Friday, April 27, 2012

Cooking with Declan

Welcome to another Cooking With Declan slot!

If there is one thing that my Mum really loves, it's foraging. Now, before your imaginations run riot, what I mean is, searching fields and hedgerows for wild food stuffs. Most commonly this happens in Autumn when we go out and pick Blackberries and Sloes. Mum makes several bottles of Sloe Gin which we keep for Christmas. Okay.... We keep some if it for Christmas!  She has a romantic notion of going out before breakfast to collect mushrooms from the fields, but Other Mum says she is not allowed until she has been on an identification course, as she will probably end up killing us!

At this time of year Mum loves to go along our favourite canal walk to pick Wild Garlic (Ramsons)  Even an idiot less experienced person like Mum can't fail to recognise this stuff; you smell it long before you reach it!

Here in the UK, the season lasts from about mid-April to end-May

This is me in my lovely new coat. (The Wild Garlic is behind me....!)

This is a duck we saw on the canal - you can just make out her newly hatched ducklings next to her!

Anyway, I digress, Back to the garlic.

Once Mum has a large bag of it, we are rarely allowed to eat anything else! One of her favourite recipes is for Wild Garlic Pesto. It is really easy to make and very tasty.

You will need:

80 g wild garlic leaves (stalks removed)

50 g parmesan (or similar hard) cheese

50 g pine nuts

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

100 ml olive oil + some more for topping up the jar

You can use any nuts or seeds that you like, Mum often uses Walnuts instead of pine nuts.

Basically grab your food processor and grate the cheese. Replace the grater with the blade attachment and put in half of all the ingredients, blend until smooth and gradually add the remaining ingredients and continue to blend. Place the pesto in steralised jars. Cover the top with olive oil. This recipe will make about enough to fill a 300g jar. It will keep for a couple of months in the fridge.

Mum hasn't tried it, but has read that if you make the pesto minus the cheese it will keep for a year if refrigerated. You then just grate the cheese and add as needed. 

Mum hasn't made any Pesto yet. She plans on going back to our garlic patch next week when she is back from Ganny's. Have I mentioned she is going to Ganny's WITHOUT me.?!

With our current batch of leaves, Mum has been making Wild Garlic Mayonnaise for everyone that we know! You can make your own Mayo from scratch, obviously, but really, isn't life a little short?!

Anyway, grab a jar of your favourite Mayo and put in a bowl. Add lemon juice to taste. Finely chop about 8-10 wild garlic leaves per 750ml jar of Mayo and stir in. Easy and really really good!

Well I do hope you've enjoyed today's recipes. Whether or not I speak to you before next week sometime will depend largely on Other Mum, who is being left in charge! I have mentioned I'm being abandoned, haven't I?.......................

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Nearly Wordless Wednesday 25/4

Declan thought his long lost brother could have at least combed his hair.....

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Rottweiler Review!

Ha Ha! Bet that title had you wondering didn't it?! "Why is Deccy reviewing Bart & Ruby" I bet you were all thinking. Well, as lovely as those two are, I've got my very own Rottweiler to tell you all about!

I was recently contacted by the nice people at Bonlays Online Pet Store and asked if I'd carry out a review of one of their stuffie toys. Well, I'm a sucker of a furry friend I can throw around - just ask Mr Teddy & Mr Panda (Best not ask David though!!). I had the choice of a duck or a Rottweiler and it was Mr Rotti who got my vote.

I have to confess that Mum (the slacker) didn't look at the Bonlays website before Mr Rotti arrived, all we knew was that he was described as Rottweiler Large Plush Dog Toy so we were a tiny little bit surprised when he turned up....

In all fairness, Mr Rotti's description on the website does give his dimensions, but it is a bit of a mystery as to why he is described as large! Sure, if I was the size if my mate Elliot the Chihuahua I'd think he was enormous, but this little fella barely comes up to my ankles!

Mum has given him the once over and said he is very well made. He has a squeak in his head ans a rattle in the body. I've happily played with him, and he's still in one piece!

In conclusion, I would say that my Rottweiler is very cute and well made. If you are bigger than a Yorkshire Terrier but smaller than a Springer Spaniel, he could well be the ideal companion for you!

My Rottweiler is available from Bonlays at £6.99 ($9.79)

Declan's dogs Blog did not receive payment for this honest review

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Arty Farty......

Hello everyone!

Today I thought I would bring a little culture to my blog and show you some wonderful pieces of art that I have recently acquired.

Some of you may remember that back in March, Beryl & Frankie, Puddles and I had a right old knees up in Dublin.

Some of you will also know that Puddles Duddles Rainwater is rather a renowned artist. In fact I think you will all know this as Puddles isn't the sort of very short red greyhound that hides her light under a bushel, as it were.....

Anyhow, before she got completely off her face on Guinness and Wotsits (a lethal combination...) Puddles decided to capture the essence of the day in her own inimitable style. 

Don't you think this is marvellous?! The depth, the perspective! I am lost for words... nearly. I have instructed Other Mum to get it printed and framed pronto so I can hang it above my bed.

Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, this arrived....

If I thought the first one was good, this really blew me away (or was that the Wotsit wind Pudds, mate...!!) It is a picture of all four of us, and something I will treasure always. See how like a small red greyhound Puddles looks.... and how devastatingly handsome I am. Beryl & Frankie are looking good too of course.... Oh  how I do miss my love, Beryl...... 

You can see that I artfully got Puddles to sign her works. I know it won't be long before she is exhibiting in the Guggenheim and then my lovely pictures will be worth their weight in gold plated gravy bones..Hehe!

Seriously, thank you very much for all your hard work, Puddles, mate. We can't stop smiling every time we look at your pictures!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Volunteering for Mum and a walk for me!

Today I thought I might tell you a little bit about Mum's voluntary work.  Mum works with an organisation called Age UK  (Age UK is the new organisation combining Age Concern & Help the Aged) Age UK has a vision of a world in which older people flourish. They aim to improve later life for everyone through  information and advice, campaigns, products, training and research.

Mum works with the Bradford branch and specifically on a project called Walk From Home. The project aims to  improve the health and well being of older people who have lost confidence because of falls, declining mobility or isolation. It helps them regain confidence by walking with them in their local area.

Today Mum had to meet a lady new to the scheme, so she said I could go too, though I'd have to wait in the car, obviously. The new lady is 92 and came to the UK after fleeing Latvia during World War II. She's getting a bit nervous about going out alone and finds the traffic a bit of a challenge. Mum is going to help her walk to her local store and maybe even catch the bus to her doctor's surgery. Although this was the first meeting, Mum says she knows they will get on just fine; the lady has a cat! She says there really aren't that many people still alive who can tell you first hand about the Soviet occupation of Latvia in 1940. I do hope Mum remembers to take the lady for a walk as well as listen to tales from the war!

Mum really enjoys her voluntary work, and I think I might too, as she took me for a lovely walk afterwards! 

If you would like to make a donation or volunteer with Age UK, you can contact them on 

0800 169 8787 or visit their Website

As I said, Mum took me on a nice walk after she had met the new lady. We went to a place called Chellow Dene.

Chellow Dene consists of two Victorian reservoirs set in a deep wooded valley. It's a great place for wildlife including herons & woodpeckers.

We might not be around for about a week as Other Mum has a few days holiday and it is Mum's birthday on Monday! Being a gentleman, I will not say how old she will be..... but it's the same year as the QE II was launched, so she ain't no spring chicken Hehe!! Have a great weekend everyone.

Deccy x

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nearly Wordless Wednesday 11/4

At The Movies..........

"I wonder where Dorothy, Scarecrow and Tin Man are....?"

Declan was getting his movies mixed up.....

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My 100th Post!

I can barely contain my excitement (though I do pretty well at hiding it...) that I have reached my 100th post! I tentatively put a paw through the door of Blogville nearly 8 months ago and then in a flash, here we are!

When I first mentioned to Mum that I might like to record my musings for posterity, I never dreamed so many other dogs and cats were doing the same. It was like a whole world existed that I knew nothing about. Most of my blogging pals and I will probably never meet in the fur, but I feel as if I have made some really good friends, and for that I would like to thank each and everyone of you. I would never have thought that such love friendship and support could come from complete strangers. Joining the Blogville community has been such a positive experience for me and I know Mums have thoroughly enjoyed helping me record my thoughts and reading about my pals all over the world.

So thanks to all of you for making me feel so welcome. And thanks for some of the best laughs ever! Hey, I even met my love Beryl and what could be better than that!

Here's to the next 100! Cheers everyone!

Your Pal
Deccy xxx

Saturday, April 7, 2012

All Rise for Mr President!

Hello Everyone! Hope you are all enjoying the holiday weekend.

I am very very excited because as some of you may know, my very good friends over at Dip-Dip and the Bridge have asked me to judge their completely fabby 250th post giveaway competition. Never was a Greyhound so honoured! It all started when I admired Lynne's crocheted terrarium ans she kindly sent me a cactus of my very own.

I do so love getting parcels in the post. And just think, if you enter the competition you could get a parcel too!! Dip and the gang have said they will send the winner their very own cactus to anywhere in the world. Bargain!

If getting my own crocheted cactus wasn't enough, Dip, Bridge & Elli asked me to become The Honourary President of the Crocheted Cactus Club!

This is my cactus when it arrived some time ago. See how excited I am.....?

And this is my cactus today. See, absolutely no difference. Not even Other Mum can kill my little plant!

This is the very cactus you could win (Even nicer than mine, if that is possible......)  So get on over to Dip-Dip and the Bridge's place immediately and win yourself this unique prize! And anyway, you don't want to make my life too easy do you?!

Did I mention that pigs ears, dried sausages, Wotsits, Stella Artois and gravy bones tend to make me look most favourably upon entrants..... Just sayin'.......

Thursday, April 5, 2012

WTF?! The Weather's Gone Mad!

Last week, here in the UK, we experienced some beautiful, unseasonably warm weather. It was so nice, Other Mum decided to take a day off work so that we could go out and have some fun. We put together a picnic and set off.

Firstly we went to Yeadon Tarn between Bradford and Leeds

There's lots of wildlife, including some very pretty ducks.....

..... and the elusive lesser-spotted Greyhound. Hehe!

You can even do some plane spotting!

Mum! Want an ice cream...... pleeease!

This one is for Beryl! ;-)

We then decided to go up onto the moors and found a lovely spot for our picnic.

In fact, we had such a nice time, that Other Mum immediately booked a day off work this week....

This is what we woke up to yesterday morning!

Errrr.... Mums. I think we may need to reconsider the picnic!

My Mums and I would like to wish everyone a happy and peaceful Easter or whatever festival you may be celebrating. Alternatively, just enjoy not being at work!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Nearly Wordless Wednesday 4/4

At The Movies........

Deccy wondered if Puddles may have had one Cheeto too many.......

Monday, April 2, 2012

Deccy's Excellent Blog Award - The March Winner!

Well I have been up until all hours trying to decide on a worthy winner of this months award.....

and really they were all so good I just couldn't decide. Mum said perhaps I could let her choose. Hmmmmm...well okay Mum, but you're not going to find it easy.......

You are absolutely right Deccy, they are all very good and all for different reasons. Very funny, great pictures, a lovely story. But, as you are so fond of telling people, this is your award and you can do what you like, right? I'm assuming this privilege has been passed to me, so I'm going to make the award for my own very personal reasons.

Between March 12th and March 25th. Leslie at Bringing up Bella wrote a series of 6 posts entitled 14 years in 14 days. 14 years in 4 minutes was just one of them and happened to be a Wordless Wednesday posting. Essentially the posts are a tribute to Beau, Leslie's best boy and Bella's predesessor. The Wordless Wednesday alone made me cry (!) but please read all the posts to fully appreciate this story.

Leslie eloquently and beautifully captures in words and pictures something that I am sure many of us will have found hard to express about an exceptional pet. For me it was Flynn - you all add your own names! These posts capture so well my feelings about my wonderful, kind, gentle and funny boy.

As a caveat, I must say that non of this detracts from the current man in our lives! Flynn he ain't, but we love Deccy non the less for it.

So without further ado. Bringing Up Bella please collect your award with our love!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Kong Wobbler from GJW Titmuss

Hello I'm back, having wrestled the PC from that blo*dy cat!

Today I want to tell you about my lovely new toy The Kong Wobbler!

I was contacted by the people at the online pet supply store GJW Titmuss Ltd and asked if I'd I'd like to test drive one of the toys that they sell. Well, I'm a sucker for a Kong (not sure that sounds entirely right...!)  so I headed straight for the Kong section and picked out the Wobbler as I'd never seen one before. It arrived last week and I've certainly been putting it through it's paces!

It is described as large, and they aren't kidding! This is the large Wobbler next to my large Classic Kong.

It is made from, and I quote "FDA food-approved high-strength polymer" which is not the same stuff as the Classic is made of - it's a much harder plastic like material. The base screws off to allow filling and easy cleaning.

As you can see below it certainly kept me entertained!

I do have a couple of small criticisms. I have to assume that this size of Kong is meant for large-ish dogs, but the dispensing hole is too small for any of my treats to fit through! I got Mum to measure the diameter of one of them and it's only 2 cm. I appreciate that the treats shouldn't fall out too easily, where would be the fun in that! but I had to chop all of mine in half, well, Mum did anyway. So maybe Mr Kong could make the hole just a little bigger? Secondly, the hard plastic material. I know this toy is for rolling and pushing, but I do like to pick my Kong up and give it a good old bounce! I've tried and tried with this one, but because it is hard and shiny I can't get any purchase at all! Perhaps there is good reason for it being made as it is and not of natural rubber like the Classic, but I think it would make it better.

That said, it is a great toy and I've been playing with it happily all week. Mum likes the fact that it's really easy to keep clean and she says that it does distract me for longer than my other toys. 

My Kong Wobbler was supplied by GJW Titmuss Ltd and costs £12.99 plus P&P and is also available from Amazon UK and


Declans Dog's Blog did not receive payment for carrying out this honest review.