It’s been a bit busy over the last week or so, I’ve had several family members down to stay (unexpected for the most part),went to Cardiff and cooked some nice meals, we’ll get to them in due course.
I firstly wanted to add something that was written by my mate Steve about his lovely dog Jodie, here it is;
I guess that the tale of mine of my gundog has happened and been felt by people up and down the country, it does not make it any easier to tell however.
I had an English Springer ‘Jodie’ for some 7 years and bought her trained. We jelled very quickly and became firm friends. I gave her the best of everything, after all, she gave me the best too. A remarkable dog in every way.
She reached 10 this year and was slowing up a bit, I was 50 too and I knew how she felt. I kept her out of the rivers in cold weather, I left that to the younger dogs, she wasn’t overly impressed with that because she was always the 1st to get stuck in just to please me.
In the middle of April things took a dramatic turn for the worst. In a matter of days she deteriorated and a friend of mine said there was something wrong. I knew it too but was in denial I suppose. I took her to the vets.
She had the uncanny ability to look you directly in the eyes and it felt like she could see your soul. I left her with the young vet. She was on her lead, the same white one I bought all those years ago. She sat and looked at me as only she could but this time it was different, it was as though she knew something was seriously wrong. I knew it too. I said goodbye to her and left.
The phone call from the vet was not good. They discovered a large tumour. All the options were discussed and all were traumatic and the prognosis remained very poor. I told them I would call them back.
After I put the phone down and sat at my desk. I reflected upon the words of a good friend of mine years earlier. ‘You have to love your dog to have them put down’. I returned the call to the vet and issued the inevitable instruction. It was the 19th April, not a good day.
This year’s shooting season is now with us and it will be odd not to have her by my side but I know she will be in spirit.
Sadly I was the friend and I miss Jodie also as she was Millie’s mother and a wonderful dog.
As I said earlier I went in to Cardiff, mainly to get a hair cut but I dropped in to see Gary as well as I was intending to make some burgers and needed some beef. Gary suggested that I try some of his home grown ones, well as everything else I’ve ever bought from him has been first class I thought I’d take his advice and bought six half pounders (and a bone for Millie).
I cooked them on the Barbie until medium, just slightly pink in the middle and they were absolutely fantastic, i don’t think I’ll bother making them any more as these were the dogs.
Says it all really.
I’ve cooked a few other dishes this week which are really easy, quick and very tasty, the first was an Italian tomato sauce, this is a really quick dish; chop up quite finely half an onion, a very small carrot and half a stick of celery, sauté this in some good olive oil until slightly golden, add two tins of chopped tomatoes some salt,black pepper and a pinch of oregano. Simmer this for half an hour or so, stirring occasionally (try to break up the tomato lumps as best you can), finish off with some chopped basil stirred in just before serving on a pasta of your choice. Don’t forget the Parmesan.
The other quick and easy dish I did was again an Italian recipe, Fennel in the Tuscan style, this is really easy, I used three large globes cut into 15mm slices lengthways, boil this with two 10mm thick rounds of lemon, some salt and a tablespoon of olive oil for 20 mins or until done.
Drain, discard the lemon slices. Melt 25g of unsalted butter in a large flat pan, add the Fennel, coat on both sides and arrange in the pan, coat the top with grated Parmesan and pop under the grill until the cheese is golden. I served this with Parma ham and ciabatta, mmmmm.