We have electricity again, as of last night.
I have a new, profound respect for people who have suffered at the whim of nature.
We were without electricity for almost 3 days.
That shouldn't be a big deal.
Before it happened to me, I didn't think it was a big deal.
You know: Light some candles and get over it!
But yesterday, as we were leaving our house, where we work, and heading back to the rental house, where we live, the thought of spending another 14 hours in the dark was very, very depressing.
It might have been different if we had been in our own house rather than a cold, primitive rental….
It might have been different in the summer, with only 6 hours of darkness to face.
We were lucky, we didn't loose anything, bodies and property are all intact.
I was a little surprised at myself, actually…. I thought I was made of tougher stuff.
I don't flinch at the daily invasion of the flies…
This was the kitchen window at Vlad's House on Friday morning.
The flies are on the inside…..
We don't know where the flies come from, but every day they appear…
Here, on the kitchen window, and in our bedroom; break dancing across the floor and table tops.
There were actually a lot more flies, but it's damn hard getting them to sit still for a photograph.
Also, please notice the mud.
That was before the storms of Saturday…
We have very little in the way of physical progress to show you this week. Most of what mon mari has been doing is the plumbing, in the cellar.
In order to have photos I would actually have to go into the cellar.
I am taking his word, and you will have to take mine: The new hot water heater is hooked up and there are lovely pipes going all over the place down there. As soon as he finds the leak we'll have water!
I can show you the progress in the kitchen, though:
Sedi, busy, pointy-nose little bitch that she is, is heading in to inspect the electrical work being done.
Just imagine: Someday there will be outlets and lights over and under cabinets there!
And then imagine a fragrant pot of beef stock simmering on the back burner…..
Beef Barley Soup
2 – 3 pounds beef short ribs, chuck roast (with bone) or soup meat
1 onion, quartered
1 carrot, cut into large chunks
2 stalks (ribs) celery – or the tops from a bunch of celery, cut into large chunks
1 bouquet Garni
3 bay leaves
1 tbs olive oil
Heat oil in large pot. Brown the beef very well on all sides over medium high heat, about 20 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and enough water to just cover the meat, or 10 cups, whichever is more. Cover and simmer over low heat for several hours. Remove meat and chill until needed. Strain soup and chill at least 2 hours – this allows the fat to congeal on the surface for easy removal. Once fat is removed, stock is ready for soup.
the beef left from making stock, taken off the bone, trimmed and cut into small pieces
1 large or 2 smaller onions
3 ribs celery
8oz (250gr) flat or regular green beans
15oz (450gr) whole tomatoes
6 – 10 cups beef stock or more, depending on how thick you like soup
1/2 cup pearl barley or 3/4 cup quick cooking barley this is a tough one – the size varies. Mine was quite small and cooked in 10 minutes- so I started with 1/2 cup and added another 1/4 cup. It didn't expand nearly as much as traditional pearl barley – which I can't get… In the US I used 1/2 cup pearl…
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp marjoram
1 bay (laurel) leaf
1 tbs oil
Heat stock in soup pot.
Chop onion. Slice carrots into 1/4" (.6cm) rounds – cutting in half if too big. Slice celery the same size as the carrots. Cut beans into 1/2" (1.25cm) lengths if using fresh. If using frozen beans, rinse under hot water and cut if needed. Chop tomatoes reserving all juices.
Add all ingredients, including beef, to stock as they are prepared. Add barley and herbs and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes, until vegetables are tender and barley is done. Serve.
I have to add, that after the water heater at the rental had a chance to do its job, I had the loveliest shower I've had in recent memory…. It feels soooo good to be clean!
It would have also been the longest shower in recent memory… but mon mari was waiting his turn.
No, there is not enough room to shower together in a shower stall that's 27" square (70cm)
Addendum: Mon mari just locked himself in the bathroom again…. I'd better go let him out…