Diana’s Animal Refuge Work in Hildago, Mexico
Diana is one of three retired rock climbing women who established and now maintain an animal refuge in Hildago, Mexico, Fiona Animal Refuge. These women have lived in or visited this area, one hour north of Monterrey in Mexico, to rock climb for about 7 years. During their visits, they discovered that the people who lived there had no money or access to vet supplies and services, so the dogs of Hildago were uncared-for.
In 2011, they found a dog chained to a tree who almost starved to death. They rescued her, and surrounded her with love and care before her little heart gave out. Losing Fiona, her new name, was devastating for them all. These women are determined to change things. They know they cannot save all the dogs, but will certainly try by working for their Fiona Animal Refuge.
Diana’s passions include dog rescue, rock climbing, and cooking from her garden. Here is her latest recipe for using plentiful zucchini from her garden.
Pizza Zucchine Recipe from Diana, Gathered Scattered Kitchen
Zucchini noodles, zucchini lasagna, zucchini brownies, zucchini bread, zucchini stir fry….I have so much zucchini from 1 single plant in my garden. I struggle to find new and interesting ways to prepare it. I found this recipe in and have adapted it slightly by adding garlic.
3 large zucchini
2 cups of grated Gruyere cheese
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
Pizza dough (See recipe below.)
1. Preheat oven to 495F, with rack in the center. Grease a rimmed cookie sheet with olive oil or other baking spray.
2. Grate zucchini using a box grater or food processor attachment. Place zucchini in a colander over a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Let stand 15 minutes to get the moisture out. There should be a rather large pool of liquid at the bottom of the bowl. After resting, squeeze out excess liquid until it no more liquid is released.
3. In a large bowl, place zucchini and cheese together and mix thoroughly, making sure to break up any clumps of zucchini.
4. Stretch the dough evenly on the cookie sheet making sure to cover up any holes that might appear.
5. Spread the zucchini and cheese mixture over the dough, making sure to go all the way to the edge (it will brown quickly and possibly burn if you do not follow this direction.) Sprinkle the garlic over the pizza and salt and pepper to taste.
6. Bake 20-25 minutes, until topping is starting to brown. I strongly advise you to check the pizza frequently as I have made gyproc a few times by overcooking.
7. Serve with a yummy green salad.
Pizza Dough Recipe
This pizza dough recipe is not airy and doughy like conventional pizza dough but more dense like a flat bread. I actually weigh my ingredients rather than measure as, apparently, that is the style in Italy.
3 ¾ cups (500 grams) bread flour or tipo 00
2 ½ teaspoons (10 grams) active dry yeast
¾ teaspoon (5 grams) table salt
¾ teaspoon plus a pinch (about 3 grams) sugar
1⅓ cups (300 grams) room temperature (about 72 F) water
olive oil for the pans
Mix all the dry ingredients to combine then add the water. Use a wooden spoon to mix until blended. This dough is a bit stiff so I actually use my hands to mix it thoroughly. Let it sit at room temperature for about 2 hours until it has doubled in size. When you are ready to make the pizza, divide the dough in half. Cover one of your balls with a damp cloth for about 30 minutes to rest. You can put the other in an oiled baggie and keep in the fridge or freezer. Next, oil a cookie sheet with olive oil. When you are ready, dust the surface of the dough with flour and stretch the dough to the length of the pan. Pat the dough down until it reaches the edges of the pan (I use flour on the surface to help me do this part) making sure to cover up any holes or uneven areas. You are ready to cover the pizza with toppings of your choice.
Adapted from “My Bread” by Jim Lahey