Oh! My! God!
Ohmygod! Ohmygodohmygodohmygodphmygodphmygod….Oh my GOD!!!!!
What have we gotten ourselves into!!!!!
We went to visit our new old house yesterday. We needed to sort out some documents, find a place to leave for a few weeks, and wanted to check some measurments.
OH MY GOD!
(breathe, brathe, breathe)
Calm down and apply some logic.
First the facts:
It was a sunny, warm day the first 2 times we saw it; the lawns were mowed, the windows open, a soft breeze blowing through.
Yesterday was cold, gray, rainy. The shutters were closed up tight and the weeds and grasses waist high. and climbing over everything It had obviously not been touched since the day we made the offer. Unspeakable things were lurking in corners and the damp made the torn, ripped wallpaper curl.
There was a spider the size of a small cat sitting in my future kitchen.
Not the logic:
The weeds can be whacked, the gras cut, the shutters opened. The windows can be washed, the floors swept and mon mari is very good about unspeakable things in corners.
We're ripping the wallpaper off anyway, so we have a good start. We don't need to worry about damp in the walls because they are 2-foot thick stone – yes, even the interior.
As to the giant spider…. Well, there WAS only one! In a house that has not been lived in for several years that really isn't too bad!
The good news:
We found a great place to rent at a good price. It's a partially restored old chateau, conveniently located right next door to a winery. The girls will love it!
The best news: Mon mari discovred the plastic plumbing has finally come to France. He won't need to buy expensive copper and wrestle into nooks and crannies in stone walls. He's so happy he promised to kill all the creepy crawlies in the future without complaint!
That makes me happy!
Courgette (Zucchini) Pastry
Preparation and cooking time: 45 minutes
Using puff pastry rather than a traditional pizza crust gives a much lighter aspect to this, late-summer pastry. Cut everything very thinly, with a knife or food processor, 1/16th inch (.3cm), and don't be too generous with the cheese. Scoring a line around the edge of the pastry will help it puff up.
1 red onion
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp olive oil
1 courgette (zucchini), medium, 7 – 8 inches (20cm) you may not use it all…
6oz (180gr) deli or baked ham or smoked turkey, sliced thinly like for a sandwich, not paper thin
3oz (90gr) shredded cheese
2 tbs Parmesan
1 sheet puff pastry
Lay the puff pastry out on a baking sheet. With a dull knife (butter knife) lightly score a line around the pastry, 1/2" (1.25cm) from the edge, being careful not to cut all the way through. If your pastry is frozen you may have to wait until it thaws a bit.
Chop onion. In a medium skillet sauté onion in oil until tender, about 7 minutes. Add thyme and stir to combine. Remove from heat until needed. Thinly slice zucchini and tomatoes, about 1/16th" (.3cm). You should get 8 – 10 slices from each tomato. Cut the ham into strips.
To assemble: Spread the onion on the puff pastry, staying inside the scored line. Lay the zucchini slices on top in 2, slightly overlapping circles. Spread the ham on top of the zucchini, Lay the tomatoes on top of the ham, touching, but not overlapping. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and Parmesan. Bake, 420F (210C) until edges of the crust are golden and vegetables are tender, 25 – 35 minutes. Remove.
If zucchini has given off much liquid, score a slit in the edge and tilt slightly to drain. Cut into wedges and serve.
In addition to the above, for the week of September 5 we have Grilled Tuna with Tomato Tarragon Mayo, Spanish Brown Rice, Brined and Grilled Turkey Breast, Allioli, Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Cheese and Sage, Ham Steaks with Red-Eye Glaze, and more…
Become a Thyme for Cooking Subscriber and get the menu, complete recipes with meal preparation instruction, and shopping list each Thursday. (Reverse seasons available for Australia, and others in the Southern Hemisphere)