We have heat in our house.
Oh, happy day!
We've had our wood stove, which does a wonderful job of heating the kitchen, since last winter.
There was a boiler in the house when we bought it, but we assumed it was old and decrepit.
We were wrong.
When the guy cleaned our chimneys this summer he also cleaned the boiler. He offered to come back and show us how to use it, but, as it was August, and hot, we brushed it off.
Last week, when the current cold snap moved in, we decided we should take a look at at. Since we opened up the rest of the house we need more heat.
First, mon mari checked the fuel tanks.
Two of them, 500 litres each.
They were connected at the bottom so that one fed into the other and then the boiler.
Also, very good.
The connecting hose had been cut in order to drain them, so now neither one held more than 2 litres.
Project # 1. Buy a new hose, fittings, and reconnect the tanks. Done, by mon mari.
Project # 2. Find fuel, arrange an account over the phone, order said fuel and give directions to get it delivered…. All in French. (Phone calls are hard…) Done, by moi. The driver even managed to find us after only going to one neighbor first!
I'm so proud!
Project # 3. Turn it on.
This was the tricky part. The instructions are in French.
Mon mari, who knows about these things, doesn't read French.
I, who know nothing about these things, can read French but, as I wouldn't understand it in English, why would I understand it in French?
Mon mari could get it turned on, but it would only run for 5 minutes, than shut itself off.
To make a long, and decidedly tense, story short, eventually we took the manual, a magnifying glass and a torch (flashlight) and squeezed ourselves into the little room that houses the boiler.
Turns out this is a state-of-the-art boiler with a programmable electronic regulator thingy….
We can set the on/off times and temperature by day of the week.
After about an 45 minutes of reading, translating and button pushing, in this semi-dark closet, we got the boiler all figured out and programmed.
Still didn't work.
It came on but the water wasn't circulating (we have hot water radiators).
I left… I could do no more.
Mon mari, after I left, applied what he calls 'a little hammer persuasion' to the pump.
He may have been a bit frustrated….
That night we had actual heat in the radiator in the room we use as a bedroom.
I was so relieved….
I almost had to get out the long-sleeve, high-neck, heavy flannel nightgown.
And I'm not old enough to wear that…..
Of course, the hoses to the other radiators were cut to drain the water – rather than merely disconnected.
Tomorrow, reconnect the radiators to the water pump.
That's pretty much how it goes, chez nous….
One accomplishment creates two unexpected projects.
It's a wonder we get anything done.
This is what I did with my last few cherry tomatoes… and sage.
Sage not only goes well with turkey but it's great with pork and most fall vegetables. Use fresh if you can get it, if not, at least try not to use some that has been in the cabinet for years 😉
Pork Chops with Tomato & Sage
2 – 4 pork chops, depending on size (12oz, 350gr total weight)
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1 tomato or 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup chicken stock
2 cloves garlic
1 tbs chopped fresh sage 1 1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp pepper or seasoned pepper
Finely chop garlic and roughly chop tomato. In medium nonstick skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Sauté pork chops until lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side. Remove and set aside. Add garlic and sage to pan and sauté 1 minute. Add wine, stock and tomato. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer about 5 minutes until mixture starts to thicken. Return pork chops to pan, turning once to coat with sauce, and cover. Let simmer 5 – 10 minutes until done. Arrange chops on small platter or plate, pour sauce over and serve.
Tomorrow – the update.