So, I returned home from my trip to Utah on Thursday evening and picked up Luke the dog. Then, on Friday afternoon, I decided that I’d load Luke the dog up in my car and drive to the house of one of my co-workers for a beach party (he lives right on Lake Washington). He had told me before I left that I could bring Luke over and let him swim, so I did.
After we had been there about two hours, Luke threw up twice. Major projectile vomiting. After I ran out of bags to pick up the contents of his stomach, I decided to throw him in the car and go home. Now, when you have a dog, it’s generally not a huge deal when the dog throws up. It happens. I just figured that he swallowed a lot of lake water, and that was that. Well that, as they say, was not that.
From that moment on, Luke was unable to keep down any food for longer than about 30 minutes. So, the rest of the night on Friday, and almost all day Saturday, Luke would eat something, then throw up. Then he started getting really, really lethargic. This, if you know Luke, is a cause for concern, since he’s usually pretty wound up. I started getting worried. By 3PM on Saturday, when Luke had thrown up for his sixth or seventh time in 24 hours, I called the vet and rushed him in.
Two x-rays, an injection, a bottle of pills, and $250 later, I discovered that Luke probably just had some irritation in his upper GI tract, and there wasn’t a blockage or anything serious. I’m glad it wasn’t more serious, but I wish I didn’t have to spend $250 to find that out. I don’t really have that extra money right now. So, from Friday afternoon through Sunday morning, I was stuck at home making sure the puppy was okay. (Good news: he’s back to eating normally now.)
Sunday morning, I went out to the garden to do a bit of puttering, and discovered that I was at last able to harvest tomatoes! Below is my first tomato harvest of the season.
Most of these were picked a bit before total ripeness, because I want the plants’ nutrients to go toward ripening the rest of the fruit. Plus, with heirloom tomatoes, you have to get them a bit early or they’ll turn to mush on the vine. I like my tomatoes with a bit more body to them. But aren’t heirloom tomatoes so pretty?
I also had to determine what to do with the seal-sized zucchini I had picked in my garden, so I spent most of the afternoon baking and/or cooking. First up, I made Zucchini bread and muffins, and put in either raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries. I ended up with four loaves of bread and two dozen muffins from a single zucchini…and still have four cups of shredded zucchini in my freezer for future baking projects.
By the way, if you’re a maker of Zucchini bread, I can’t recommend the use of fresh berries highly enough. My personal favorite is the blueberry zucchini bread/muffins, but both raspberry and blackberry are also quite good. And I bet cranberry would be amazing.
Then, I also invented a new recipe for stuffed zucchini.
- In a skillet, brown 1 pound of hamburger. Remove the hamburger and discard the grease.
- In the same skillet, brown 1 pound of sweet or hot Italian sausage. (I used sweet…I will probably use hot next time) Remove the browned sausage, but leave the pork fat in the skillet.
- Add the following into the skillet and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper
- 1/2 Yellow Onion, Diced
- 1/2 Green Pepper, Diced
- 1-2 Medium Tomatoes, Diced
- Large handful of fresh parsley, Chopped
- Large handful of fresh basil, Chopped
- 1-2 T of fresh Oregano, Chopped
- 1/2 t. of crushed red pepper flakes
- Add the browned meats back in. Season to taste.
While that’s cooking, split your zucchini lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. This is a good time to use zucchini that have gotten a little too large. Once that’s done, submerge the zucchini in boiling water for just a minute or two to get the cooking started. Remove from the water, pat dry, and put on a baking sheet. Spoon the meat mixture into the hollowed-out zucchini halves.
Then cover with mozzarella and a good parmesan.
Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until the cheese is brown and the zucchini is just starting to soften. (You don’t want it too soft, or it’ll get mushy).
This was quite good. I think next time I make it, I may toss the meat mixture with some Italian bread crumbs and a small amount of a pre-made marinara sauce or perhaps a nice basil pesto before putting it on the zucchini.
And now, it’s 150 degrees in my apartment, I have four loads of dishes that have to be done, and I’ve eaten enough zucchini in the last 8 hours to feed a small third world country.
Luke even had a bit of zucchini. And fortunately, he didn’t throw it up!