Thursday, March 25, 2021

Establishing a New Rhythm

Much like moving into a new home, moving back into a kitchen feels strange. After all, everything is turned around compared to how it was before - the stove is on the opposite wall, the fridge in the opposite corner. The only constants are the sink/dishwasher and this computer. I've been trying to get settled, slowly moving my things into the cabinets, figuring out where they should go only after I try to look for them the first time. 

Perhaps, if I'd been cooking all winter, I would already know about The Great Canning Lid Shortage of 2021. No, I'm late to that party, but thankfully had some canning lids left over from my last big shipment over a year ago. I was out of chicken stock and needed to make some. 

This is where the new patterns come in to play. I have to start figuring out where everything can sit while I work, since my countertops are not generally where I expect them to be. It's weird. I did finally get seven pints of stock into the pressure canner and, despite the "TINK" I heard while it was going, none of them broke. 

The other thing this week was my husband's birthday cake. He wanted a chocolate cake like Worf got in the episode "Parallels" - super soft crumb and covered in spikes of chocolate. Apparently he and the youngerchild have been watching a lot of Next Generation while I've been at work. I made a cake using this recipe although, personally, the frosting was too rich. I think I'd try something different if I were to make it again. Then I melted dark chocolate, spread it on parchment, and broke it into shards for the spikes. 

Sunday, March 21, 2021


Almost done. Really, about 99.9% done. The inspector signed off on it last Thursday.

All that is left is the bathroom threshold, the shower door, a ring to go around the radiator pipe (because basic chrome wouldn't do for the bathroom with the tin ceiling, so we found one to match) and we have to replace one of the shower heads because it leaks. Apparently it's a design flaw, hopefully the replacement doesn't also leak. 

But what that really means is that we're back in the kitchen. And starting to unpack. And definitely baking! Yesterday I started a batch of cinnamon rolls and froze half of them before they were proofed. They can be thawed and proofed when we're ready. The other half of the batch went in the fridge and slowly proofed overnight; this morning I took them out and let them finish proofing on the counter. Then we feasted on cinnamon rolls!

Also yesterday I started a batch of bread which I just baked and, in a little bit, I will be making a cake for my husband's birthday. He has a vision of what he wants and hopefully I can make it happen. I am, as usual, winging it. 

Speaking of wings, I fed the bees today, dug out the flow hive box and put it on the hive, and generally checked on things. They seem to be doing fine.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Yes, I Made a Pie for Pi Day

Two, in fact!

While I have not unpacked much, I have unpacked my rolling pin and silicone mat for rolling out pie crust. I worked all weekend but I couldn't let pi day go by without making a pie. So on Saturday morning before work I made a half-batch of pie crust and let it chill until yesterday morning when I could roll it out. I used my fluted clay pie plate for our pie and, in the absence of anything else the right size, found a metal cheese mold ring that I used to make a more free-form rustic pie which I dropped off at college for the elderchild before I went to work. The filling was the last three jars of apple pie filling in my inventory. 

I'm very rusty with the baking thing. Actually, I'm rusty with all cooking. I find myself trying to remember what I used to cook for dinner all the time. I guess it's time to unpack my cookbooks.

Friday, March 12, 2021

So Many Updates

The renovation is almost done. YAY! It's been such a long time. 

We are starting to move back into the kitchen, and have a little more cleaning to do before I can fully move everything in but I'm getting everything sorted and even made my first batch of bread in the new kitchen. It just came out of the oven about an hour ago. Everything smells so good!

There are things that are yet to arrive but they are not critical to functionality: the shower door, the light for the kitchen sink, more shelf liner, and so on.

In other news, I made some syrup for the bees who seem to have made it through the winter and observed them to be bringing in pollen already. Where they are finding it, I have no idea, but they seem to be doing what they are supposed to. I'll keep feeding them for a bit longer and then once it's consistently warm and there are flowers, I'll stop. I'll also get the flow hive box on top around the same time. I also got to use my new bee helmet and it's such an improvement on my old one, I'm no longer looking through mesh but a clear panel and it feels more secure.