I’ve been meandering down memory lane again.
My external hard drive crashed.
The one I keep all my photos on.
I have them backed up (thankfully) but I still have to go through them all, sort them out, get them organized, etc.
There are some of the girls’ family photos following the recipe….
Fettuccine with Pepper, Meat Sauce
Total time: 35 minutes
- 8oz (240gr) ground beef (mince)
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) red wine
- 2 cups (15oz, 450gr) whole tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1/4 cup (1oz, 30gr) Parmesan cheese, grated
- 4oz (120gr) fettuccine or other long pasta
- Cook pasta according to package directions. When done, drain.
- Heat 1 tbs oil in large skillet. Add the paprika, cumin, onion, peppers, carrot, garlic, and sauté over medium heat for 5 – 10 minutes, until vegetables start to soften.
- Add the beef and sauté, breaking it up as it browns.
- Add the tomatoes, juices, wine and herbs. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered until the sauce reduces and thickens, about 20 minutes.
- Remove bay leaves, spoon over pasta and serve, Parmesan on the side.
It’s been 3 years since we lost our Emma and Sedi…. And almost 3 years since we became the proud humans belonging to Bonnie and Guapa.
I thought I would introduce you to the family.
This proud-looking dog with me heading out for a walk, is the ‘original’ Wellington. He’s a Pyrenean Mastiff.
The Pyrenean Mastiff is from the Spanish side of the mountains. It’s a very old breed, used primarily as livestock guardians and farm guard dogs. As you can see, they are big.
They’re still very common in the mountains in Spain as working dogs. Flocks of sheep, herds of cows and herds of food horses (as in horses bred for food) are still taken up into the high mountain pastures for grazing early every summer and brought back down just before winter sets in.. The dogs go with the human herders, both for companionship and guarding the animals from wolves and other predators.
The Spanish Mountain dog (common name) is a different breed than the French Mountain dog (common name). The French dog is more similar to the Newfoundland and St. Bernard…. It’s known as the Great Pyrenees in the U.S and is usually all white with longer, softer fur than the Spanish dog.
The French Mountain dog, like the Spanish dog, is still considered a working animal and does much the same on the French side of the Pyrenees, working with shepherds and cowherds (and horseherds?!?) taking care of, and guarding, the animals in the high pastures all summer, and at the home farm in winter.
Often, when I see a flock of sheep, there will be at least one small dog, running around, keeping the sheep together and one big dog, the mountain dog, walking with the herder. Their work starts once the flock settles down for the night.
The Spanish mountain dog is brave, loyal, intelligent, independent….. and stubborn.
Our friend, and Wellington’s owner, decided to breed him with a Landseer Newfoundland (black and white) to make the pups a bit more biddable.
Bonnie (the Newfoundland) and Wellington now have a few hundred descendants populating the mountains in the Pyrenees near Andorra.
Our friend is a bit of a history buff. He kept 3 of the pups from the first litter. (Wellington was getting on in years). He named them: The Second Duke of Wellington, Admiral Lord Nelson and Emma, Lady Hamilton.
This is Emma, who came to live with us when she was 4.
Below is Misty, the mother of our current dogs. She looks more like the original Wellington. Misty is 4th generation.
Our friend has had 5 litters of pups with female descendants of Bonnie and Wellington. The males were other Spanish mastiffs. And of course, he’s bred the male descendants with other suitable females. He’s a veterinarian by training and is starting his own breed of dogs.
The puppies are all sold before they’re even born, with a waiting list. They go to farms as working dogs, small businesses as guard dogs and families as pets. Out of the last litter one left at 12 weeks to go up into the mountains and be raised with the sheep he would eventually be charged with guarding. Apparently, if they are introduced young enough, they become just one big happy family. And the dogs are very protective of their family.
My favorite is a big male living in the village…. His main owner is a sweet little 7 year old girl that barely reaches his shoulder. They’re the same age and have been together their whole lives. She treats him like a teddy bear and he acts like one… With her.
Seeing them race up and down the sides of mountains that look barely suitable for goats is amazing. These are strong, agile animals.
BTW, this is not a path…. this is the road to the village our friend lives in. The left side is a sheer drop somewhat concealed by the weeds. The brown dog is our Sedi, the Abandonada.
This is our friend, on the daily walk, this day with our 2 dogs, his 4 dogs and 1 more from a previous litter that lives in the neighborhood and likes to come over and play. Walking with 7 dogs this size on steep mountain paths is, um, exciting…..
I can’t do a post about dogs without photos of our girls….
The top one is of them at 4 months.
The bottom is as adults. Guapa has the coloring of Wellington, and a shorter, more wirey coat like his. Bonnie looks like the original Bonnie.
They’re both lazy girls, without a proper job, although they do their best to protect us from the rampant bunnies and the occasional mouse.