Putting the star in Starbucks

Today was momentous for a certain little white-ish cockerpoo. It was just after I’d walked in from the shops, trolley bulging with supplies for tonight’s roast chicken, when I heard a low, grumbling sound that resembled a small gremlin. Freya was nowhere to be seen, yet I knew it was her because that’s the sort of noise she makes.

Walking to the terrace I could hear her slightly louder and realised she was somewhere inside the winter fire dogwood. I walked over and peered through the stalks. She was there and she was growling at something but I couldn’t see what it was. I took the stepping stones for a closer look.

Freya had found a rat and was standing about two feet away daring it to move. Ratty, for its part, was crouching, staring at Freya with an occasional hiss emerging from its mouth whenever Freya took a step closer. A classic stand-off.

I couldn’t see how anything was stopping either of them doing anything so I left them to it and went back to unpack the shopping. I also told Mirinda about it and she raced out to observe the action. She agreed that there appeared to be no injuries to either party and they were just trying to stare each other out.

Eventually the impasse was broken and Freya appeared on the terrace and the rat had vanished. I closely inspected Freya to make sure she was free from injury then, satisfied, I washed her paws which were quite dirty. Of the rat there was no sign so I can only think it must have managed to run away when Freya was momentarily distracted.

Little hero

While on the subject of dogs, this morning when I entered Starbucks, I was confronted by Victoria holding a tiny bundle of adorable. It was Dexter, Sue’s daughter Charlotte’s new puppy. He’s eight weeks old and utterly gorgeous.

He was extremely popular with everyone who came into Starbucks while I was there. He was so much the centre of attention that, by the time I left, he was fast asleep…which is why my photo of him is like it is.


For scale he’s about the same size as Freya. He will grow a lot more.

Moving on to another type of animal, tonight we had Persian chicken and I actually used my own preserved lemons. And they worked very well.

I think next time I shall preserve smaller lemons. Normally I can fit about six inside whereas with the full size lemons, it was a bit of a squeeze managing two.

Regardless of the lemon size, the chicken emerged a few hours later smelling delicious and tasting twice as good. I’d call that a success. Though it does appear that the second lemon was trying to escape.

Then, to top it off, I made Mirinda a lo-carb parfait. I was inspired by a lo-carb recipe in what I call The Blood Book (actually The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet Recipe Book by Dr Clare Bailey with Dr Sarah Schenker). I thought it deserved to be somewhat bigger and with layers.

And so, presenting my version of a lo-carb parfait:

From bottom: creme fraiche, ground and chopped pistachio, passion fruit, raspberries, creme fraiche, ground Brazil nuts, raspberries, passion fruit and a dribble of single cream.

Mirinda declared it delicious. I had goat’s milk yoghurt.

Interestingly, the Brazil nuts came from Bolivia.

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