Almost every culture has a New Year’s tradition where the people eat certain foods (on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day) that are believed to bring good fortune in the new year. These certain foods represent money and progress. Foods like greens (such as kale, cabbage or sauerkraut, and collards) represent money, while legumes (like peas, lentils, and beans) represent coins. Many cultures eat pork or sausages because the pig is symbolic of progress (in that the animal pushes forward, rooting itself in the ground before moving forward). Other traditions include eating fish, rice, grapes, and sweet round cakes (like donuts). And in some cultures it is tradition to leave a little food on your plate to ensure plentiful food throughout the new year.
Whatever your family New Year’s tradition may be, you can share the tradition with your dog this year – as long as the food is dog friendly, of course. The following is a fish dinner recipe from Barbara Laino, interviewed in the April/May ’11 issue of The Bark magazine. This recipe will make 10 1-cup sized meatballs.
Midsummer Farm Homemade Fish-Based Dog Dinner
Serving Sizes of Raw Meatballs:
• For a large 50-100 pound dog – three to five 1-cup-size meatballs per day
• For a 20-40 pound dog – two or three 1-cup-size meatballs per day
• For a 1-10 pound dog – one to two 1/2-cup-size meatballs per day
*Remember – this is a concentrated and efficient food source and is power packed. You won’t have to feed as much bulk-wise as with a commercial food; most commercial foods have a lot of fillers.
• 2 pounds of Frozen Fish Fillets
• 1-2 cans of Alaskan Wild Pink Salmon
• 1/4 – 1/2 pound of Beef Liver
• 1-3 Eggs (optional)
• 2 cups of Chopped Veggies (can be any combination of carrots, cabbage, broccoli, cooked squash, green beans, cooked yams, apples, berries, kale, spinach). Do NOT use onions or grapes of any kind.
• 5-10 Cloves of Garlic (optional)
• 1/2 cup of Pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
• 2 tbsp Honey
• 2 tbsp Dried Parsley
• 2 tbsp Dried Oregano
• 2 tbsp Tumeric Powder
• 2 tbsp Thorvin Kelp Powder
• Optional: 1 cup of cooked oatmeal, barley, or brown rice
Alternate putting frozen (frozen items grind much easier) fish fillets, liver, vegetables, garlic, and seeds through a meat grinder. As you grind into a big bowl, add and mix in the canned salmon, eggs, honey, dried herbs, and powdered kelp.
Keep in a well-sealed container in fridge. Scoop out appropriate amounts for your pet.
If you made a very large batch that is more than can be consumed in about 5 days, roll into meal-sized meatballs and freeze. Then you can just take out whatever number meatballs you need and defrost them a couple days before you need to feed them. Meatballs will last at least 3 months in the freezer.
Enjoy making this special dinner for your dog and have a safe and Happy New Year!