Buongiorno, bonjour and “g’day”! (don't you like how they're all the same thing? ~ who knew Australian vernacular was so cosmopolitan???).

Also, "a good day to you, sir/maam" for our American pals, "Ni Hao" to China, and "Здравствуй" to our Russian comrades, "etcetera etcetera and so forth"... (for Yul Brynner).

It’s your old pal Kit (Christof) Fennessy here. I've been writing this blog with your help for ten years, and there's over a hundred and fifty recipes, restaurant reviews of Australia and around the world, and general gourmet articles in these pages for you to fritter away your idle hours on.

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Now, what's on the bill of fare today?

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Home made dog food

OK, fine, I can hear you saying:

"Where's the glamour gone?  Dog *?!@# food?  Kit's Cucina, that paragon of particularity, is now writing recipes for bally dog food (or "füd" if you'd prefer)?  I thought this was supposed to be a gourmet's paradise???"

Relax.  It is still gourmet.  I've been scratching my head on what to write about next, and on making up Liam the whippet's dinner this weekend, decided you might benefit from a recipe that feeds your dog for under a dollar a day, is good for them, makes them smell less doggy – making them more bearable to hang out with in close confines – as well as making (hem hem) "cleaning up after them" more bearable.

Now, read on for this canine culinary miracle...

I was recently talking to a dog food marketer, who told me:

"... people's relationships with their dogs has changed.  First, you've got your dog as dog.  Tied up to a chain, on a farm, sleeping in an old water tank or something.  They're a working dog.  They get fed bottom of the line kibble.  Then you've got your dog as pet.  That kind of dog lives in a kennel, or maybe the laundry, but sleeps closer to the house and comes out with the family for walks and stuff.  They probably get canned dog food.  Then you've got your dog as family member.  This dog sleeps inside the house, and hangs out with the people all day, and they get fresh dog food.  And finally you've got your dog as child, or whatever, and these people are willing to spend anything to keep their dog healthy and get another couple of years out of them.  Basically, the closer a dog sleeps to the bed, the more a person is prepared to spend on their food."

It was at this point my wife showed him a photo of Liam on our bed as I was waking up one morning...

Of course, the pet food industry is a relatively new one.  Dogs used to survive on the scraps we left behind and what they could catch.  But that all changed in the fifties with the introduction of canned dog food.

But you are what you eat, and in an era when our dogs live indoors, climb on furniture and generally hang out in close proximity to us as child substitutes, best friends and familiars, do you really want to hang out with something that smells like cheap canned dog food?  With that awful "dog breath" and them sweating out the stink of the terrible processed food... THAT YOU FED THEM (!)?

And then picking up after them?  Yech!  I recall a dog we used to have called Radar, a golden cocker spaniel who was charming, but not only did he stink, the only thing I found more appalling than treading in his Pal™ dog food poo was accidentally emptying a can of Pal™ as I was feeding him directly onto my bare foot.

The canned food and his poo both looked and smelt the same.

Meanwhile; don't you want your dog to live a long and healthy life?  If you know what they're eating, you've got more control over their health.  Even if you buy the most expensive dried food, you can still be causing them harm.

Don't believe me?

Did anyone see this product killing police dogs?

To wit, a home made dog food recipe for you and your loved furry friend:

Dog Food


  • 2 kg mince ~ I use human grade cheap beef mince, and pour the fat off while cooking (I got a couple of cups out, brrrr!!).  You can use "pet mince" which is super cheap, but then it's usually right on the edge of being "off" and contains ground bones as well as guts, etc. deemed inappropriate for people, so why chuck it at your best friend?  Also, if you make this recipe from human grade food, you can eat it yourself when times get tough.  You could notionally survive on less than a dollar a day yourself!! (just throw in some cabbage and soy sauce and call it chow mein!!)
  • 2 kilos mixed frozen vegetables: you know the sort, carrots, peas, corn, maybe some beans.
  • 1 packet of frozen spinach: apparently there's something in spinach they don't get from meat or those other veg.  I believe it's to do with dogs eating the stomachs of their prey in the wild, which would have half digested grass in them...
  • 2 cups of uncooked rice, cooked: i.e. put two cups of uncooked rice in a pot, pour two cups of cold water for the first cup, and a cup and a half for the second cup of rice (i.e. three and a half  cups of water to two cups of rice), bring to the boil, lower temperature to lowest and cover, turn off after ten minutes and allow to sit for five, take lid off, let steam out, fluff with a fork.
  • Salt, a few teaspoons: preferably cheap iodised salt for their iodine needs.

In a large stock pot, brown the meat, pour off the fat into a container to set so you can compost/throw in the bin.  n.b. do not pour the hot fat down the drain of the sink, as it will congeal and block it up.  A plumber  mate of mine once told me the most disgusting jobs to work on were people's sink drains since they would put fat down the drain which would go rancid all the way out to the street and that the smell is unbelievable.

Mix in vegetables to the cooked meat, then mix in cooked rice.  Heat through until all really hot, put on lid of stock pot and allow to cool to room temperature for bagging.

Scoop out mixed food with a large spoon/ladle, and put approximately 100gm portions into those cheap plastic sandwich bags.  One batch should make around 21 portions of dog food, or three weeks worth.  Store in freezer, and leave a couple in the fridge.  When you run out of thawed dog foods in the fridge, pull a couple out of the freezer to defrost in the fridge overnight.

Let the dog lick the pot clean.

I'm not sure if this recipe covers a hundred percent of your dog's nutritional needs, but it comes pretty close and is cheap and good for them.  Subsidise their diet with the occasional raw egg (for their coat), raw chicken wing (I believe these help with urinary tract infections) and a raw bone now and then (good for cleaning their teeth).

We also give our whippet a half a cup of dog bickies in the morning to stop the worms from biting and having him hassle us for his dinner early.

Oh yeah, and a bit of your sandwich.... and what are you eating now?  Hmm, what does that taste like?

So, (dog) ciao for now, and please give your dog a pat for me.

Good boy!
p.s. Here's a fun video of a dancing dog that goes some way to explaining why I think dogs are so ace (all the good work Gin has done for Kate...).