Tah Dah – the on going saga of the Kitchen

Renovation takes time. It is an obvious statement but very true. It is particularly true when we live so far away in England and can only work on our property for a limited amount of time each year. No builders to rely on, all our own work, so it takes years to complete. However, there are times when an expert is called for and gas fitting is one of those times. Great news, we have our white goods installed in the kitchen, tah dah.

This picture was taken before we started to remove the tiles from the wall. We only had a small four ring hob and no oven. Also half of the old hob was gas powered and the other half was electric. I imagine it’s a good idea in case of power cuts but not really very practical otherwise. I have tried many times to light the electric rings with a match, not good first thing in the morning, when you are tired out from yesterdays renovation work.

Before

Before: please do not look at the bright orange walls, our aim is to paint them this year

The start of the transformation, the gorgeous new travertine tile splash back fitted . The cooker, cooker hob and dishwasher were still stored in the lounge.

The start of the transformation

The start of the transformation

I am so excited, I have never had a dishwasher before, (except for Paul and Adam). I know that I am easily pleased and that I should get out more but it is great.

Our dishwasher

Our dishwasher

Cooker hob, looking good, a great improvement over the 1960s unit.

Cooker top, looking good

Cooker hob

The oven, complete with clock.

The oven, complete with clock

The oven, complete with clock


All we need now is a new refrigerator, chest freezer, cupboards, worktop, shelves, complete the tiling, paint the walls etc but it is a good step in the right direction.

The new cooker and dishwasher pictures were taken by friends in Daglan who had also organised the plumber/electrician who fitted the white goods along with some other behind the scenes work to the gas piping.

We have not been over to France yet this year but are very excited for when we finally see our new equipment and are able to really make the most of that wonderful fresh food.

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Our Chinese Banquet

The gorgeous dishes below were cooked by our son Adam just after Christmas as a treat. It really is great having a former Chinese Chief in the house.

Coconut Sauce

Coconut Sauce

Fried rice with bamboo shoots and ginger

Fried rice with bamboo shoots and ginger

Spicy prawns marinating in lemon grass, ginger, chillies and lime zest

Spicy prawns marinating in lemon grass, ginger, chillies and lime zest

Spicy prawns in lettuce cups starter

Spicy prawns in lettuce cups starter

Flavoured sweet rice with scallops, shrimps and mushrooms

Flavoured sweet rice with scallops, shrimps and mushrooms

Fried rice with bamboo shoots and ginger

Fried rice with bamboo shoots and ginger

Thai style cauliflower and potato curry

Thai style cauliflower and potato curry

Sweet and sour battered fish

Sweet and sour battered fish

All just mouth wateringly delicious, but too much food so we had left overs the following day.

I know, not France

Unfortunately we could not go over to France for Christmas, so here are a few pictures from our home in England that I hope that you will enjoy.

What is the old saying: red sky at night shepherds delight, red sky in the morning shepherds warning. Well this was a morning shot, taken from our front door and what a day we had, rain high winds and several parts of Britain under flood water once again.

Red sky in the morning

Red sky in the morning.

Due to having two cats in the home it was the first time that we had a Christmas tree in years. It did look good and the cats ignored it, well almost Phoebe did nibble the lower branches and Angel bopped a bauble or two.

Christmas tree

Our first Christmas tree for a few years

This is Phoebe, who ran under the tree every morning looking for her present, and each day I said, “not to day”. She did ‘eventually’ love her treats on Christmas morning.

Patiently waiting

Patiently waiting

I’m keeping an eye on you.
You can just see Angel’s two eyes under the mountain of paper.

Peep po

Peep po

Rich luxury mince pies, yum

Mince pies

Mince pies

On Christmas Eve Paul made the Yule Log shown below you can find the recipe
here in our recipe section (opens in a new window)
.
It was delicious.

Bûche de Noël

Bûche de Noël

I make the Christmas cake at the end of September and then every month I would spoon in just a little Cognac, so that by Christmas it is yummy.
Find the recipe here (opens in a new window)

Christmas Cake

Christmas Cake

This is our New Year picture; it was quite a shock to see a Goshawk on our lawn one morning. I am afraid to say that it was eating one of the doves that feed from our bird table. We think that it must have been blown off course by the high winds.

Goshawk

Goshawk in the garden