Mon mari tells me the view from the roof is quite spectacular.
I'll take his word for it.
He was up there, over the weekend, fixing a few tiles that blew loose in last week's storm.
As to the house progress….
Well, the good news is there were no major setbacks.
That's good, right?
Walls go up quickly; all the tiles in the middle go on quickly.
Then it's down to all the fussy bits.
Mon mari spent the rest of the weekend cutting tiles to fit in corners, around corners, fixtures and switches.
He still has a few to glue on…
The rest of the progress is not photo worthy – plumbing is moving along, the leak in the shower fixed, and we hope to have a working bathroom, including the shower in a few days.
The electrical is also moving along and should have the house rewired by the end of the week, as well. Not the fiddly stuff like outlets and switches in the rooms we're not using, but the major work done on both floors.
Now they look like this…
I know you're all on pins and needles wondering what fantastic feats of culinary prowess I achieved whilst cooking by candlelight….
When we were visiting our friend in Spain over Christmas he made his Wild Boar Stew.
I wanted to make it, but, not having any wild boar to hand, I decided to use pork.
For those of you who do have boar, I'll give his recipe, followed by my adaptation.
Some of the changes were necessary: if one doesn't have wild boar, one can hardly make wild boar stock, now can one?
Some were because of the power outage: simmering v baking; no marinating.
Some because I didn't have the ingredients: no allspice berries, no gin.
Here he is with the leg of boar the neighbor dropped off when we were there in October:
Wild Boar Stew
32oz (2000gr) wild boar
1 liter red wine
2 cl gin
10 allspice berries
10 juniper berries
2 crushed garlic cloves
3 bay leaves
1 tbs olive oil
4 tbs flour
Cut the boar into chunks (done during butchering). Crush allspice berries and peppercorns. Put all of the ingredients into a large bowl and marinate 4 – 24 hours.
Drain the boar, reserving marinade. Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven. Add boar and brown well on all sides. Add flour and stir. Add reserved marinade and spices to boar, stirring well.
500ml wild boar stock
Cut vegetables into large chunks and add to boar. Cover and bake in a medium oven 2 – 3 hours.
Pork and Celeriac Stew
28oz (800gr) lean pork
3oz (90gr) Prosciutto
3 cups (24oz, 750ml) red wine
1 cups (8oz, 250ml) beef stock
1/2 large celeriac
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp black pepper
15 juniper berries
1 tsp thyme
3 bay leaves
1 tbs olive oil
2 tbs cornstarch (maizena, corn flour) dissolved in 3 tbs water
The cutting: Cut pork into 1 1/2" (4cm) cubes. Roughly chop Prosciutto. Peel carrots and cut into 2" (5cm) lengths. Cut each piece in half the long way. Cut the celeriac in half. Wrap the half not being used in cling film and refrigerate. Peel the other half using a vegetable peeler or knife. Cut into sizes similar to or a bit larger than the carrots and keep in water until using. Peel the onion and slice vertically into wedges. Mince the garlic.
The cooking: Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add pork, a few pieces at a time and brown well on all sides. Remove to a plate if it gets crowded. Add Prosciutto, onions and garlic, and sauté 5 minutes. Return pork to pot, add vegetables, spices, herbs, wine and stock. Cover and simmer 75 minutes.
To finish: Remove pork and vegetables. Discard bay leaves. Increase heat under stock. Dissolve cornstarch in water and slowly add, stirring until thickened. Spoon sauce over pork and serve.
Now picture me making this by candlelight with my head lamp on…
I just got to officially test the toilet! It flushes!
Prior to this, we were using a bucket of water to flush…. Which mon mari would fill in the cellar, after going out and turning the water on at the pump.
I can now pee without permission and assistance….
At will, if you like.
Now THAT's progress!