In no particular order:
1. If you know a good tradesman/handyman – cherish them. Treat them nicely, buy them gifts and do whatever it takes to keep
2. I learnt what “grout” is and how to apply it (it’s kinda like icing a cake)
3. I have learnt to tile the kitchen floor (it looks beautiful)
4. I have learnt that I am part of an amazing team and impossible is nothing
5. I have learnt that next time I have any sort of renovation at home – I am moving out.
I am sure you’ve guessed – we have been stood up by tillers – three different one, nonetheless. So we had no choice (well, it was either this or me having a nervous breakdown, as since I’ve got busy I had no time to indulge) but to do it ourselves. And we did tile the kitchen floor. It is by no means perfect, but it is our and it is beautiful. I can start moving back to my kitchen today. Excitement!
Ironic – I have a kitchen ready, yet no one to put the floor in….I am not even stressing anymore.
Will have Xmas dinner from the microwave…
No, not Santa:) Better!!!!!!
Plus, I have discovered (by reading a little sticker on my new oven) that I actually have DOUBLE OVEN!!!!! As in I can bake a garlic bread on one, and a chocolate in the other and they totally wont even see each other. Only people who know me can truly understand what this really means…. And I love you guys for that:)
The fitters finally arrived and works started:
And they continued working:
I have to say – I am generally impressed with the fitters, working quickly and tidy.
I think at this moment it hit me that this is really an end of an era….. A lot of good things happened in this kitchen…
All gone!!!! But the kind fitters left me with something lovely to cheer me up:
Now I really start to believe it is all happening:)
I like December, now I can start looking forward to Christmas, listen to Xmas songs and get festive. Few years ago (I forget how many – five?) I have started a new tradition. At the beginning of December me and my girlfriends meet for Xmas cookies baking. These are special ginger breads we always make back home, and they last for a long time. Actually, the longer, the better. I have hoped this year we can use this opportunity to christen my brand new kitchen but no such luck.
I also remember that at the beginning we used to enjoy vast amounts of mulled wine whilst baking, but over the last few years there was always someone pregnant or breast feeding. Or then I have stopped drinking all together. These days it is all about baking, catch up and being together. I love it:) And missed those who couldn’t make it this year.
I still like my Grandma’s recipe the best
2 cups of flour
1.5 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1.5 teaspoon of coco powder
2 teaspoons of baking powder.
Mix all ingredients (this can be done a day in advance. If the dough is too wet add a little more flour). Roll it out on a floured surface and go crazy with your cookie cutters. Bake in 180 degree C for about 10 min. You need to be careful her – they burn in the space of seconds. Also they are done when they are still just a little soft to touch, but not too soft. Leave them to cool and decorate as your little heart desires. And most of all have a lot of fun. It is even more fun if you do it with your friends:)
I have been expecting problems all the way and was right. Have called the Kitchen People today to find out what time they are coming for the fitting, how many of them etc. And was told that very sorry, but they have hit some problems on the current job so very possibly wont be at mine till next week. Will hear more tomorrow.
I am breathing into the paper bag.
Also I am craving avocados. Which would have been fine if I wasn’t allergic to them. Maybe I simply have too much going on and everything is getting confused.
I have mentioned here before that my oven gave up on me. I have always known that if this happens – I will have to refurbish the whole kitchen as it is impossible to buy same size oven these days.
And so the Project Kitchen was born. Stressful! But I pretty much know what I want, make quick decisions and not letting the sales people make me change my mind.
I have started with with painting the ceiling and now toying with the idea of doing a second coat. It kinda needs it for the perfect finish but I dont think I can be bothered…. Also painted the first coat on the walls. These will definitely need second coating but will do this after the new kitchen is in place. Excited!
Here is the “before” kitchen. This kitchen really looks unloved here.
And with freshly painted walls:
And with the furniture delivered. Who says you cant have two kitchens in one flat???
PS Still cooking! I will not be evicted from my kitchen that easily:)
The last 12 months or so I have spent listening to my body more than I have ever before. As a result I cut out diary and have been experimenting with my diet. School plays a big role in guiding me into all new directions and avenues, and supporting me in the process.
Recently we’ve covered food allergies and sensitivities. It amazed me to learn that people are often allergic to food they are addicted to. And I thought about me and bread – a love affair. I have loved bread ever since I can remember. My mom would cook me fancy dinner and tried to entice me with amazing meat but all I wanted was fresh bread with a little bit of butter. Ok, ketchup. That love stayed with me, I would snack on bread, eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My perfect comfort food. But then I started listening to my body and noticing that if I have a sandwich for lunch, I have to have two cups of coffee only to stay awake for the rest of the afternoon. I started noticing strange feeling in my throat and sluggishness. I started cutting down on gluten and noticed feeling better. Amazingly – after gluten free lunch I didn’t even have to have a coffee in the afternoon.
At pretty much the same time I’ve learnt that the best way to test for food sensitivities is the elimination diet. You take the food out of your diet for a week completely, notice how you feel, then reintroduce it and again – notice how you feel. So I have been completely gluten free for 10 days, until lunch time today, when I finally decided to be brave and face my fears – I had a crumpet and a small pita. And then I wanted to take my stomach out because I was in pain pretty much within minutes. Plus the burping really wasn’t sexy, luckily I was home alone. Now I know and need to see how much gluten I can handle, but bread and pizza are off limits.
It is good to know that I can still surprise myself. And I have never thought that this surprise would come in the form of vegetable stock. That’s right my friends – I now make my own vegetable stock. I have a nice stash of boxes full of the goodness in my freezer. I use them in soups but mostly I just use it to cook my grains in – and let me tell you – it makes a world of difference!!!
Now you may be wondering how does it link in with being frugal, as so far it just sounds like I have too much time on my hands. Which I really don’t, but hear me out.
I have signed up for weekly organic vegetable box delivery and every Thursday morning I receive a box full of what’s in season. I am pretty good at using everything in the box between the deliveries but started noticing that my food waste increased as well. That’s because the organic veg I get comes directly from the farm, not a factory where it was washed, trimmed and made look pretty on the way to the supermarket. And I don’t do waste, I have been raised in a frugal household.
You probably already know where this is going. Yes. I do make stock from scraps which would otherwise end up in the bin. I add a little oil to the pot first, to start the process, caramelize the vegetables a little bit first, then add water, salt, pepper corns, bay leave, herbs and spices and sea weed and cook away until tender and reduced.
I then let it cool, pass it through the sieve (make sure to press it down with the back of the spoon, to get all the juices out) and leave it to get completely cold before pouring into freezable boxes. Discard the cooked vegetables, you’ve made the most out of them.
I have to say, it doesn’t take more than five minutes to prepare but the result is strangely satisfying. The one on the picture is slightly orange as I added the guts of two small pumpkins, seeds and all. Enjoy!