According to her adoption papers, Stella will be five years old on Saint Valentines Day. In lieu of a birthday cake, she’ll enjoy a fresh homemade, squirrel shaped dog biscuit. Or two. Certainly no more than three.
This recipe makes 2 dozen treats:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup melted bacon fat
1 large egg
1/2 cup cold water
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix by hand to form dough. More flour can be added if the dough is too sticky; add more bacon fat or water if the dough is too stiff.
Roll out onto a floured surface, about 1/2-inch thick. A little less if your hairy kids like a crisper biscuit. Cut into shapes or bars and transfer to a cookie sheet. I like to perforate them with a toothpick and then bake them for approximately 20 minutes or until lightly browned. After baking, turn the oven off, flip the biscuits over, and place them back in the oven to cool to crisp them. Treats can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Stella is very good at initiating work breaks, and employs a few different strategies to get me out of my work space. Last Friday, she lured me out of my studio with her “come and play with me” bright eyed, wagging tail cuteness and invitation to play a round of a game I call, Goofball.
Standing at the bottom of the stairwell, I toss the ball to the top of the landing where Stella waits to make the catch. She then spends a few minutes toying with the ball until she is ready to send it down the stairs to me, then comes racing down to intercept it. She remains undefeated.
UC Davis’ legacy of environmental sustainability is an inspiration to me. In celebration of Earth Day, the University, in collaboration with Sacramento-based CleanWorld, designed and built a 50-ton-per-day anaerobic digester at the University’s old landfill. Bacterial microbes in oxygen-deprived tanks feast on campus and community food and yard waste to help generate renewable electricity. The project is a keen demonstration of what can be achieved when research universities and private industry partner to solve today’s pressing global challenges.
Our 82 gallon black compost bin sits where the fence corners meet. You can see it just above the curve of Stella’s tail.