It’s an embarrassing day when a puppy needs to wear the cone of shame. Poor Pepper has had to endure this disgrace since last Friday when we had her spayed. I tried to spare her the humiliation, because I’m very sensitive to the sense of style a dog of this caliber possesses. But she insisted on messing with her stitches, to the point where the Vet needed to add a few staples for good measure just three days later. Hence, meet Cone Head puppy.
It’s been a rough week of confinement for poor puppy and for me having to deal with her unhappiness over the required post surgery confinement. Pepper is a pup that loves to be outside, take long walks, and commune with nature. Does this sound like a dating site profile, or what? Would you date this pup? Unfortunately, the post surgical limitations were compounded by a surgery induced UTI. Oy. This has meant a lot of towel washing, extra long potty walks, middle of the night wake up calls, and regular whining. I guess now we’ve left the Match.com-worthy description and moved on to something you might find in a parenting magazine. Oh, the worry, the sleepless nights, the weariness…the exhaustion in the early part of this week before the antibiotics began to lessen the symptoms. It’s a wonder I’ve been able to get meals on the table all week since this pup has required much more time and attention than she did pre-surgery.
But, if you know me well enough, you’ll know that we haven’t starved. Two nights ago I made a perennial summer favorite, one that should really be made all the time when fresh herbs are inexpensive and easily accessible. I prepared a pesto following a recipe that required asparagus in addition to the basil, and hazelnuts in place of the usual pine nuts. Louisa didn’t care for the orecchiette that the recipe specified, so she chose the chunky rotini you see below. I like chunky rotini, which are especially good for holding the pesto sauce. There was one ingredient in this recipe that got a complaint at the table. Lemon zest and juice were part of the sauce, additions that I could have taken or left but which Joe disliked. I promise I will never taint a pesto like that again, Joe.
Last night I prepared another grilled sandwich alternative to the ubiquitous summer burger. This time thick eggplant slices stood in for the beef, topped with melted mozzarella, grilled red onion, Boston lettuce, and more fresh garden basil. It was really good but became even better thanks to Louisa’s contribution. As I was prepping the ingredients, Louisa noted that the recipe didn’t call for a sauce. I agreed that it would probably be even better with one, so she took the initiative and mixed up one on the spot. She combined some plain yogurt, Sriracha sauce, mayonnaise, cayenne pepper, and a little ketchup. I doubt she could tell you how much she used of each ingredient as she kept adjusting to taste. But these sandwiches were so much better thanks to the very spicy sauce. I just love when foodie kids step up to help in the kitchen.