The Rag-Tag Award

We started our blog 5 years ago, and each year thereafter – on that May anniversary – we have presented The Raggedy Awards. It’s been a festive occasion, with Andy determining what awards I should get and my determining what, if any, awards Andy should get 🙂

But nothing can go on forever. So this year our awards have been changed. Andy and I have joined forces (can you believe that!?) and are presenting just one REALLY BIG award. And it’s the Rag-Tag award.

I’ll let Andy take it from here:

This year’s REALLY BIG Rag-Tag Award goes to our REALLY SHORT dog – WynnSome. Wynn has been a huge presence in our lives this last year, and we hold her in high regard (despite her low profile).

She’s a real charmer. Whenever she’s with us in public she creates a stir. She loves people and almost everyone who crosses her path falls for her charm with comments about how cute she is and about her pretty brindle coat. 

Then comes the inevitable question:  what kind of dog is she?

While the AKC says “The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a masterpiece of the breeder’s art”  her appearance has “Rag-Tag” written all over it.  I often have wondered if this breed was designed by a committee. But to provide some concrete proof that Wynn qualifies for the BigLittleMeals 2022 Rag-Tag Award I am offering my very short DOGumentary entitled “The Rag-Tag Corgi.

So here’s to Cardigan Welsh Corgis – and to our Winner, Wynn!

Though Andy’s “dogumentary” focuses on Wynn’s appearance, her demeanor is a little rag-tag too…as in “not very respectable.” She barks when she shouldn’t bark, steals things she shouldn’t have (like a pork chop off the kitchen counter), and gives you a “f*** you” look when you ask her to do something she doesn’t care to do. Which makes me think about The Lincoln Highway, which I just finished reading. It would be hard to find a more rag-tag group of kids than Emmett, Wooly, Duchess, and Billy in Amor Towles’ 2021 novel. Though I didn’t love the book as much as I loved A Gentleman in Moscow, it was still a fun – if long – read. And those 4 boys are all such rascals, and, as the WaPo review put it, they’re a really motley crew. Wynn would be their perfect dog.

Being food-obsessed as I am, I happened to bookmark a page toward the end of the book where Duchess describes the meal he prepares for Emmett, Wooly, Billy, and Sally. Lo and behold, Towles discusses that recipe in an interview and comments that it’s actually a favorite of the Towles family. It’s now also a favorite of our family!

Amor’s Fettuccine

Amor's Fettuccine

We LOVE this recipe; a little unusual for a pasta – and so, so good.  I wanted to go light on the bacon – but am glad I didn’t.  Adapted from Amor Towles and The Lincoln Highway.

  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 or 2 small onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 lb of bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4″ pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 c of dry white wine
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (we’d go a little lighter)
  • 3/4 c crushed tomatoes (Towles advises not to use an ounce more!  This is not meant to be a tomato-based sauce)
  • 1/2 c chicken broth
  • 1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
  • fettuccine (preferably fresh!), cooked according to the package instructions.  We estimate 12-16 oz of fresh pasta is plenty for 4; 8 oz of dried pasta can be used instead
  • fresh basil for garnish (optional)

In a deep saucepan, cook the onions in the olive oil until soft and translucent; remove the onions and set aside.  In the same pan, fry the bacon with the bay leaf until the bacon is brown but not crisp.  Pour off most, but not all of the bacon fat.  Add back the onions, the white wine, and let simmer for a few minutes.  Add the crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, oregano, and pepper flakes; stir and let simmer another 10 minutes (add a little more chicken broth if the sauce is drying out).  Toss about 1/4 of the sauce with the fettuccine and parmesan; divide the pasta among the plates, then spoon the rest of the sauce on top of the pasta.

Recipe brought to you by and Andy and Ann.


  1. theRaggedys says:

    [This is an excerpt from a comment in an email to us which we couldn’t resist posting….]

    Thank you both for 5 years of great entertainment, enjoyment, enlightenment, esoteric information I never knew I was missing, mouth watering pictures, recipes, book reviews, a rationale to follow a blog, heartfelt dog and cat tales, and more. Congratulations and keep it coming.

    Yay for the Towles dog quote, so true. Kudos to WynnSome for the prestigious award, what a great picture of you both, Andy. Does the word “iconic” dog lover come to mind? Contented, happy, at peace, nice.


  2. tricia53 says:

    Happy blogaversary! Loved the video, and the recipe looks fabulous. Will forward it to my personal chef! Rachel insisted I read The Lincoln Highway and I did end up enjoying it.


    • theRaggedys says:

      Andy here: Blogaversary – great word. I thought “DOGumentary” was a clever new term until I Googled it and found it has been used by others. I should learn not to search for such things. The Lincoln Highway is on my reading list; Ann thinks I would enjoy it. Always good to hear from you.


  3. Janet says:

    Sounds great – and the bacon made me think of this week’s post from Emily in Paris (an Australian who married a Parisian):

    No recipe this week but here are 3 (very easy) tips for elevating quick weeknight meals:

    Butter, salt, bacon and mozzarella are your best friends. Even the most boring pasta, tray bake, salad or grilled vegetables are amazing with a combination of these four things. I toss cold mozzarella and bacon lardons onto almost everything. Also a little butter and salt at the beginning of cooking is worth more than a lot at the end.

    Sprinkle it with something before serving. Torn basil, chopped chives, sesame seeds, pine nuts, crushed pistachios, fried onions. My all time favourite thing to sprinkle on is Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel seasoning, which is €29.00 a jar here so I have friends bring it back from the USA for me.

    Dress the table nicely. Even a basic candle makes such a difference. Don’t keep the good china/cutlery/tablecloth/candles for ‘later’. Use them right now, you’re worth it.

    Bon appétit!


    • theRaggedys says:

      Good to hear from you. Love the tips from the “Emily in Paris” post. It hard to imagine how one could go wrong with butter, salt, and bacon to enhance a dish. Cheers.


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