Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Lamb Love Loaf-A Valentine's Day Treat

"To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with."
Mark Twain


Oh, Valentine's Day.  Is there a more complicated holiday out there?  For every happily united couple there is a person cursing the sea of roses, cards, and heart shaped balloons.  So is Valentine's Day a holiday really invented by the card companies in an effort to unload heart shaped merchandise?  We at Urban Hounds decided to investigate and it turns out the stories describing the origins of Valentine's Day are nearly as confusing as love itself.  Here is what we found out:

Part One: Saint Valentine

The Catholic church has several legends about saints named Valentine.  One of most poplar ones says that Valentine was a priest in ancient Rome, a sort of third century  Gavin Newsom.  When the emperor outlawed marriage for young men, feeling it would make them better soldiers if they had no wives or children, Valentine continued to perform marriages and was martyred because of it.

Part Two: Pagan Festival Co-opted by the Early Christians:

In ancient Rome February was traditionally the month of  fertility celebrations dedicated to the Roman God Faunus.  During the festival a goat, and yikes a dog!, would be sacrificed and Roman men would go about slapping young women with the bloody goats hide in an effort to make them more fertile.  How this helped anyone in the romance department is a bit beyond us.   Anyway, the early Christians new the Roman's didn't want to give up their goat hide slapping sex festival so they co-opted it making it about the St. Valentine story and a purer, less animalistic version of love.  

Part Three:  The Comercialism of Romance and the start of Valentine's Day Cards

In the 17th century it was already popular for people to exchange hand made cards on Valentine's Day as tokens of affection.  In the 1840s a clever woman named,  Esther A Howland, saw the market for store bought Valentines and began mass producing them in America.  Her idea certainly caught on and today over a billion Valentine's Cards are purchased in America each year. 

Dogs are not much for cards.  

Can you eat this?

so how do you honor the furry love of your life?  The one who is always there for you and with whom you likely share a simple love filled relationship blissfully void of the myriad complications in human partnerships.  Food is the obvious answer.  So this year mom showed her appreciation by whipping us up something special:  

Lamb Love Loaf

The nutritious ingredients

1 1lb ground lamb (lamb is fatty so you can substitute ground turkey if you wish but the hounds simply LOVE lamb so it seems an appropriate choice for the holiday)
1 sweet potato baked in the microwave (10 min on high)
1 apple diced
5 tbsp rolled oats
2 tbsp wheat germ (optional)
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp cinnamon (cinnamon is a natural anti-inflamatory making it a good choice for dogs with arthritis and it also helps to regulate blood sugar)

Preheat the oven to 350 and stir all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Line an 8 inch square baking pan with foil and lightly grease the foil.  Spoon the lamb mixture into the pan and bake for one hour.   Serve to your furry special some ones!


  1. Woof! Woof! I think we saw a cookie card one day at the store ... but its not as cute as that card. Happy ♥ Valentine's Day. Have a Tasty ♥ day. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  2. Thank goodness we don't live in ancient Roman times!! What a poor excuse to slap around a woman. "No, no honey...really, I'm just trying to make you more fertile!" and with a bloody carcass! Yuk! Well, your pooches are lucky to have a Momma to whip them up a special treat. I know Fred and Gloria would love this "Love Loaf". Happy Valentine's Day!

  3. Happy Happy Valentine's Day!
    We LOVE you!

    Melissa and Archie

  4. That first photograph is absolutely adorable! Too cute for words!

    God that roman thing is horrendous though! I do love how you can flow from one cute'sy subject to another without it seeming awkwardly written in your blog :)

    Happy Valentines Day!

  5. Happy Valentines Day!
    I really love your interesting information about valentines day!
    I love the recipie ... the recipie for LOVE!
    Thats why I love this blog, its amazing, all the information and cute photos of dogs and you celelbrate every holiday! A special holiday for you to find out and post about is March 1st - here in Wales (UK) its St.Davids day! You can celebrate with me!!! Have a great day! roses are red, Pugs are lovely, have a good day and break out the bubbley!! Mmmmmm! Love Frank xxxxxx

  6. Happy Valentines Day Urban Hounds! We love you!
    Thank you for the Valentine's Day tidbits and the recipe. Our girls are always excited when there is kitchen activity. We will definitely try this recipe.
    Nina, Myshka, Sasha, Betsy, Lucy, Phoebe and Lily

  7. Lamb love loaf! I am sure Finn would love it! Happy Valentine's Day to you! I have been thinking about your commuting challenge - wondering how I could take pictures of my various transfers and stops without getting run over! Any ideas?

  8. Well Finn, Im not sure. I had to be pretty careful on the bike and there where some parts I didnt photograph. Maybe use your camera phone if you have one. The plus of working near WTC is everyone is taking pictures

  9. I am going to try and guilt my mom into making this for me today. YUMMY! Happy heart day!

  10. love the pictures
    Happee Valentine's Day
    Benny & Lily