Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tell Me Thursday 2012 - #2

Crooks and Crazies

For whatever reason every time I start a TMT post I hear "Everyone know what time it is? TOOOL TIIIIIIME!!!"

Here is how you play: Go to your blog, and start a new post. Make sure to link back to my blog. Copy the code at the bottom of my post for my button, and paste it in your post. After you publish, come back here and add yourself to the link widget at the bottom of my post. Done! If you need tech help just let me know. Don't forget to go see what everyone has to say!

Allrighty then. This week's questions:

1. Stopping your dog - what do you prefer? On their feet? On their belly? Some combination?
2. At what point do you start teaching this?
3. Do you have a favorite dog? I won't tell.
4. What is the #1 thing a dog can do to push your buttons?
5. Brrrrr... it's winter. What is your favorite soup recipe?

My answers:

1. Stopping your dog - what do you prefer? On their feet? On their belly? Some combination?

For me this depends on the situation. None of my dogs have an actual "stand" command (though it's on my list of things to do) but most of them will stop on their feet first when I give a "lie down" unless I'm pretty firm on it. They tend to sort of read my intent, and I'm ok with that. Nick prefers to stop on his feet on the drive, and unless he's unsettling the sheep I let him do it. Linc clearly prefers not to stop at all, and likes to stop on his feet. On the rare occasion that HE isn't spooking the sheep I'll let him do it. But more often than not Linc is spooking the sheep (just his presence unsettles sheep usually) so most of the time I put him on his belly. June prefers to stop on her feet but she's a naughty little creeper, so on her belly for her too.

That being said, on difficult and hard to move sheep I encourage them to stay on their feet, unless they or I think taking the pressure off is the right choice.

2. At what point do you start teaching this?

Usually at whatever point I think they can take the pressure. My dogs tend to not have a stop or flank commands for quite a while - though I'll use the commands conversationally. I'm more interested in letting them learn to feel their sheep than I am getting commands on them. But, like with a dog like Linc, sometimes I have to put a stop on them sooner than I'd like. He was one of those.

3. Do you have a favorite dog? I won't tell.

Sadly, I do. It's usually Nick, but sometimes it just plain depends on the day. I also have favorite dogs in different moments for different reasons. I also have least favorite dogs... like Pia when she excavated my phone line this morning. *sigh*

4. What is the #1 thing a dog can do to push your buttons?

On stock that is probably fight me. Nothing quite enrages me like a dog fighting me. I don't mean an occasional fight, I mean systematically.

At home the #1 thing is picking a fight with another dog. Or maybe trampling Zippy. This one is a toss up.

5. Brrrrr... it's winter. What is your favorite soup recipe?

My Chili recipe:

2 lbs LEAN meat - I use lamb, venison, beef, turkey, or some combo of each
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes and green chilis (mild or hot) about 12-15 oz
1 to 2 15 oz can of beans (I use canned kidney or black, or pinto) drained and rinsed
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 medium onion
2-3 cloves garlic
1/2 large green bell pepper (optional)
24-32 oz chicken stock (low fat), or water
3 Tbsp chili powder (more or less to taste)
1 Tbsp cumin
1-2 tsp Basil
salt to taste
crushed red pepper to taste

1/2 of a beer (optional)

Serves about 8-10, give or take, and a serving is about 1-1/3 cups. YMMV

In a large stock pot start browning the meat. Chop and drop the onion and bell pepper into the pot as you're browning the meat. As the meat is getting closer to brown, chop and drop the garlic and the jalapeno (you don't want the garlic overcooking and becoming bitter). Drain. Put in the spices (including salt) and stir to toast for about a minute. If you're using beer, pour 1/2 of a beer in, and use it to deglaze the pan (ie scrape up the bits of yummies on the bottom). If you're not using beer, use about a cup of the stock or water. Let that simmer and reduce for about 1 minute.

Next add all of the tomatoes & beans, followed by the stock until slightly thinner than your preferred consistency - as it will cook down some. Simmer for about an hour or three or four (or however long you have - sometimes I only have 30 mins).

Options - you can use a chipotle in adobo sauce for the jalapeno (very hot though), and you could use red wine (adjust points) to deglaze the pot (or just use the chicken stock if you don't like cooking with alcohol). If the meat is superlean (like 96% lean) I'd use some EVOO when browning the beef. This particular recipe is easily adjusted to taste. If you like it spicier add more jalapeno, or some of the seeds... or an extra can of green chilis, or some crushed red pepper, or all of the above. I

You can also try using only 1 Tbsp of chili powder and add a tsp or two of cinnamon and nutmeg. It gives it a totally different taste. This is especially awesome if you use venison and/or lamb, or sausage.



Kelly said...

Ohhhh how did I manage to be first?? LOL.
I'm trying to think up a question for you to ask next week :)

Laura Carson said...

Excellent! I need to put out a call for questions. Sometimes I'm creative, and then sometimes... well...

Mara said...

Must try your chili recipe - looks yummy!!

Original_Wacky said...

I'm just joining in, and this is so much fun! Even though we don't really DO much with the dogs yet, we have some plans in the future, so it is entertaining to start thinking of this stuff.

Laura Carson said...

So glad you joined in Original_Wacky! Fun. :)

Mara - it's very tasty, and you have a lot of room to play with it. I just sort of... throw whatever suits me in there.

Doniene said...

Gotter done this week! You know last week was my first to miss - what a bummer! But I'm back. Have a great week, weekend, etc., etc., etc!! Tell Zippy hi for me. And Bess said that she wants to play with Pia sometime!

Ann said...

Looking forward to the recipes. Heads up, Jaenne is an excellent cook. Will try her beef and barley first! And, Katy's green chile stew is excellent! And, if someone tells you it's too hot, don't believe them!

Anonymous said...

Yep that chili sure sounds tasty alright. Think I'll make me a batch of it soon.

Anonymous said...

Katy's chili stew will kill your average scandihovian. Everyone else will enjoy it.

Laura Carson said...

LOL!!! Can't wait to try it. haha

Steffi said...

I finally posted.... and your linky widget is expired... so here it is: