It’s About Face!

Dear Diary,

I think Mama L. should give up gardening and concentrate all her free time on us. She worked so hard on those metal tubs but I’m not so sure she’s getting much of a return. At least not for the zucchini anyway. Guess which one of these is hers? I’d be embarrassed even taking this picture. Uncle Steven gave her the big one — his neighbor sure knows how to grow monster size zucchinis. She seems to do a little better with the green beans though…

I am a little worried coz I think the Mamas have gone off the deep end again. They are getting ready for our annual trip to the Glass House. Mama L. already got her list of supplies started, but now she’s more concerned about our well-being than before. We already got life vests for our swim in the lake. We now have Doggles to protect our eyes from the sun’s ultra-violet rays. Whatever. And now, booties! Here is Madeleine modeling them.

I blame it all on Tara. She doesn’t have short hair like us, and if only her Mama would keep her clean and trimmed, we wouldn’t even be discussing this right now. Tara gets foxtail and burrs and Dog-knows-what on her hairy troll paws, so I get it that her Mama would want to make sure she is taken care of. But us? Now we have to wear these ridiculous boots too! I know Madeleine doesn’t mind so much — she actually likes parading around wearing silly costumes and being a princess. But I really hate anything on me but my own hair.

Well, maybe I will worry about it tomorrow. Right now I am too sleepy to care. I’m going to curl up with Mama M. on her Save Your Face Pillow. It’s supposed to keep sleep wrinkles away, but maybe it will help get rid of my gray muzzle hair too!

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?

 

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.)