Angela Bocage



Feeding the dogs

Here’s the dog food even my Chin enjoys. If human, Berekiah would be a 1940s Oxonian scholar from the land of the Chrysanthemum Throne, with a little of the 15th century rabbi protagonist of The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon thrown in (his namesake), in any event a gentle aesthete who’s never eaten like a lumberjack. He’s thriving and healthy on this diet.

Starting with about a pound of ground turkey, choosing the package with the highest fat content, I cook it thoroughly in a skillet on medium to high heat with about two cups of raw organic oats, mixing and turning as it cooks. This gives that part of the recipe a chance to cool before all the parts are added together. With a large square Tupperware container nearby, I then start cutting up the rest of the ingredients and turning them into mulch in our (bottom-of-the-line!) food processor: between one and two loose cups of the leafy parts (i.e., cut off most or all the stems) of parsley, either curly or flat leaf; a small-to-medium size raw sweet potato or about a third of a good-sized yam;  four to six smallish tender carrots–all the vegetables and fruit I’m mentioning are best if organic of course; a good-size crookneck yellow squash; a large apple, any apple with a deeply pigmented peel, having removed the stem and core. Sometimes all of this takes a while to mulch, especially the raw sweet potato/yam, but this is probably just a foible of our food processor. If by now the meat and grain portion is cooled, start adding it to the well-mulched mulch. If at any time the vegetable/fruit portion is failing to mulch, add a tablespoon of olive oil. If the meat and grains haven’t cooled, this is a good time to take a bunch of doggie vitamins appropriate to the size of one’s pup and pulverize them in a coffeebean grinder dedicated solely to this purpose and available cheaply at any number of discount stores. I put in about ten because it takes my small doglet about two weeks to eat this whole megillah, and a similar number of Wellness joint care, pulverize ’em like coffee beans to espresso-fineness, and check and see if the meat/grain mixture’s cool. If so, I start adding it to the mulch in the food processor and mulching it all together; it becomes kind of a pate, or similar to crunchy peanut butter. The overflow, and any already-well-mulched portions, start getting spooned into the Tupperware, because all of this won’t fit in the bowl on our FP, it might in yours. At this point about a quarter to half a cup of fish oil gets added in, as well as a similar amount of brewer’s yeast. I like Red Star, the flaky yellow stuff, but haven’t found it out east so have been using whatever kind’s at Whole Foods. Et voila. Now, if you don’t believe me…and have an iron stomach…dare to research what the average commercial dog food is actually made of. And don’t forget to check if it’s been recalled for toxicity.

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