Day 312: And I was thinking that the dog ate human food

November 8, 2007

Today was a monumental day in the progressing from being people with kids to being a family unit game. For, yes, today was the day that we traded in my car. My beautiful little car which we got 4 years ago with no thoughts of kids anywhere on the horizon. My lovely car with it’s pretty upholstery and fancy looking interior. My blue car which doesn’t really have room for two car seats. My car which, if truth be told, looked pretty but much like the review said “drones loudly and performs modestly”. Anyway, my car is now at a dealership where it will have the mysterious dents taken out of the bonnet, and will be sold to someone else, presumably someone without kids. And now, in our garage, right here, right now, we have sitting the ultimate family vehicle; the minivan.

I had a small existential crisis of identity driving away from my little car on the lot in our new (to us anyway) mom vehicle. How uncool I thought. What hideous upholstery. But then I started to appreciate the room, the gloriously, hugely spacious seating area. And the stereo controls on the steering wheel. And the driving experience; responsive, solid, quiet. And I found myself falling a little in love with our new white minivan. It’s not fancy, it’s not new so it doesn’t have a DVD player or a table that all the kids can sit round. But it is so much easier; the car seats fit in it, and they could be placed in so very many configurations. And we can take other passengers in the car. We are living the dream. This year we have gone from living in a condo with our one kid, sharing a parking lot with a pub and a hardware store, to having two kids, a house, a garage, and now a minivan. That’s progress. For better or worse, we are certainly progressing.

I wrote yesterday that the Boo-sotto [recipe] was created by Ms Ray for her dog who needed a balanced diet of carbohydrates and protein. I alluded to the fact that perhaps the dog was spoiled for having human food rather than dog food. I hadn’t realised just how much this was the case; the recipe link above says the dog got a burger at the drive-through each time they visited. I’m not judging, but our cats have a most unfortunate diet of cat food. From a bag, although sometimes it’s chicken flavour and other days tuna, so it’s not like they’re not lucky. Anyway, we were expecting a reasonable risotto which also happened to be enjoyed by Rachael Ray’s dog.

What we got, however, was summed up perfectly by L when he twisted his face after tasting dinner and said “this tastes just like dog food”. Interestingly enough, a search on the internet revealed this quote from an interview in USA today

Q: What does your food magazine offer that others don’t?

A: Well, there’s a pet feature in every issue; don’t think you’ll find that in other food mags. We offer recipes, such as a canine risotto with organic chicken stock. We call it Boosotto, named after my late pit bull. I love animals, and I think they should also be able to eat well and healthy, too.

So, that maybe explains why our risotto tastes a little canine, perhaps. L cooked dinner while I fed the Baby so I’m not entirely sure of the process, but it is detailed in the recipe link above. I must say I was extremely surprised when the bowl of food was placed before me and it was entirely lacking in vegetable matter except for the pesky onions, garlic and parsley. My initial reaction was where were the peas? The mushrooms? Something? Then I tasted it- why oh why would you bolster an already dry and flavourless risotto with barley? Because it just isn’t bulky enough? Because you want to make sure that the recipient of the dinner would most definitely plummet to the ground in a sink or swim situation? This meal was like eating warm sleeping bag padding or soggy cat litter. The anaemic-looking ground turkey with the beige rice and barley just added yet more bulk. And the flavour was as horrible as the texture. Blandy mcbland with cheese and pepper. No thanks.

L immediately put his bowl down and went to make a sandwich. I was hungry enough that I asked L to put peas and ketchup in my bowl, in an attempt to make the food more edible. Alas, it was still vile, now it just tasted like the “food” I would make in my student days. Cardboard pulp with peas and ketchup, anyone? So we are super-excited that we have four more days of risotto, yummo. Tomorrow at least there is booze and vegetable matter in Scotch and Wild Mushroom Risotto. Surely it can only get better, at least there will be no barley in there.

For the first night in days, Baby N is asleep as I write this, so I should get some sleep. I forgot how utterly relentless newborn care is, what with the eating and the pooping (I have a minivan. I say poop. What happened to me?) and the eating and the pooping. Little A wanted to help tonight; she climbed into the chair in the baby’s room and said “I get food, I feed Omi”. She was really upset to find out that she didn’t have any milk. She did then hold her sister though, which was lovely. In a couple of years she can help though, she can get food and feed all of us. She just better not make dog food for dinner, surely that’s just wrong.

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  • Reply Erin November 9, 2007 at 12:38 am

    I don’t think Rachael is including onion in her dog recipes (I sure hope not!) anymore. Onions are very toxic to dogs and cats. It doesn’t matter if the onions are in chunks or juice. Onions and garlic contain compounds called sulfoxides and disulfides, which dogs and cats cannot metabolize, and will eventually lead to renal failure. Dogs also cannot eat grapes or raisins. My parents have two beautiful Norwegian Elkhounds and they fed them grapes every morning, unaware of the danger. The older dog now has chronic kidney disease and must be on medication for the rest of his life, and will probably, unfortunately, meet an early demise due to his condition. There is good reason that dogs should eat dog food, and not people food.

  • Reply Helen | One Year Project November 9, 2007 at 9:02 am

    I hadn’t realised that onions and garlic were off limits to dogs, that gives a whole new scary meaning to this recipe. The write up did say that they grated the onion for the dog as he didn’t like chunks of it, but I hope she has stopped feeding her new pets onions.
    Erin I am so sorry to hear about your parents dogs- you’re right, dogs should only eat dog food, and we should stick with people food.

  • Reply karla November 9, 2007 at 8:47 am

    And to think onions and garlic are toxic to dogs. Why would she make recipes like that? Why?

  • Reply Yvonne January 10, 2008 at 4:52 am

    Maybe Rachael didn’t know that onions and garlic were toxic. I didn’t find out myself until recently. By the looks of it, it’s not a common fact.

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