Our workers arrived Wednesday morning, 8am sharp (white van).
About 10 minutes later the stairs arrived (blue truck).
Naturally, the first order of business was to stand around for 15 minutes or so and catch up on the news.
It turns out that the guy who brought the stairs, (white hair, nearest the truck) had been born in this house.
As had his father before him.
A discussion ensued as to the age of the current iteration of the house.
Conclusion: no one knew, but it must be really old (Might I say ‘Duh’).
Then, of course we had to show him what we had done and describe what we were going to be doing next.
We discovered that we were installing the stairs in what used to be his bedroom.
Finally, he opened the truck.
Naturally, the second order of business was to admire them and discuss how to get them in the house.
He then produced the tiniest ‘dolly’ I have ever seen.
I foolishly thought they would carry them in; not knowing how much an oak staircase for a 10′ high ceiling weighs.
Thankfully, they knew what they were doing.
More discussion as to how to get it through 2 doorways…..
Which side did I want up ‘au-dessous’ or ‘au-dessus’?
The words mean underneath and above, respectively.
In case you can’t tell by looking, they sound only very slightly different.
Think of the difference to an untrained ear between what and watt.
Or higher and hire; loose and lose; flaw and floor; clothes and close.
There is a definite, but subtle, difference.
I can hear it…..
But, do you think I can wrap my mouth around the difference enough to make them hear it when I say it?
Fortunately, they have a great sense of humor…. It sounded a bit like a French version of Who’s on First for a bit while we made each other understood.
The underside is up so mon mari can stain and varnish it before they install it on Monday.
And why, you might ask, did they bring it on Wednesday but won’t install it until Monday?
Because we had to spend yesterday in Bordeaux at the hospital for some scheduled tests. No worries, we think he passed.
They did get the hole done on the upper floor and the Velux window installed…. so work was done!
And I did this….
Something else I’ve never made before…..
Where have I been?
Braised Veal Shanks, another Italian classic with as many variations as there are cooks: some have a light, lemon sauce; some a heavy tomato. This is a light vegetable sauce.
2 – 4 nice size veal shanks
1 medium leek, 1 cup chopped
1 medium carrot, 3/4 cup chopped
1 rib celery, 3/4 cup chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 tbs olive oil
3/4 cup (6oz, 175gr) white wine
1/2 cup (4oz, 120gr) beef broth
2 cups (15oz, 450gr) chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried sage
1 tbs cornstarch (maizena) dissolved in 2 tbs water
Trim and wash the leek, Roughly chop. Finely chop the carrot and celery. Mince the garlic. Heat the oil in a heavy Dutch oven or deep skillet. Add the leek, carrot, celery, garlic and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Move vegetables to the side. Add veal and brown on both sides, about 7 minutes total. Add wine, broth, tomatoes and herbs. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 60 minutes (or longer).
When ready to serve: Remove veal and cover to keep warm. Dissolve cornstarch in water. Turn the heat to medium-high under the sauce. Stir in the cornstarch mixture until sauce is thickened and no longer cloudy. Spoon sauce over the veal shanks and serve.
In addition to this, for the weekly menu for October 30 we have Carrot Timbales, Scallops, Tuna and Chevre Lasagne, Meat Balls, Winter Rice Pilaf…
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For more recipes visit my internet cook book: Easy Gourmet Dinners