Dog Day Afternoon

 

Dear Diary,

 

Mama M. had to study for her CFP exam today, so I tried to help by reading a few books to her. But it was so hot I could barely keep my eyes open! Madeleine and I napped pretty much all day. Is that what they mean by “Dog Day Afternoon”?

Mama L. told us about some dude ranch for dogs called Dog Day Afternoon. But it’s in Kansas, so I doubt if I’ll ever get to see it. But maybe we’ll get to snuggle up and watch the movie.

 

Look at these tomatoes that Grandma B. is growing in her backyard. They are huge! I don’t think I have ever seen Mama L. growing anything that big! Are dogs allowed to have tomatoes?

 

Doggles and Green Beef Tripe!

Dear Ms. Karen,

Mama L. must be feeling really guilty about throwing me into the bath after I rolled in possum poop, because, guess what? She bought us Doggles and Green Tripe!

First, let’s be clear. I was much more excited about the Green Beef Tripe than being a fashionista. Mama L. had that same scrunched up nose squinty eyes disgusted look on her face when she first opened up the can of green tripe. As soon as that aroma wafted up into her nostrils, she held that can as far away as she physically could while dishing it out onto our plates. But I know that’s how much she loves us. By many accounts, green tripe is possibly the best thing you could ever feed your dog. She wouldn’t let a little smell get in the way.

Of course, breakfast was gone in a matter of seconds. I have always prided myself in being a little lady when it comes to meals. I always show the proper etiquette of politely nibbling the food to let Mama know that I am not a pig. Unlike Gingersnap! who consumes every meal in less than 18 seconds. We know this because Mama L. actually timed her. That said, WOW!!  I just couldn’t control myself when she put that plate of tripe down for us. I have never had food quite that good ever before!!

For Christmas, (and I have been a very good dog all year), I would like for Santa to deliver five thousand cases of green tripe. It can be from cows, deer, buffalo, lamb. I’m not picky.

Well, I guess we can now discuss the Doggles. I blame Little G! for this. First, she’s always squinting lovingly at the Mamas when the sun is out. This caused Mama M. to exclaim that they need to provide UV protection for us. Then there was that romp at the beach when Gingersnap! got sand in every orifice imaginable! Naturally the Mamas decided that Doggles are the way to go.

They don’t feel that great. I think they’re too big for my head. Maybe I’m just not used to them yet. I do look kinda cool, though, don’t you think? Like one of those dogs that is ready for adventure at a moment’s notice. Should I ask Mama L. for a motorcycle helmet, do you think?

Kale Pesto

I was going to name this Amy Lee’s Kale Pesto, but since she didn’t share the recipe with me, I can only acknowledge her for the inspiration. If you have a buttload of curly kale from the garden, like I did, this is a wonderful addition to your menu. I had to do this in a couple of batches because there was so much kale. You can reproportion this to suit your taste.

I modeled this recipe after a similar experiment with broccoli. Traditional pesto is usually too hot (from all the basil) and too garlicky for me. So I swapped half the amount of basil for a whole head of steamed broccoli. The result was an amazingly creamy and light (and more nutritious) version of pesto.

I think you will like the kale version too. Because kale is more of a bitter green than broccoli, I would recommend adding the juice of a lemon to brighten it up a bit — but it’s not necessary. You could use this in a pasta dish, or as a marinade/rub for fish and chicken. It’s really delicious.

The following yields 4 cups of kale pesto. There was so much of it, I had to package them up and freeze them for later use.

Ingredients:

1 armful of kale, approximately 8 bunches if store bought.
1 really big bunch of basil
8 thumb-size cloves of garlic
1 cup of pine nuts (or walnuts)
1 cup grated parmesan (I used pecorino romano)
1/2 C. olive oil (this is about half the recommended)
1 lemon (juice)

Since I used pecorino romano, I did not add any salt, because it’s a saltier hard cheese. If you use parmessan, you might want to add a pinch.

Remove the stem (rib?) from kale and steam-cook them until soft. Remove stem from basil. Throw everything together in a food processor. Pulse and process for a couple of minutes until well blended. (Unless you have a really big food processor, I would recommend doing this in a couple of batches.)

Damn squirrels!

Dear Auntie Peggy,

Does this picture make my nose look big? My muzzle is all gray even though I’m not even three yet. Should I ask Mama for a color touch-up?

Mama L. doesn’t get to visit with you at all now that she’s no longer at the City. She hasn’t been able to tell us how you are or what you are up to, so I am hoping that you will write to us and catch us up on what’s going on with you.

She’s been doing a lot of gardening since you saw her last. We asked her to take some pictures to send to you. She already started her summer crops already by planting bush and pole beans and zucchini and summer squash and tomatoes and corn. Let’s hope these do better than last season’s crop.

The only thing that really grew from last season were snap peas — and there were lots of peas. But none of the other stuff grew; it was very dissapointing. The brocolli, cabbage and cauliflower did not produce anything but leaves. She just read (from Dog Island Farm) that they are planning to grow theirs in August. So maybe that’s why hers wasn’t producing because she planted them at the wrong time. None of the beets or carrots she started from seed turn into anything. They sprouted and held great promise, but in the end they were too tiny and tough to eat. She didn’t thin them out, though — maybe they were too crowded.

Now that the corn is beginning to show, Mama is already on the lookout for the squirrel that lives across the street. One year she lost all her corn to a squirrel. She had waited with anticipation as each ear of corn got bigger. And then, poof, one day the squirrel came and ate every single one of them. They seem to be particular about what they eat, Mama said, and each squirrel is different. This year, our squirrel seems to favor fruit like plums and apricots. We find half-eaten ones all over the yard. I hope he doesn’t decide to go after Mama’s corn. She lost a pair of shoes chasing the other one out of the yard.

What’s wrong with possum poop?

Dear Journal,

What a terrible afternoon!

The day started out nice enough. Mama M. went to work as usual. But what was not usual was that Mama L. went for a run! She came back all sweaty and complained how old and stiff she is. I am not so sure about this exercise regime she has decided to be on. Isn’t it supposed to be fun?

Anywho, after she came back from lunch with Auntie Jodi, whom she hadn’t seen in a really long time, she was in a really good mood so she took us for a really long walk. (Although I have a sneaky feeling it might be related to her exercise regime again.) It was a hot day, so we just hung out and watched a little TV after we got back.

Then Mama L. decided to give us some free time in the back yard while she prepared dinner. I love free time! That’s when Little Sis and I get to run around unsupervised and explore our yard! Sometimes I just want to nap in the sunshine, but today was different! In one corner of the yard, underneath our orange tree, was the most delectable pile of poop ever! Naturally I rolled in it; the scent suited me perfectly!

I ran in the house to show Mama, and she leaned over to give me a kiss on the head, and that what was when she yelled “OH MY GOD MADELEINE YOU SMELL LIKE SHIT!” (Actually, what I heard was “blah blah blah Madeleine blah blah blah Shit.”) Madeleine and Shit in the same sentence is never a good thing with Mama L. She scrunched up her nose and squinted her eyes and made a horrible face. And then she pushed me as far away as possible, mumbling something about possum poop. Damn her scientific nose!

You’d think I had just shot the president or something.

Now I smell like lavender and mint. Big whoop. So much for being an individual in this household. Too bad Auntie Joompur is out of the country at the moment. I am sure Mama L. violated a couple of amendments in there, and I have no recourse but to endure.

Electrocuted!

Dear Diary,

We always look forward to our weekends because the Mamas usually take us to fun and exciting places. Most weekends we get to go to Redwood Regional Park, where we hike for 6 miles! Even Madeleine has stopped whining about how long she has to walk. There are so many things to distract us on the trail: people who tell us how sweet and cute we are, dogs running off-leash, bugs, birds, butterflies. Madeleine is always chasing after them. We also saw a dead fox, which looked like it got crushed because it was all flat…but before we could figure out what happened, the Mamas yelled at us to Leave It.

On Sunday we saw something really unusual for the first time. Goats! There were hundreds of them munching away at the dry grass and underbrush. Mama M. said she sees them all the time up on the hills on her drive to work. The goats are for rent, and they are part of fire control measures for a lot of parks and highway properties in Northern California. We think they did a terrific job except for all the poison oak that was left behind. Maybe they don’t taste so good.

Anyway, the goats’ shepherd had roped off areas where they were at for the day. I guess that was meant to prevent them from wandering off too far. We saw a couple of herding dogs, too, and I wanted to say Hello but they all looked pretty serious about their jobs. They didn’t wag their tails or even send off a friendly Woof! There were a couple of goats that were really close by the fence and I wanted to sniff them — I have never seen a goat before — when my nose accidentally touched the fence and … ZAPPPPP!!!! Oh hooowwwll, ow, ow, ow, that was the most painful thing ever! I was running around in circles yipping in pain. The Mamas laughed and said I was electrocuted by the electricity running through the fence. I don’t know what electricity is, but I am staying away from goats from now on.

Attacked again!!

Dear Diary,

We went for our usual mid-day walk today, and Mr. Attack Cat jumped out and swatted at me. I was not at all prepared for that. The last time he did that, it was sort of my fault…I was in a happy mood and it was morning and I just wanted to say hello. Poor Madeleine tried to protect me and Mama, and ended up with a big gash under her eye. She is so brave; that’s why she’s my Big Sis.

But today I didn’t do anything. Ever since the last incident, I stay clear out of his way now. Mama L. said that Mr. Attack Cat’s human mom told her yesterday that he has a tumor in his head, and he’s been falling down a lot. He’s also really old, like 18 years, which would explain why he’s so crabby.

Mama then cheered me up by telling me there’re all sorts of events coming up. Maybe we can get to go to some of these!

July 4th: Dog Parade of Westies & Scotties

July 14th: Blessing of the Animals

July 21st: Bark for Life to end cancer

July 29th:  15th Annual Bay to Barkers Dog Festival and Fundraiser