I had my first vegetable garden when I was about six years old. There was a little patch behind the garage that my mother ‘gave’ to me to grow whatever I wanted.
Even at that age I grew mainly food….
I remember planting radishes, carrots, lettuce and one row of flowers – zinnias I think.
It was not quite as wide as a single car garage and about 5 feet long….. Kid-size.
I have had vegetable gardens off and on ever since, but, until recently, I never grew onions. No particular reason why; i just never thought of it.
Then, one year our friend from Spain, the breeder of our dogs, gave us some onions that he had grown on his allotment. They were wonderful.
Mon mari immediately asked me to grow these lovely, slightly sweet Spanish onions. He even said that he would help in the potager if I did. (Yeah, right…. )
Now, every year I grow onions.
This is an easy recipe – fresh vegetables, simply prepared… Summer at its best.
Stuffed Sweet Onions, Cherry Tomato Sauce
Total time: 55 minutes
- 2 large slightly sweet onions
- 2oz (60gr) Prosciutto, finely chopped, divided
- 3 tbs pesto rosso, divided
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 tbs olive oil
- Fresh basil leaves
- Using a small spoon, take out the center of each onion
- Combine 1 tbs Prosciutto and 1 tbs pesto rosso.
- Divide the mixture and spoon into the onions
- Put the onions into a small baking dish, deep enough that the onions can be covered.
- Put the tomatoes around the onions.
- Sprinkle the remaining chopped Prosciutto over the tomatoes.
- Dot with remaining 2 tbs pesto rosso.
- Drizzle olive oil over all
- Cover the dish with a lid or foil.
- Bake, 400F (200C) 45 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a sharp knife.
- Remove onions and place on 2 plates,
- Spoon tomato around onions, garnish with basil and serve.
This seemed a fitting recipe today….
Our friend died, suddenly and unexpectedly, a few days ago.
Our initial and immediate friendship was based on two things: our mutual love of golf and big dogs. We were agreed that one should not have to reach down or bend over to pet a dog.
So…. In his memory I give you a history of his dogs, including the ones that became my dogs.
1997: me with the first Duke of Wellington. He was a Pyreneen Mastiff that, along with the original Bonnie, a Landseer Newfoundland, were the founders of a rather prolific family of dogs.
Our friend kept three dogs from the first litter:
Emma, Lady Hamilton (left) and Admiral Lord Nelson (right). Emma was originally intended for me but shortly before she was born an abandoned, part Alsatian dog, Sedi, took over our household.
The second Duke of Wellington (front) with Emma again (back). The first Wellington had died shortly after the puppies were born.
Time goes on…. Our friend broke his leg playing golf and the four big dogs (Bonnie, Emma, Wellington and Nelson) were too much for him to deal with. Emma came to live with us and Nelson went up in the mountains to live with another friend.
His leg healed, he got back in good form and decided he needed more dogs. Bonnie had died and he only had Wellington.
One dog was not enough. Wellington,II became the proud father of a litter with a female from the village. He kept two from that litter: Tippy and Panda.
Emma in front, then, from left: Tippy, Panda and Wellington, II.
And on it goes…..
Below is Misty, the offspring of Tippy and another male. By this time there were cousins and second cousins and third cousins all over the mountain. Some were pets, some were guard dogs, some were sheep dogs, and so on.
Finally – my two: Bonnie in front, then Guapa followed by their brother, Ghengis, all three the offspring of Misty,
Misty disappeared into the mountains one day, leaving Ghengis, Tippy and Panda. Our friend decided to try his hand at bigger dogs.
On the right are the two Leonberger puppies: Baloo at 10 months and Misdemeanor at 3 months.
Baloo and Misdemeanor were meant to be the parents of the new dynasty.
Our friend’s son has told us that they will be. He is going to carry on the tradition. After all, he said, one of the puppies was already promised to the little girl that owns Gualli (beow, right).
Gualli is the brother of Tippy and Panda, He and his mistress have been together for eleven years – their whole lives. She is to get one of the Leonberger puppies to carry on the tradition.
Our friend left an impressive canine legacy behind and will be sorely missed by all the people and dogs on the mountain.
He also left an impressive wine cellar behind…. I believe I’ll miss sharing a bottle of good Spanish Rosado on his terrace solving the problems of the world most.