So you’ve lost a bet and now have to eat an entire box of Milk-Bones before you graduate. You’re probably feeling a mix of emotions. Friends are concerned, your stomach is feeling a little weird, and now your feverish Googling of “dog treats safe for humans?” has unleashed a rash of Facebook ads imploring you to consider more humane options for your dog than Milk-Bones. Never fear. Take it from someone who’s been there, with the right approach and a positive attitude, this experience can be nothing short of survivable! At just five calories apiece, and fortified with no fewer than 12 vitamins and minerals proven to promote a shiny coat and healthy claws, you might just find it to be a wholesome addition to your diet.
Meat and Milk-Bone turnover
To prepare, crush the dog treats in a large mixing bowl, adding water or milk as needed. Mix as much of this horrifying concoction as you can handle into the filling and bake at 400 degrees. If you’re moderate with your Milk-Bone usage, you might be lucky enough to not even taste them.
Optional beverage pairing: Tannic red wine. I had mine with a 2014 Château Sergant Bordeaux. Also suggested is indulging in an herbal supplement beforehand to make this a little more appetizing.
Chocolate tart with Milk-Bone crust
For dessert, take what remains of the dog treat paste and mix it with a bit of flour, sugar and butter, spreading as you would a pie crust into a cake pan. Prepare the rest of the tart as normal. Spread over enough surface area, the taste of the crust is negligible and the filling almost good enough to make this worth it.
Optional beverage pairing: Any dessert wine, like Moscato or Port.
Almost as simple as eating them plain, elevate your experience by slathering a Milk-Bone in guacamole. Easy to source and even easier to consume, guac’s heavy flavor does a surprisingly good job of masking the taste of dog treat. I actually kind of liked it.
Optional beverage pairing: Margarita on the rocks. If you close your eyes, it’s not impossible to imagine yourself far from here, enjoying a normal, functional evening at Bodegas Taco Shop.
The boldest option here is also the easiest to prepare; slamming back a few dog treats straight up in the privacy of your own room is nothing to be ashamed of. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and if you want to finish this on time there’s no room to be elitist about your method of consumption. For increased bearability, I suggest allowing them to age for a few months somewhere cool and dry as you guiltily procrastinate the task at hand, wondering what it says about you as a person that you’ve gotten yourself into this situation. While stale dog treats are just as disgusting, they’re a lot easier to chew.
Optional beverage pairing: Just lots of water. And brush your fucking teeth.
Congratulations, you’ve made it through. If your reputation and stomach lining have survived this, give yourself a pat on the back! Consuming 283 dog treats is no easy task, and with a little tweaking of your conception of “pride” and “dignity,” you can find a way to see this as an achievement. Maybe.
Special thanks to resident sommelier Walden Pemantle for his culinary expertise and his help in mitigating what has been the grossest undertaking of my college career.