As long time readers know, this fall, I introduced the cracker and the criminal to farm animals. The Swiss love to move their animals around to different locations for grazing so it's always a surprise to come across a herd of goats and donkeys or bulls in a place that's always been empty.
"Princess, LOOK at those monsters! I wonder who the pack leader is?"
"Big boy, why don't you mosey on up to the one laying down? The one with the horns and ask him?"
Sigh. Typical Sibe. Always setting up the scape goat for the inevitable fallout. Speaking of goats:
"Princess, check out THOSE beasts over there. They come with horns AND in different colors"
"Dude if Mom wasn't here, I'd be so getting a closer inspection. They look like they need a husky check up."
Then the curious donkeys walked up.
"Hey little fella over there, what's your name? Do you have any foods?"
"Hmmm, Mr. Big Fella... you look very familiar. I just can't put my finger on it. You're strangely handsome..."
Yup, it was like looking in a mirror. Long lost cousins perhaps?
"Big Boy, now you know why I call you an ass sometimes. I swear to dogs, it's because I think you look as handsome as that donkey. Really."
We've been remiss to write any stories about our hometown Tolochenaz because it's been under construction all summer and fall. But that's coming soon.
But Loki made plenty of friends with the construction crew. He's such a boy's dog. On a recent walk down the trout trail a Swiss fella suggested I'd let them off-leash to run in the field. He asked if I was afraid of him not returning. But the damn cracker is confusing mittens for tug toys lately. Does anyone know how to say in French, "Oh he'll return all right--with someone's arm!"
In other news, as many of you know, we're sponsoring Mango Minster.
Last year, Juno won reader's choice for sporty dogs her entry here and Loki won reader's choice for cracker dog with his entry here. He also won second place by the judge. We're not entering this year, but not because we're bad sports or sore about losing. (Dang it we shoulda won!) Besides, Loki and Juno both had lovely things to say about the deserving winners here and here. I just haven't been very active in doggy cyber-world. Call me a non-participator. A poor sport. Whatever. But living in a country where you don't understand a damn thing, learning the language, teaching yourself culinary cuisine and hosting everybody and their momma's who want to suddenly come visit us (not that I'm complaining about that; great house guests are always welcome), leaves little time for doggie sports and fun. Oh believe me, the cracker and the criminal are making me pay for that.
When the famous MM 2011 sprang up, I thought it appropriate to sponsor the cracker category. Every cracker deserves the best cheese right? I still don't know HOW I'm going to ship it, but I'll figure it out. Appenzeller, Ementellar and Gruyere are considered the creme de la creme of Swiss Cheeses. So I'll make sure it's a great mix of excellent cheeses. Just ask the second runner-up winners of Juno's Dansko mastication pool.
Speaking of the mastication bet, the Dansko's are still alive and well, but there've been plenty of other Siberian masticatory parties that have new themes. Yes, you read it right. NEW items have been found and destroyed. It makes me wish Mango Minster had a Masticatory Expert category. We'd so win that. I wouldn't even have to work hard on that entry.
And finally in cooking news. The TravelMarx sent me two AWSOME books, one of them is the Gastronomy of Italy, a book that documents the geography of Italy through cuisine. It's delightful and has kick-ass recipes. I've always wanted to learn to cook well, and for the most part what I could cook fast (puttanesca and sauteed bitter greens) was very good. But I've never really had the time to study the art of cooking. So since I'm not working I decided now was a good time to teach myself by reading and trying.
Mr. Wild Dingo's all, "so is this a cooking blog now?" Sigh. Mr. Wild Dingo doesn't get it. This is a blog about nothing, with a whole-lotta doggie stories. Besides, I always share our dishes with the cracker and the criminal, and I'm so sure readers would like to know what they eat to keep their coats in tip top shape, right?
Here's a recipe above that Brooke of Evolution of Darwin left in my blog post. A very simple roasted chicken with kalamata olives. I altered the recipe slightly adding rosemary and garlic. The risotto next to it is done with radicchio and red wine, giving it a pretty purple color. So far all my meats have been cooked just right. Not over done or underdone. Which shocks me since the reason I'm doing all this is because I don't know much about meat.
After the chicken dinner, we had these bad boys for dessert. Pears braised in very fine sugar, a fresh stalk of Mexican vanilla and of course red wine. A very easy recipe, that takes 30 minutes to make and chilled for an hour in the fridge. Mr. Wild Dingo over indulged and ate two. He paid for it later. (Hint: what happens when you eat three sticks of cotton candy at the fair?)
And finally, on another night we had broccoli rabe with sausage. Like all Italians I love bitter veggies. The risotto next to it is a simple basic risotto but instead of salt, I used a truffle salt mix that gave it such a devine taste. My whole life I never tried truffles. I finally tried some and can't wait to make a recipe with them. Mr. Wild Dingo gave this four thumbs up (because he had seconds). And he's all, "maybe you should take some cooking classes." Methinks Mr. Wild Dingo approves of my new hobby.
Mr. Wild Dingo tortures the dogs with their broccoli rabe second dinner. They always get second dinner.
"Hey Pop, put down those hands already and nobody gets hurt. Kay?"
"Geesh, I seriously don't understand all the fuss about making us wait. No Sibe waits for delicious sausage."