She is an old girl now at nearly seventeen years. In dog years, that is a significant age. Her life has been filled with adventure, friends and travel of which many humans would be envious. When we decided to take our most recent trip to California, we were hesitant about bringing her along, knowing that a road trip from Colorado to California may be a difficult one for her. Ulitimately, we made the decision to bring her with us, knowing that the thing that makes her most happy, is to be with her pack.
The weather was a perfect seventy degrees when we arrived on the coast, so we headed to the beach where my brother, sister and I played as children, and where China, in her younger days, would run down along the ocean, chasing birds as they soared over the breaking waves on the shoreline.
I wasn’t sure if she would be able to walk in the sand, as her legs aren’t as strong as they used to be back in the day. We took her slow and steady up over a small dune to the point where the sunset opened up to us in all its glory of pinks, oranges, reds and blues. To our surprise, our geriatric pup, began to trot towards the ocean. She ran down to the shallow water getting her paws wet, so I decided to take her off the leash and let her play, never dreaming that she could out run me.
Before I knew it, I was running behind her as she bolted straight for the water. I found myself panicking as I watched her sprint headfirst into a wave, knowing very well that she did not have the strength to withstand the hit of cold Pacific crashing down on her back. Did I forget to mention the she is almost blind and mostly deaf? I saw her life flash before my eyes as she went under the wave and disappeared. I ran into the water after her and saw her back come towards me in the tide. I reached down and dragged her out by the collar as the current fought to pull her out to the sea.
She lay there on the sand for a minute, opened her eyes, sneezed a few times and then stood up. I was almost in tears at this point when she surprised me again as she shook the water off, peed, and ran off and began to play in the sand. I hadn’t seen her so happy and playful in ages.
The sun had dropped behind the horizon and it became chilly, so we wrapped her in a blanket, put her in the car for the ride to our hotel. Once there, we put her into the shower to rinse off the salt and sand. We dried her off, watched her roll around on the floor, fed her, and then we smiled at each other as she dozed off and was soon snoring in her bed. It was a good day.
Lemon Rosemary Bread
While we were in California, I grabbed lemons from my mother’s lemon tree. When we were back to Colorado, I came up with this recipe for a delicious crusty and aromatic bread. I hope you enjoy it.
|Lemon Rosemary Bread|
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1½ cup water
- ½ teaspoon yeast
- 1¼ teaspoons salt, plus ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt for sprinkling
- 2 tablespoons lemon- rosemary olive oil, plus more for pouring
- 2-3 lemon slices, cut in half
- 1 tablespoons finely minced rosemary
- Zest from 1 lemon, finely grated
- 4 small rosemary sprigs for garnish
- In a large bowl combine flour, lemon zest, yeast and salt.
- Add water and infused olive oil - stir with a wooden spoon until blended, the dough will be shaggy and sticky.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, foil or a lid.
- Let the dough sit for at least 15 hours and up 24 hours, at a warm room temperature, about 70 degrees. The dough will be covered with bubbles when it is ready to use.
- Sprinkle half the rosemary over the dough.
- Using your fingers, loosen the dough from the bowl and fold it over on to itself.
- Sprinkle the dough with the remaining rosemary, and repeat the foldover and then knead the dough a few times.
- With floured hands, shape dough into a ball and pinch the seams together.
- Heavily coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour.
- Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours.
- When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size.
- Thirty minutes before the dough is ready to bake, heat oven to 500 degrees.
- Put a heavy 6 to 8 quart covered pot in oven as you preheat the oven.
- Remove the pot from oven. Carefully place a round of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan.
- Use a razor or large scissors to cut 4-6 “petals” in the dough.
- Gently slide your hand under the dough and place it into pot (I wear heat resistant gloves when I do this so not to burn myself).
- Place a slice of lemon under each petal.
- Drizzle dough with some of the lemon olive oil, then brush it over the exposed dough and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Cover the pot with lid, reduce heat to 450 degrees, and bake for 30 minutes, uncover and bake for another 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and pan and cool on a rack.
- Garnish with fresh sprigs of rosemary.
|Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil|
- Lemon Oil
- Lemon peel from 1 lemon
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- Heat to just below the boiling point and then reduce heat.
- Let sit for ten minutes.
- Place oil in a glass jar and store in refrigerator.