Category Archives: Dogs

Chicken Jook (Rice Porridge)

Cold, wintry nights like the ones we’ve been having recently call for comfort food, and I can’t think of anything more comforting than a big bowl of jook. Some may know this dish as congee. I think of it as kind of an Asian risotto. Now, there’s the more authentic versions that require preparing a whole chicken, but for those days when you don’t want to deal with that, I find this to be a super easy way to make jook.

Chicken Jook

6 cups water
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup white rice
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced coarsely
2 teaspoons salt
Ground pepper
Scallions
Egg (optional)

1. Place all ingredients except the scallions in a large Dutch Oven.
2. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a fast simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is nice and creamy. About 1 hour.
3. Turn off the heat. Remove the chicken from the jook, remove the meat from the bones and shred. Return the chicken to the jook and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Serve in bowls, top with the scallions. Top with a fried egg if desired.

This is just one version of jook. You can top it with any veggie that you like (I put kale in the version pictured) and you can make this with pork, beef or even seafood. In fact, one of the best meals we had in Korea was Abalone Jook at a tiny restaurant on a tiny island off the southwest coast.

While I took a few other photos of the cooking process, I quickly realized that rice porridge is not very photogenic. So, instead, here are photos of the pups.

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Dogs

Can’t help it…had to share these!

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Canning Bonanza

Sorry for the lapse.  There’s a lot to catch you all up on.  I’ll start with what’s been going on in the kitchen. We recently had a pickling bonanza.  We made some dill pickles and we canned 10 pints of roma tomatoes from our garden. Here are some highlights.

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Solar Eclipse Viewing

Snow Plant in the middle of the road

Last weekend, we headed to Tahoe to view the solar eclipse.  We met up with Greg’s family, and since the eclipse lasted only for a couple of hours, we filled the rest of the weekend with hiking and exploring. The dogs got to swim and Greg got to fish.

 

Pickle, in his usual fashion, got extremely dirty.

Once the eclipse started, everyone got in on the action…

 

 

 

This is my very poor attempt at trying to capture the annular ring of sun around the moon through the welding mask.  Sadly, it just looks like the sun.

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Dukka and Carrot Puree

We made this dish a while ago, and it was SO good.  I had my first taste of dukka a few years ago and have been excited to recreate it at home.  It’s a ground up nut and spice mix that you dip bread in after dipping it in olive oil.  It was surprisingly easy to make.  For this snack, you dip your bread in the olive oil and dukka and then top off with the carrot puree…super good!  I used the recipe from a great blog called Lottie and Doof. Below are some photos from the process and, of course, some photos of the dogs.

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Dukka and Carrot Puree

We made this dish a while ago, and it was SO good.  I had my first taste of dukka a few years ago and have been excited to recreate it at home.  It’s a ground up nut and spice mix that you dip bread in after dipping it in olive oil.  It was surprisingly easy to make.  For this snack, you dip your bread in the olive oil and dukka and then top off with the carrot puree…super good!  I used the recipe from a great blog called Lottie and Doof. Below are some photos from the process and, of course, some photos of the dogs.

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The Garden is Happy Too…Mostly

We’ve had our fair share of garden woes this year.  We planned our raised bed in the perfect location, only to realize that it got full sun only a couple of hours each day.  We’ve had slugs and white flies.  When the weather was unseasonably warm earlier in the year, our fig tree put out a bunch of fruit only to drop them all a few weeks later when the weather turned cold again.  Despite all this, our garden seems to be pushing through.  We’ve planted a bunch of things in containers, we’ve applied some B.thuringiensis to the plants and our fig tree is producing a whole new batch of figs.

Here’s one of the tomatillos around the time we first planted it…

and here it is now.

Our tomato plants are starting produce the first of the tomatoes.  I’m excited to can them and use them through the winter.

Here’s the Napa cabbage last month…

and here they are now.  I see kimchi making in the near future!

Our horseradish plant has gone crazy in the last 2 weeks.  It grew a bunch of leaves and started to flower as well.

Here’s our fig tree.  The big fig is the 1 fig leftover from before the tree dropped its fruit.  All the little ones just popped up this last week.

While the tomatoes in the raised bed aren’t doing as well as the one in the pots, the kale seems to be doing just fine.

The beets are starting grow nicely too.

The sugar snap peas, also in the raised bed, aren’t doing as well as expected, but we started seeing the first of the actual peas this week.

We’re enjoying our lazy, almost summer days…or at least Dwight is.

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Knitted Slouchy Beanie

I’ve been working on a sweater forever, so I wanted to work on a smaller project that I would have instant gratification with.  Greg’s been wanting a slouchy beanie, and I found this pattern.  It took only 1 day to finish and it looks great!  I used Malabrigo Worsted in Rattan that I bought at Imagiknit in SF (thanks David for the gift certificate).
This is Greg in front of the lilac bonsai.

This is how not to wear it…

And, from our garden, our butterwort (a carnivorous plant) is throwing up a very pretty deep purple flower right now.  I’m excited to see it bloom!

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Garden Happenings in the Month of March

I’ve been slaving away in the ICU and haven’t been able to update the blog as much as I would like to.  There’s been a lot of stuff going on in and around the house to share and we’ll be posting about them soon.  For the last month, we’ve been putting  a lot of work into the garden, and we’re excited to see how much growth there’s been in just 1 month’s time.  We’ve been able to plant some plants in the ground and others we’ll be able to transplant this week.  Above is a row of arugula we planted that just sprouted.  This post has many “before and after” photos taken just a few weeks apart.

The photo below is our horseradish plant that, just a month ago, was a small, boring looking tuber and now is starting to flower.

We’ve been able to transplant kale into the ground.

Our tomatoes are growing a ton each day…

and so are the tomatillos.

Our fig tree has plenty of fruit.

The napa cabbage is flourishing.

And, as always, Pickle and Dwight are doing well.

In this photo, Pickle is playing with his new “toothbrush” chew toy.

Soon to come are posts about beer, knitting and stinging nettles.

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Garden. Version 2012.

Last year, we were so sad when we had to move right in the middle of prime gardening season.  This year, we’re excited at the prospects of staying in one place long enough to actually enjoy the tomatoes we grow.  A couple of weeks ago, we did a lot of work to prep the garden.  Here are some photos from then.

We wanted a dog-safe place to do most of our growing, and we found the perfect place on the side of the house.  This little lot used to have several more rosebushes, but I think that a veggie garden will come in more handy.  As you can see, the dogs can still enjoy the garden too, but they won’t be able to dig in it.

Greg built a nice raised bed, we filled it with soil and compost and topped it off with some of the worm castings we harvested.  Now it’s just waiting for our seedlings to get big enough to transplant.

Speaking of seedlings, here’s a picture of our seed starter with all the seeds that we planted.

This next picture is actually a bit outdated now…nearly all of the seedlings have sprouted.  We’re just waiting for the true leaves to come in before we transplant them into little pots and then into the garden.  We also plan to plant other things like beets, arugula, sugar snaps, Napa cabbage (mmm…kimchi) and radish to name a few, but these will go directly into the ground once the weather becomes more consistently warm.

We like to pick a few oddball things to grow each year, and this year, we picked horseradish.  We bought a root, and they say that you simply lay it horizontally and cover it up with soil and it should start to throw up greens.

Our asparagus that we bought last year are doing well and they are all growing asparagus again.  We bought a few more root crowns to add to the collection.  The asparagus from last year may or may not be ready to eat this year.  You’re supposed to let it grow without eating any of it for 1-2 seasons depending on how robust the plant looks.

Below is our container garden, full of herbs, the asparagus and horseradish and our fig tree!  I counted at least 30 tiny figs on it today…I can’t wait!

 

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