Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bath time at the Perry Zoo

This morning we took the pups off to the vet for a thorough check-up. She said from looking at their teeth, that they are only three months old, not four. She gave them their first injections and wormed them. Then we asked if it would be alright to bath them as we don't really know where they have been. She gave us a bottle of shampoo, so after lunch we got down to it. Our outside sink came in useful and one at a time, we lifted them in and gave them a good scrub and hose down. Then we rubbed them dry and brushed their coats so they are a very handsome pair now. They were as good as gold last night and didn't disturb us at all. Chris got up early with them, and said he saw a beautiful sunrise, so maybe I'll join him tomorrow. They get on fine with Paco already and we are working on Destino. It's actually Paco who won't leave her alone, but I have them both in the room with me now and they have called a truce while they take their siesta. We'll get there with them all eventually.
Yesterday I had a busy morning before we went to see the dogs. I made some bread dough in my machine and then formed half of it into the longest 'French stick' I can fit into my oven. The other half I turned into a lardy cake and its lovely. I haven't made one for ages, mainly because the fat content makes it a rather unhealthy treat, but once every few years shouldn't do us too much harm! I also decided to have a go at some chutney. Pickles etc are very expensive out here, but I like a bit now and then, so I went on the internet and searched for some recipes. I settled on Hot Ginger and Chilli Chutney. It is based on lots of tinned tomatoes, but I used half tinned and half the over-ripe fresh ones I had in the fridge. These were cooked with sugar and then you blended together dried red chillis (I dried my own in the autumn sun), one and a half bulbs of garlic and lots of root ginger. I leaned over the deep jug I was blending them in and it made my eyes stream. This mixture was added to the cooked tomatoes, also blended, with some vinegar and they were all cooked up together for another hour. The result is almost a jam and it is not for the faint-hearted, but it certainly gives an interesting kick to a cheese sandwich. I shall try something a bit milder and fruitier next time. You don't always want to blow your senses away!
In the garden I am pleased to see that the little tree on the front patio is now in flower. I expected some sort of a bell shape; I don't know why; but in fact it is like a little white rose. It's very pretty even though so many of the buds dropped before they opened. The red climbing plant that we bought to go down below the back fence, is doing well. I now know that it is a Diplodenia, and ours has red and white variegated flowers. It is climbing up the sticks we put for it until it reaches the base of the fence. And the new bourganvillea, that was such a poor, weedy little thing when we planted it, is coming on in leaps and bounds. The first stephanotis flowers, round behind the fence needless to say, are now open, so we expect to have the ones round our side, open by the week end. The little dogs eat everything they can get hold of in the garden so some of our pots are going to suffer, but fortunately there is still plenty that is out of their reach.
Well the kittens are asleep on opposite sides of the room, the pups are flat out on the back porch and Chris as snoozong on the bed, so I am making the most of the peace and quiet to get a few things done. It is lovely and cool in my room at this time of day, so it is a good time for me to work, but I might just go and have a quick dip in the pool before I start something new.

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