JJ: Exactly. Dogs are part of your family and you should know what you’re feeding everyone in your family. It shouldn’t come from China; treats from China have killed dogs. My vet agrees that I couldn’t be doing anything better for Mabon. She risks something by saying that, as some vets would disagree with her.
And don’t you love that quote by MFK Fisher? “I wouldn’t feed my dog or cat anything I wouldn’t feed myself.” That’s all there is to it.
One day when Julia Child and Jacques Pépin were doing their last television series together in Julia’s kitchen, I could tell Jacques was upset about something, and I asked him what was the matter. In a typical French gesture, he shook his fingers as thought to dismiss something unpleasant, and admitted that he hated to see such waste—all those good things going into the garbage. In his kitchen, he said, he would fill up big, empty milk cartons with all the scraps; nothing went unused. When he had a couple of well-stuffed frozen cartons, he would empty the contents into a pot of water and let it all simmer away until he had a rich, delicious (and mysterious) broth.
I have recently learned that vegetable essence is particularly good for homefed dogs. So I started to emulate Jacques. Now I always have a stash of frozen scraps hidden away in my freezer, and I cook up a new batch of soup whenever the supply is running low. Not only is it a good way to give Mabon those essential vitamins, but a little of the warm concentrated soup heats up the ice-cold leftovers that are part of his supper. And, of course, I get to share some of Mabon’s potage, spicing it up with salt and pepper, some grated cheese, and yesterday’s bread. (Incidentally, the rind of a hunk of tried Parmigiano, which you were about to get rid of, is delicious in scrap soup.)