Everything that happens, chez nous, seems to happen in installments.
Nothing can ever be straightforward and simple.
After my proud, and somewhat smug, announcement of getting our boiler / furnace working, it promptly stopped.
I noticed right off that something was wrong.
90 seconds into my shower, roughly 30 seconds after getting my hair and body thoroughly soapy, the hot water ceased being hot and became very, very cold.
Background info: We have an electric hot water heater, but, as the boiler also has a hot water tank, it’s much more economical to use that system. As soon as we got the boiler working we turned off the electric tank.
Back to my shower….
I’m not fond of cold showers in the summer when it’s hot.
I’m really not fond of them on a cold, rainy day in October…. When it’s a mid-shower surprise….
Back to the boiler….
Did I mention that it was a fancy unit with a programmable electronic thingy that controls the life of the house with an iron will?
Did I mention that said unit was in French?
As were all the instruction booklets?
We have a division of labor in our house: I do computers and kitchen stuff; mon mari does building and manly stuff.
Boilers fall under the manly category.
Because it was electronic it kind of, almost, and, in fact, eventually, fell under the computer category.
He couldn’t get it to work again.
Being male, actually reading the instruction booklet was a last resort.
The instruction booklet being in French, and him not reading French, ever so slightly exacerbated the problem.
I found an instruction booklet on-line (aren’t computers marvelous?), downloaded it, printed it and gave it to him.
He still couldn’t get it to work.
He said the English book and the French book were different.
I offered to help….
He would take the book and the flashlight, go out to the little boiler room and, I presume, hit a lot of little buttons.
It would start, the pump would start and he would come back into the house with a satisfied look on his face.
An hour later I would, sadly, inform him that neither the radiators or the water was hot.
Fortunately we had the stove in the kitchen burning merrily….
I insisted that I be allowed to help – at least to translate the French manual. (He could still push the buttons.)
I was handed the stack of manuals and informed it was ‘all mine’.
The first problem was there was a word on the little screen that I didn’t understand and couldn’t find a translation for.
I laid the 2 manuals side by side and went through them page by page.
I finally was able to translate the word.
It was holiday.
Mon mari had done a marvelous job of setting it all up.
He had it scheduled to heat the house from 5am until 11am, then turn itself off, starting again from 5pm until 10pm. He installed the thermostat and set the temperatures for both house and the hot water.
And then, in his button-pushing zeal, he informed it that we were going on vacation.
Apparently, this thing is so smart that, rather than turn it off when one leaves, one just informs it how long one will be gone. It turns itself off for the duration, and on again just in time to have everything nice and toasty for one’s return.
No matter what he did after that, it wouldn’t work because, well, we weren’t suppose to be here.
I told it that our vacation had been cut short, it apologized, and immediately started working like a proper boiler again.
At least the oven is still working.
Pork Tenderloin with Potatoes, Apples and Carrots
Pork and apples naturally compliment each other: the sweet-tart flavor of the apple brings out the sweetness of the pork. With roasted potatoes and carrots this is a simple meal needing little attention. Remember, slightly pink is fine for pork – and keeps it juicier.
1pork tenderloin, 12oz (350gr)
2 medium potatoes
2 – 3 medium carrots
1 apple – Golden Delicious or Granny Smith
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs Balsamic vinegar
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs butter
Trim tenderloin if needed, but leave whole. Cut potatoes and carrots into sticks, 1/2 X 2″ (1.25 X 5cm). In medium bowl mix sugar and vinegar, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add oil and mix well. Add potatoes and carrots and toss to coat. Spread the potatoes and carrots out in a baking dish large enough to hold everything easily.
Coat tenderloin with remaining vinegar/sugar and place in center of pan, with vegetables around it. Bake, uncovered, in 400F (200C) oven for 20 minutes.
After 15 minutes, cut and core apple. Slice into thick wedges. Melt butter in nonstick skillet. Add apples and toss to coat well.
Remove pork and vegetables from oven. Turn the pork and stir the vegetables, turning them also. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer, put pork on top and the apple slices around the vegetables. Return it all to the oven for the 20 minutes.
Remove, let the pork rest while you arrange the potatoes and apples on a small platter. Slice the pork and place on top. Pour over any pan juices and serve.