Patridge hunting season opened in Vermont last weekend, so Eric went hunting with a friend this morning. Eric took Toby with him since the friend he was meeting (Mike Q.) was bringing his Black Lab, Wally. Toby was never trained for hunting because we got him from my parents when he was about 8 months old and because, as an alpha male Golden Retriever, it was hard enough to get him to heed our weak-willed human commands. Needless to say, Eric and I were a little worried Toby would sabotage the hunt even though Eric’s taken him out hunting previously and he’s done fine.
Just to make sure Toby didn’t misbehave, I had a talk with him when I walked him before he left to meet Mike and Wally. I told him to be a good boy when he went hunting with his Pa and to follow Wally’s lead (Wally has been trained to hunt.) I repeated this message to Toby several times, and I think it worked because when Eric and Toby came home around 1 PM, Eric said Toby did pretty well, all things considered. He didn’t go crazy. He didn’t run too far ahead of Eric and Mike. He was a good boy. He didn’t retrieve any birds because there weren’t too many birds for Mike and Eric to shoot at. It turned out that Wally was the bad boy. Not so much in the field, but in the car. He devoured three cider donuts Eric had bought–one he snatched right out of Eric’s hand. That Wally. He’s a rapscallion.
While Eric and Toby were grouse hunting, I stayed at the ranch and did laundry, wasted time on the computer, made my grocery list and then went grocery shopping. I bought a bunch of plum tomatoes and basil at Clear Brook Farm so that I could make spaghetti sauce and pesto.
Guiliano Hazan’s Classic Pasta Cookbook has a great recipe for a simple, delicious and relatively fuss-free tomato sauce. You don’t have to peel the tomatoes, just seed them and slice them. And you don’t have to slave over a hot stove for hours, adjusting seasonings and making sure that the sauce doesn’t burn. This recipe contains just four basic ingredients–tomatoes, basil, garlic and olive oil–and cooks in less than an hour. The resulting sauce tastes fresh and rich in spite of the sparse ingredients. I’m going to freeze it for the winter. I’m also freezing the pesto I made.
Eric is now out bow hunting. Bow hunting season in Vermont opened this weekend. I always worry about Eric when he goes out deer hunting. I’m so afraid he’s going to get shot. I know hunting accidents are relatively rare, but still I worry.