Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cool Idea

The SoCal wildfires are still roaring. It's hot and nasty outside. I don't want to heat up the kitchen by cooking anything ornate. So tonight we're having oven-dried tomato-topped home-made pizza, which only takes a few minutes to cook. As a simple side dish, I'll serve carrot sticks and blanched broccoli florets.

(To blanch broccoli, cut it in finger-sized spears, steam for five minutes, then plunge the veggies into a bowl of cold, unsalted water with a double handful of ice cubes. Stir the broccoli until the ice melts, then lift the spears out and roll them in a non-fuzzy dishtowel and put in the fridge.)

I never toss leftover, unsalted cooking water down the drain. (I live in a semi-arid climate, and my city is suffering from a bad drought.) Usually I tip leftover water onto a plant outside. But today I had a great thought: Offer it to the pugs! It's cool, and it smells and tastes slightly of broccoli. The dogs loved it! Mu Shu probably drank about a quart of it in one long sluuuurp session:

I swear the level of the water was an inch higher when he began!:

Then Won Ton wandered over and sucked up another long, cool draught:

See the little bits of broccoli at the bottom of the bowl? I am sure that the dogs hydrated themselves much more because the water tasted so vegetable-y good. Just the ticket for a viciously hot day:

Try it with your leftover--unsalted--cooking water. Your dogs or plants will thank you!

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