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September 2015
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Peri's collar

Peri Naughty died this morning, just after 8am. We are all very sad.

Yesterday she was a little wobbly on her walk, and had to stand with her back legs wide apart.

One last walk for Peri

When she woke up this morning her back legs wouldn't work, and her front ones were wobbly too. We rang the vet and went straight there.

The nurses carried Peri in on a stretcher and she was as regal as a queen or an empress.

She was allowed to eat all the special vet treats out of the cup. Peri good!!!

And then she went to sleep. We are very grateful to Dr Marion and all the doctors and nurses.

Thank you.

Peri collage

Beautiful Peri, so good natured, always loyal, so kind and loving, and extra patient with Lorelai Gilmore.

Always waiting at the gate when we came home, whatever the time or the weather.

Peri Pumpkin, loved and missed.

Good girl Peri.

Peri, my most beautiful dog in the world

Peri Naughty

10th January 2002 - 23rd October 2015

Friday Food: Lebanese Lamb Burgers

Lebanese inspired lamb burgerThese burgers are so simple to make and provide quite a substantial meal too. I found this recipe whilst idly browsing The Australian Women's Weekly's new Food To Love site. The burgers are also so scrumptious. They are good hot and cold. I froze half the burgers and defrosted one, assembled the roll and burger and ate it today. The burger is not as nicely coloured inside as it was when it was freshly cooked, but the taste was not affected. I only really needed to buy some cumin seeds and pine nuts, and it seems Turkish pita bread rolls are readily available in supermarkets, bakeries and the deli at the corner as well.

These took less than no time to make, and you could tweak the recipe to reflect your personal taste. I'd add some lemon zest next time and maybe some of the juice to the yoghurt harissa too. I used lamb mince, but beef or pork would be fine too. I bought 500g of mince and made 4 burgers, so I made 2/3 of the recipe more or less, though I didn't bother with 2/3 of an egg!!!

Oh and you need to have a cup of cooked rice. I always have cooked rice on hand, but it would quite easily cook in the time the other ingredients were being prepared. I found a harissa spice blend and that worked perfectly well.

NB  In Australia 1 tablespoon = 4 teaspoons.


Lebanese Lamb Burgers    serves 6

  • 1 tbspn cumin seeds
  • 80g (1/2 cup) pine nuts
  • 800g lamb mince
  • 1 onion, finely chopped. I prefer a red onion.
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbspn olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbspn harissa
  • 6 Turkish pita bead or rolls
  • lettuce
  • 2-3 large tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 large Lebanese cucumbers, cut into thin ribbons


Heat a large saucepan, or non-stick pan, over medium-high heat and toast the pine nuts and the cumin seeds. You will know they are ready because they become amazingly fragrant. The nuts should be slightly browned, but you can't tell with the colour of the cumin seeds, so trust your nose. Grind in a mortar and pestle, or food processor. I just chopped with my sharp knife and it worked perfectly well.

Toast nuts and seeds

I used a rectangular container to mix the burgers, because I was able to make very evenly sized burgers and that way they cook evenly too. Add the nuts and spices, onion, garlic, rice, egg, mince, salt and pepper.

Mix it up

Use slightly wet clean hands and mix together well. Divide into 6 equal portions. I divided mine into 4 equal parts as I used less mince. Shape the burgers to fit your bread rolls. Also remember that the burgers will shrink slightly when they cook, so make them slightly larger than you think you need to.

And form and cook

Heat the oil in a non-stick pan over a medium-high heat. I used an ordinary saucepan, because I find the high sides stop the oil from spitting when I fry. As long as the heat is high enough, the burgers seal and don't stick.  Cook for 6-7 minutes on each side. I may have cooked this one a little too much, but I rather like well done, but not burnt. Set the burgers aside to rest.

Harissa yoghurt

Mix the yoghurt and harissa. Split the bread rolls and just toast the inside. Or not, if you prefer.

Toast and fill

Now assemble the burgers: lay the bottom of the roll and then the lettuce and a burger.

And we're done

Top with tomato, ribbons of Lebanese cucumber and the harissa yoghurt and then pop on the top of the roll. And you are done.

The lamb burger

Sick As Not-A-Dog

Well I was right. I was sick, quite sick and I am still taking giant antibiotics and feeling poorly: but better. This year I haven't been acutely ill with the proper flu or some other such thing, but I seem to have been constantly unwell: With things that are not specifically related to my bone marrow, but probably caused by it.

I have been out to visit MrsDrWho because I am not contagious and I might as well be entertained at her house with scintillating conversation (on her part, not mine) and feeling yucky, as be at home feeling yucky and not diverted.

Peri after dinner

Peri went to the vet for her check up after the last visit. Dr Gary was very pleased her bloods were good and he prescribed double strength Tramadol for her to take every night. I have to watch that she doesn't drive or operate machinery!! The tablets are 'human' tablets and they do make rather drowsy, but that's good for the night time. The little patch where they shaved her fur for a blood test hasn't properly grown back yet.


We still went for a walk, and I had to eat semi-properly because the giant antibiotics have to be taken after food. Other than that we have been asleep, or I have been doing foolish things like carrying heavy magazine piles up to the recycling bin and hurting my side. I bought Gilly two new toys, but she only plays with them for a few minutes and then loses interest. She would rather woof at the cat next door.

I did ask my neighbour to help to pin and fit my bodice toile. I am so happy to have something that fits even half way well. I ended up making a second adjusted pattern because by the time I fiddled about with the first one in my ill state, it bore no likeness to what I started with.

Bodice mark 2

Now I just have to transfer the changes to the paper pattern and Bob's your uncle. I had planned to do it today, but I accidentally went back to sleep until 3pm. I have decided to make a box pleated skirt, like this one, and so the same with my material MrsDrWho brought back from Hawaii, with the green spot as a border as I only have 2 yards.

Other dress and skirt idea

I think Friday food will be OK for tomorrow because I took some photos a few weeks ago of something tasty. It just needs to be assembled. Now if I can just be well for a little while.....

Mental As Everything

This week is Mental As Week, not to be confused with Mental as Anything: which just makes me feel so old as I remember seeing them on Countdown performing The Nips Are Getting Bigger in 1979. Being 'Mental As' myself, I appreciate the efforts being made to help people understand what it is like to live with a mental illness. It is also such a relief to hear people like Garry McDonald talk about his mental illness and know that other people feel some of the same ways I do: anxiety is such an overwhelming and all-encompassing feeling and being able to live with it, and in spite of it, is a good feeling. I am so glad I asked for help and I feel very empowered by the great advice from my psychologist and the skills she has taught me.

Peri left Gilly right

It helps me cope when things are tough. It is tough at the moment because I can see Peri getting a little older and a lot more wobbly on her legs every day. Soon the day will come when she can't enjoy a walk and can't get about the house and garden. There is A Lot of Labrador Love at the moment. Still, she can be outside asleep, but the sound of the fridge opening or some crinkly paper and she is there like a shot.

Peri in the dog door

And then Gilly is there too!!!

Partners in crime

I have recovered from my dental work: having a temporary cap on my tooth, but I am poorly this week. I have a sore throat and mouth. I've been trying to soldier on, sleeping and resting, but I can't eat or talk without pain, and so I hope to see my doctor tomorrow. They fit me in because I have no immune system and can't fight back. I take antibiotics frequently to fight off whatever it is I have.

Teacup  tipcup

MrsDrWho is back from her holiday and, with her sister's encouragement, bought me a tea cup. It is very good. It brews an excellent cup of tea, you can tip the cup back the other way when you want to stop the brewing process, and it is quite nice to drink from as well. I am drinking some apple tea tonight.

Death star TARDIS

I don't think I have posted about the brooch and necklace I cross-stitched for MrsDrWho's birthday?? I bought the patterns from The Etsy and the cute tiny quilting hoops from Patchworks Plus online. I made a Death Star necklace and a TARDIS brooch.

I also remembered to take a better photo of my very own TARDIS bag.

TARDIS Bag better

The weather has been typically changeable and record breaking. We had the highest temperature for October since records began: 34*C . It was 33*C in Hobart, also a record, and then snow on the mountain the next day. It wasn't quite that hot here, but I am glad it is cooler again. Gilly loves the sun, she will lie in the sun until she is as hot as the sun, and then play in the paddle pool and dig a muddy hole.

Gilly here comes the sun

I went to Mr and Mrs Reno's for dinner last night. We ate delicious salmon and had lovely conversation. I made 2/3 of this cake recipe and all of the frosting. It's chocolate so I couldn't taste it, but both The Renos can recommend it .

All the Footy Grand Finals were on last weekend and so Peri, and sometimes Gilly, spent a lot of time at the fence at the party next door. The Labradors are always winners, no matter what the result.

Peri Party and Gilly at the fence

And now we are off to bed. I have been walking The Labradors, coming home and then going back to bed again until the late afternoon. I have no trouble whatsoever being tired again at bed time, but I can't breathe through my nose, so my sore throat wakes us all up during the night. The doctor's appointment can't come soon enough......

Friday Food: Spicy Pork Noodles

Spicy porkToday I went on the first part of my dental adventure, so I am quite pleased that I managed to post Friday Food. So far my tooth is so good, and I did eat this for my tea, so I am doing well!!

It's a 15 minute recipe, thank goodness. I made half the recipe, but the proper quantity here serves four. I do think it needs vegetables. I added decoratively sliced snow peas and spring onions, but if I served this for a proper meal I would definitely add Asian greens and maybe some red capsicum and corn?? I bought the best pork mince, with the least fat. Might as well pretend to be Heart Smart.

Follow the directions on the packet of vermicelli rice noodles. I only needed to soak mine in cold water for 15 minutes and then poured over a little boiling water to heat them up: hence the 15 minutes earlier. It's from Donna Hay and is one of her Quick Fix recipes, and it is quick.


Spicy Pork Noodles   serves 4

  • 20ml peanut oil
  • 500g pork mince
  • 75g (1/2 cup) red curry paste
  • 1 tspn fish sauce
  • 40ml lime/lemon juice
  • cooked vermicelli rice noodles
  • 1 small red chilli, finely sliced



Prepare the noodles as per the instructions on the packet. Heat the oil over a high heat in a large non-stick pan ( although I used an ordinary pan) and add the curry paste.


Break up any lumps of mince with a spoon or fork and then cook for about 10 minutes. The mince should be nicely browned. Add the lime/lemon juice and fish sauce and stir well. Divide the noodles between the serving bowls, add the pork mince and then top with the red chilli.

It is quite spicy, but I like that and I may have added a little more red curry paste than called for. A raita would  be a nice cooling accompaniment.

Spicy pork noodles