For those who are interested I have decided to give a pictorial update on our house restoration progress once a week.
For those who are not interested, and wish I would just shut up about the whole debacle, I have decided to only give a pictorial update once a week.
I have certain standards that I like to maintain.
For the most part I prefer to use toilets over bushes; I like the occasional shower and prefer sinks with faucets and running water.
I'm also rather fond of floors without rotten floorboards and gaping holes.
Fussy, I know, but there you have it!
Thus, the first project, before we can move in, is to gut the (only) existing bathroom rooms and replace the floors and walls.
It's all rotten.
We're also going to combine the 2 little rooms. Note the toilet in the one on the left and the sink in the one on the right. And the lovely colors (Don't go there…)
We're also tearing down the walls (marked with an X to open up this hallway. It used to be a hallway with a doorway onto a balcony opposite the bathroom. They replaced the door with a window and dubbed this cubicle a bedroom.
We're reclaiming both the hallway and the door. Juliet's balcony to follow.
We also have to replace the floors in the rest of the house.
They're not level. Walking through the house is like walking across the deck of a sailboat in rough seas.
Mon mari thought that he would be able to level them a bit, from underneath.
The plan was to jack-up each floor beam and put a shim between the beam and the post. Little by little he would level the floors.
Me: Um, isn't this big, old house with 2 1/2 foot-thick stone walls, kind of, you know, heavy?
He: Not a problem. I have a super-duper, heavy-duty, hydraulic jack that can left a bazillion tons.
Me: What if it slips and you break the house?
He: Ignores me, deciding the question is too stupid to answer.
In all fairness, the jack is the type one would use to jack up a house in the US, to move it or put a basement under it.
Mon mari is a big fan of BIG toys.
He bought the shims and set about jacking the first beam up.
He braced the jack on concrete slabs.
He started jacking (Is that the right word? I really don't want to ask mon mari… Bit of a touchy subject…).
He drove the jack and the concrete slab ever more firmly into the ground.
The beam didn't move.
I told him it was a heavy house…..
Warm Chickpea and Spinach salad with Chevre
3oz (100gr) spinach
1/2 cup chickpeas
1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tbs oil
1 tbs white balsamic vinegar
3oz (90gr) goat cheese
2 tbs breadcrumbs
Wash and stem spinach if needed. Drain in a colander. If you don't feel you need to wash it – do it anyway. You want a little bit of water on the leaves – what ever is left after draining well.
Open, drain and rinse the chickpeas.
Slice goat cheese into 4 slices, about 3/4" (2cm) thick. Dip both sides in bread crumbs, pressing a bit so they stick, and set aside.
In a medium nonstick skillet heat mustard, paprika, oil and vinegar. Add chickpeas and sauté briefly until heated through. Add spinach and sauté, stirring constantly, until about half of it is wilted. Divide and place into 2 flattish soup bowls or salad plates. Add goat cheese to skillet and quickly fry, just until the edges look runny, turning once, 1 – 2 minutes total time. Remove and place on top of salads. Serve.
If I dared open the oven door I would have broiled the chevre….. One makes do.