We have now completed our first week of kitchen remodeling.
The cabinets are down, the refrigerator (including filtered water) is installed in the living room, and the stove is in the basement where we hoped it would share the 220 outlet with the dryer. In the end the plugs didn’t match (I guess there is something about different amperage…).
John has broken up the soffits and safely pried off most of the vitrilite tile, despite the warnings of professional remodelers that it was unsalvageable. At some (saner) future time, I will be searching for architectural salvage people who might have an interest in this.
Biggest crisis? An asbestos wrapped heating duct going up this skinny little wall between the old pantry and the stove, which will need to come out. Also found (non-covered) duct work in the soffits. Ductwork guys will be here within a couple of days to asses. New asbestos folks didn’t call back and our last guys have disappeared. Good thing we know a lot of contractors from working on this house for 20 years. Don’t know if we’ll make the scheduled floor install date, and Memorial Day festivities are looking bleaker.
I am definitely compromising my foodie instincts. We have had some modest successes: grilled lamb chops (local, organic, grass fed) with truffle butter (bought at half price last winter), spring greens with artichoke hearts (that makes 2 veggies with no cooking), and garlic sourdough bread. I would normally (at minimum) have added a hot vegetable and done an herb rub for the lamb chops, but I guess truffle butter makes up for that!
We have also done blackened pizza on the grill (that’s burnt, not spicy, thanks to some misinformed blogger who said NEVER use a pizza stone on the grill) and blackened rotisserie chicken (also burnt, though tasty after you peeled off the first layer of flesh). I have decided that carrot sticks and raw broccoli with hummus make a great dinner foundation.
I am also shirking on some of my green habits. I tossed a mango peel into the garbage because the compost bucket was inconvenient (I have since moved it) and we seem to be using paper towels more since we don’t have a sink in our food prep area.
Mood: Even more worried about the schedule. Annoyed with the cooking inconveniences, despite having a cute eating area in the family room and a coffee bar in the living room! Hopeful it all will become second nature. And our 2nd grilled pizza (with stone) worked!
Since I haven’t posted a recipe in ages, I thought I’d share our favorite bread—a honey whole wheat bread. This is the one I made 12 loaves of to freeze before beginning the kitchen project, now coming in handy as I become a minimalist cook. Perhaps I should have made more…
Honey Whole Wheat Bread (adapted from Red Star Yeast Centennial Bread Sampler)
6 to 6 ½ cups of whole wheat flour
2 cups of unbleached flour
2 pkg of instant dry yeast
3 cups of water
½ c honey
¼ c oil
1 t bread conditioner
Heat honey, water and oil to 115. Add yeast and let proof until yeast is bubbly.
Mix dry ingredients. Add yeast mixture and stir until blended, adding flour as needed. Knead 5-8 minutes until dough “pushes back”. Place in greased bowl turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, approximately 1 hour.
Punch down dough. Divide into 2 for round loaves or 3 for standard rectangular loaves Form into loaves and place in greased pans. Make shallow slices in tops of bread. Cover and let rise until double, approximately 30 minutes. Bake at 375 for 40 – 45 minutes, until loaves sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pans and cool.
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