunder was JUST about to start teaching him how to eat the bed. It was a close call. And they dug a hole together in the back yard on Monday (GREAT.) I start a new obedience class with Thunder tomorrow! She’s only had the basic one so far. I’m excited because we’ve heard great things about the place. Have you guys done much of that?

      July 18, 2012
      • OH lord. I tried to respond to this, but something happened. Here goes again. We love obedience class and would love to find an advanced one. I truly believe that things wouldn’t be as nice as they are now without if We hadn’t taken the class. It helps with walking (on and off lead), good behavior recognition, how to handle dogs who HAVEN’T been to a class, leaving stuff on the floor, etc. YOU’LL LOVE IT!!!

        July 26, 2012
  8. You must be a dog-whisperer to get them to pose so perfectly for you…and NOT lick on the camera… and you. The soup looks so delicious. -Nikki

    July 12, 2012
    • Ha, well THANK YOU for thinking so but I’ll tell you what: there are SO many blurry photos in my collection. So many photos of butts and tails and dirty paws and random shots of concrete. I’ve fallen down and slammed my camera against the door (different incidents) and gotten bugs in my hair. Most of the time, it’s a dog whisperer’s nightmare, but I’m glad to get a few good shots out of it most of the time!

      July 18, 2012
  9. That cucumber soup sounds divine! I’ll definitely put gazpacho to the side (temporarily) and make this instead. Quick question: just how does Ms. Dottie have access to soooo many muffins?

    July 12, 2012
    • Ha! I know, right? When I was a kid, there was not an endless supply of chocolate muffins. Carob muffins, maybe. (ick). But my aunt Susie made a ton because my cousin Mark loves them and was coming to town for the first time in a while. Dottie’s timing was impeccable.

      July 18, 2012
  10. We don’t even want to get a dog, and I’m thinking about kidnapping Seymour. Seriously. I’m not sure a dog could be cuter than that. Love the photos of Thunder contemplating the stick, too.

    Glad you and the robot had fun out in CA.

    July 12, 2012
  11. I agree with the above reply to Amy: It’s too hot to bake. Also, I am jealous of your rain. Second, we just got a second kitten, and the first kitten isn’t breaking sticks or just ignoring her… she’s flat out whittling stakes which she plans to use on the new kitten. Maybe I should make her some catnip no-bake brownies to chill her out…

    This cucumber soup looks like something I’d like to bathe in today. I’m over this heat.

    July 12, 2012
  12. juanitascocina #

    Mmmmhmmmm. I’ll take a bowl-full please.

    I’m going to try to pass off that I’m a robot…to get someone to feed me yummy things. I’m settling on either Skittles or hummus, not sure which yet.

    July 12, 2012
  13. Yum! That soup sounds heavenly. So light and cool for a hot day!

    And Scott must have been a big hit with the family. Any man who will play robot for 4 days straight is a winner!

    July 12, 2012
  14. Adorable story about Dottie and Scott, the chocolate muffin eating robot.

    July 12, 2012
  15. Have never made cuke soup but I think I would like especially since I have become a bit of a dill fiend. Seems like a chocolate muffing would be a good pairing…if you hadn’t just been force-fed several…

    July 12, 2012
  16. I love this site so much.
    Do robots get diabetes?
    I think Thunder is either very Zen (Beeeeee the stick) or a Jedi Knight (May the Stick be with You).
    And Seymour is obviously Henry David Thoreau reincarnated:
    “Give me simple laboring dogs,
    Who love their sticks,
    Whose virtue is song
    To cheer God along.”

    July 12, 2012
  17. CAM #

    I’ll add this to my list (of one) of cold soups. Gazpacho, and Cucumber. Thanks.

    July 12, 2012
  18. The soup looks delish and I will try it! But I have to object: it’s Scott Scott the Autobot.

    July 12, 2012
  19. First, your photos are actually disgusting me now. They are that awesome.

    Second, that soup looks like it would make my butt hurt less. Or at least distract me. Because I injured my ass whilst teaching. It’s been a rough couple of weeks. It’s the left side for the most part. And 2.0 gets upset when I massage my butt at the grocery store. Or rub up against things like a bear. But I do what I gots to do.

    Third, it’s pretty clear that Dottie and I are kindred spirits. I mean, we BOTH think Scott’s a robot. And came up with idea independently. This means we are sending messages to each other without even using the interweb.

    Fourth, I kinda want to lay on the lawn and stare at nature for a bit. Thanks to the pups for that.

    July 13, 2012
  20. Pushes imaginary “like” button.

    July 13, 2012
  21. Just “found” you on FB-bet you didn’t even know you were lost!! Very cute post and I love this recipe. My mom used to make a cold cucumber soup and I loved it as a kid. Can’t wait to try this one! Thanks.

    July 13, 2012

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