Dog food

Each can of food (Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Urinary SO Loaf Canned Dog Food, 13.5 oz can, case of 24) is the start of four meals.

First I put half a can of food each into two tall, screw-top plastic containers. About 192 grams goes into each tub. Approximate measure because the weight on the label is a lie. To each tub I add enough water to add up to 600 grams of water plus food. I use grams because the health of my dog requires science.

I blend the water and food into a fine emulsion using an immersion blender (don’t worry, I wash it before making soup). From one container I pour 300 grams into the dog bowl. To that I add 100 grams of dry food (Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Urinary SO Dry Dog Food, 25.3 lb. bag)

To the remaining liquid in the half-full tub I add 100 grams of dry food. I add 200 grams of kibble to the other untouched tub. I screw on the lids and shake them vigorously. Dinner, breakfast, dinner, breakfast. Ready to go.

Our poodle is adopted. He has health needs. One of them is special food to prevent crystals from growing in his bladder.

I’m making chicken stock for the first time in about 18 months. Yesterday I roasted a chicken for the first time in 18 months as well. Aren’t you a vegetarian? Chickens aren’t vegetables, what gives?

I am a man of a certain age and I am due for a routine colonoscopy. Tomorrow I am on a liquid-only diet. Around noon I will mix up a gallon of ominously labeled “prep” to drink and, presumably, shit myself empty over the next 24 hours.

Naturally, I’m taking a day off of work.

Since I have to be on a liquid diet for 24 hours, my wife, the doctor, recommended I drink chicken broth throughout the day so I’m not completely miserable. I have no idea what’s in pre-made, boxed chicken broth or under what conditions it’s made. So, I decided to buy the happiest chicken I could find and make my own.

I am pleased that I can still roast a chicken. I don’t want to be roasting chickens, but I’m glad I remember how. I carefully removed the bird from her plastic bag, pat her dry with paper towels, and place her on a cutting board for prep. The recommendations around avoiding salmonella are just so dire. Wash the chicken thoroughly! No don’t! The splashing water will coat your kitchen in salmonella! Pat it dry with paper towels! Burn the paper towels! Wash your hands in bleach! Cut your hands off at the wrist to be safe!

If these things are so dangerous, why do we eat them?

I place two sprigs of rosemary from our front yard, a half a lemon, and several garlic cloves in the bird, along with a tablespoon or so of kosher salt. I truss the bird up. I slice the other half of the lemon up into disks and lay the bird in a roasting pan on the lemons and surround her with sweet potatoes.

I can still cook like a frenchman.

Today I carved up the remaining bird and picked the carcass clean. If you’re going to eat an animal, eat all of it. I roast the carcass and leg bones in my dutch oven at 500ºF for a bit and then pour boiling water over the top. I bring the whole batch back to a boil then cover and place in a 205ºF oven.

This is the trick to stock (bone or veggie) - don’t sit and monitor a simmering pot all day, noodling with the heat and adding water and futzing about. Set the oven to 205ºF, put the pot in, cover it up, and walk away. The longer the better.

I’m strangely satisfied that these skills haven’t left me after a more than a year. However, I’m trying to use up these animal products as fast as possible and get them out of my kitchen. I don’t really want any of it. It’s just a job to do for my health and I’ll be happy to be done with it.

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