Sunday, October 11, 2009

Digging Out

At long last, we have started the process of recovering our home. Now I'm aware that there are those in the world who would consider themselves blessed if they had our problems. Three and a half months of remodeling neither shows up on the Richter Scale, nor triggers tsunami warnings. Never the less, I've had enough.

Given that the dishwasher and refrigerator are back in the kitchen, on Friday I cleaned up the dining room and shifted the dining table out of the living room. With the space opened up in the living room I moved everything around, dusting and vacuuming as I went. Last night we moved some older cabinets from the laundry area out into the garage, where they were joined by the library shelves Erin got us from the Mount Vernon Public Library. Central Lutheran Church may pick them up tomorrow. Tonight I moved 2 of the old kitchen cabinets into the basement, where they will adorn the laundry area and shop, and one old pantry into the garage, where it will house bike gear.

While I was engaged with furniture moving, Sally picked and dried our Dwarf Greek Oregano and Rosemary, yielding two and a half pints of each dried herb. She also finished picking both the Friar plums and Italian plums (pictured). She made peach chutney earlier today, and is canning a double batch of plum chutney made from the Friars as I post this. The Italian plums are for eating, as well as our favorite plum cake (recipe below). All of this is in addition to the apple sauce and plum jam she made last weekend!

Sal's efforts are not bad (!) considering that we still don't have a sink. The plumber is due tomorrow morning, and we are quite eager for his arrival. With luck we will have a faucet, sink, garbage disposal, dishwasher, and icemaker-equipped refrigerator by noon.

Digging out feels good, but the fruit harvest is a vivid, and tasty, reminder that time goes on. The record cold temperature, 20 degrees below normal, is also a stark reminder that autumn is here, with winter in its wake.

In other news, I added a wall sconce between the refrigerator and the back door because that area seemed dark to me. I had advocated for a light there in earlier kitchen designs, but lost the argument. The darkness of that corner argued more effectively than did I, so the light was added. I cut a hole in the wall, ran a new wire into the attic, climbed up and dovetailed the new wire into the connection for the SolaTube. Now the switch for the SolaTube light also turns on the wall sconce, which is identical to those on either side of the range. Six months ago I would not have dreamed of trying this. Thanks to neighbor Ron's encouragement and a bit of experience I am now in a position to burn the house down without assistance!

We also installed all the cabinet hardware yesterday, and so are beginning to retrieve our pots, pans, dried goods, dinnerware, and junk drawer contents from their summer quarters in order to stow them in the new drawers and cabinets. First we shall sort. We vow that only what we will use will make it into the new space. I'll let you know how that goes....

The Marian Burros recipe: Plum Cake

Cream together 1 cup sugar and 1 stick (4 oz.) sweet butter. Add 1 cup AP flour and 1 tsp. baking powder and beat to combine. (I use the paddle attachment on the KitchenAid mixer, at low speed.) Add two whole eggs. Spread this batter (which will be *very* thick) in the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Halve 14 or 15 plums lengthways and remove the pits (this is very easy with Italian prune plums.) Toss them with a little lemon juice and cinnamon sugar. Lay them cut side up on the batter (you may have one or two halves left over depending on their size and how tightly you pack them.) Bake at 350° for an hour, maybe a few minutes more, until the top is nicely browned. (The cake will be gummy if you take it out too soon.) Serve with a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche.

1 comment:

  1. So does this new DIY father of mine now support my attempts to change my one timing belt?!?