I had pizza dough getting happy in the fridge. You know what that means…
I opened up a bottle of wine and made pizza. I was not so happy with how the dough was responding. It didn’t brown as fast or as much as I would have liked. Perhaps the fridge was too cool for the three day ferment, or the oven was not hot enough, or I was too timid to let it cook long enough. All part of learning to work with a living thing.
I formed the balls of dough and let them rest for an hour before I started making pies. The first balls are always the most difficult to stretch, as they have the least amount of time to relax. Unfortunately, my oven has difficulty maintaining heat, so when the oven is at it’s prime, I’m stretching the most difficult dough to work with and by the time I get to the last dough ball, the oven has cooled. Oh, well. If only I had a pizza oven…
I wanted to try something different for one of the pizzas. I made a white pizza with smoked mozzarella, lemon, basil, and olive oil. I liked the combination, but the smoked cheese I used was only lightly smoked, so it’s flavour was covered by the lemon. Next time I’ll either top it with more cheese or look for one with more flavour.
This morning I played with the dog for a bit before baking.
100g unbleached, organic, stone ground white flour, 464g High Grade white flour, 2% salt, 0.25% active dry yeast, 75% hydration, 24 hour bulk ferment, 70 minute proof, 30 minutes in a covered cast iron cloche @ 250C and 24 minutes uncovered @ 225C.
This time I remembered to score the dough before I put it in the oven.
Tonight I’m going to try making a leaven from my new wild yeast culture and try baking a boule tomorrow, if I’m lucky…
Morgan took me for a walk to One Tree Hill the other day.
On the way to the park, we found a Nikau Palm that was flowering.
The remainder of our walk was uneventful, save for the occasional sheep and pheasant.
This afternoon we drove out to St Heliers to walk along the beach.
The forecast called for a chance of rain. Luckily, the weather was fantastic.
Morgan just wanted to run on the beach.
It was such a nice afternoon, we decided to take a walk along Big Manly Beach. The dogs were happy to get some exercise.
It was a great afternoon to be on the water.
Such a gorgeous beach. We’ll have to visit in the Summer and go for a swim when the water is warmer.
We turned back just as the Sun set below the ridge.
Just time enough after our walk to have a feed at a local restaurant before heading back down to Central Auckland.
We talked about getting a pet – perhaps a dog, so we decided to check out the Christchurch City Dog Shelter to see if there were any that we liked. We wanted to adopt a dog from a shelter because there are already so many dogs out there that people regard as objects to be thrown out when they are not wanted anymore. We also wanted to avoid purchasing a dog from a pet store because many pet stores get their dogs from “puppy mills.”
It is often possible to find great dogs from a shelter and it is amazing just how many dogs are not adopted by folks through these organizations. So about a week ago we decided to visit the Christchurch City Dog Shelter, where dogs are kept for a period of 8 days, after which, if they are not picked up, are sent to Dogwatch, a shelter here in Christchurch. This is good because the Dogwatch shelter is a “no kill” shelter, which means it will board these animals until a home can be found.
Our first trip to the shelter was a quick trip on a Saturday and we spent about a half hour looking at the dogs they had. We both liked one particular dog – a puppy – which was not barking even though the other dogs’ barking made for quite a cacophony. After we left the shelter we decided I would return to the shelter on the following Monday, and if that dog was still there I would put my name down to adopt him.
I drove to the shelter on Monday and the dog was still there so I put my name down by his number. I was informed that if no one claimed the dog by the following Saturday we could adopt him – Great! We talked about what we would need to get for a dog and wondered about a name (BTW, I was not sure if he already had one 🙂
The next Saturday Gaby and drove by the shelter to see if the dog was still there – he was! – and made the necessary arrangements to pick him up. They then informed us he did not have a name and asked if we had a name picked out for him for their records. We didn’t have one.
I had a friend who once had a dog name “dog” (pronounced “dee-oh-gee”). I asked Gaby to look up what “dog” translates to in Maori and she said it was “kuri” – which sounded like a good name to me. So, now we have a dog named Kuri. We were informed by the folks at the shelter that he was a 5 month old male. He is a mutt; or, as the Kiwis say, a “bitsa” – bits of this and bits of that. Of course, without knowing what breed his parents were we will never know exactly what he is a mix of (his parents could have been mixes themselves.) That being said, the best consensus I have heard so far: he appears to be a mix of a staffordshire terrier and a fox terrier. He has the brindle coloring (black and brown stripes) and white paw(s) common to a staffordshire and the forward flopping ears common to a fox terrier.
Yesterday Kuri had an appointment with the vet for neutering and a general health checkup. I picked him up in the afternoon and the vet said he was a very healthy dog. He seems to be doing fairly well today given the type of procedure he had only yesterday 🙂
Since Kuri is only five months old, he is very curious about his new environment. I know it takes quite a bit of love and devotion to raise a puppy to a well behaved dog; however, I know the effort will be worth it.
“It seems our Kuri likes to please/
Let’s hope we have the expertise.”
When we left the US for New Zealand we had to leave behind our beloved guinea pig Salazar (guinea pigs are not on the list of acceptable animals allowed entry to New Zealand). Salazar is an older loving guinea pig and we were sorry we couldn’t take him with us. Fortunately we have a dear friend named Fenella in Southern California who agreed to take in our guinea pig. Fenella runs a fantastic guinea pig and small animal rescue called Wee Companions in San Diego.
As it turns out, Salazar was an eligible bachelor and during his stay at Fenella’s he was keen about building a relationship with a beautiful female guinea pig named Cinnamon. We are happy these two guinea pigs have found each other! Wee Companions recently published a poster showing Salazar and Cinnamon together to help increase awareness of their pet adoption efforts.
Gaby and I both really enjoyed the friendship of our beloved guinea pigs and we look forward to the time when we can once again have a guinea pig or two as an addition to our family. We would also like to thank Fenella and Wee Companions for their loving support of Salazar – Thank you Fenella!
“If a pet is what you desire/
Consider adoption as a buyer.”