There is a woman at the McGregor market who is much beloved by all dogs. She has a teeny, tiny stand, topped with a wooden fruit box, filled with paper packets. Her whole vibe is unassuming. But you know there is something special going on by the number of dogs sitting quietly at her feet. Eyes glued to the fruit box. For in that wooden treasure chest lie …. dog treats. Her recipe is closely guarded – but she has admitted the inclusion of liver: “all dogs love it.”
Now the thought of turning liver into a biscuit, or even every having to handle liver, is beyond my pale. The few times I have had it at the end of my fork have been by accident (twice) and through politeness (once). Both times I gagged and my good intentions were thwarted.
I remembered this when I was doing my usual Sunday leftover troll through the fridge and I came across two chicken livers and a few middle-aged carrots languishing side by side in the veggie drawer. (No, I have no idea how the livers got there…) ‘Maybe’, I thought, ‘I could recreate the liver thing without the liver. Surely kidneys behaved pretty similarly? I could boil and puree them with grated carrots and mix it all with some flour. Should work.”
One whiff of the open container put paid to that notion and sent me gagging. In my reels around the kitchen, I noticed a couple of bananas on the fridge – presumable left there by the cleaners. They were overripe … but they called to me. Jack loves banana – it was squidgy, it could just work. I browsed the internet for a basic recipe and I got busy.
Took no time at all, made the house smell delicious, produced fifty: got rave reports from all dogs interviewed.
A successful bake all round.
The Perfect Dog Treat
2.5 cups/350g flour – regular or wholewheat
2 large carrots grated
2 ripe bananas = in pieces
1/4 cup/65ml vegetable oil
1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C
2. Put flour, banana, carrots, egg and oil in a bowl and mix it all together – using hands is easiest.
3. Now – if the dough seems dry – add a little water. If it seems loose – add a little flour. Gently, Gently.
4. Roll out on a floured surface and cut into shapes with cookie cutter.
5. Place on baking tray covered with parchment paper.
6. Bake on high shelf in oven until golden and dry – about 20 mins
7. Cool and store somewhere airtight