Let me show you our plan.
It may take a bit of imagination, but keep your eye on the scaffolding and the ladder to help stay oriented.
The first photo is taken from the master bedroom doorway, looking straight down the hall to the door going into the barn (purple arrow). The barn door leeds to a flight of decrepit stairs. Both the door and the stairs will be replaced, but kept as an emergency exit (or trysting exit, perhaps).
The scaffolding is on the 'landing'. The door on the far side of the beam on the left goes into a spare bedroom. The sheet-rock framed doorway straight on goes into the smallest of the spare bedrooms, and it will have the barn door as part of the decor on the far wall.
On the right side of that hallway, same view, is the door to the second bathroom (below the missing sheet rock). The ladder is leaning on the wall of the master bathroom. We hope to get at the second bathroom in the spring, when it warms up again.
As you can see, the sheet rock is almost done for the part we want to heat for winter.
Standing at the barn door, this is the spare bedroom. As you can also see, no work has been done on this ceiling – next summer.
Oh, there it is… the landing, as seen from the bedroom door:
The pink arrow points to what will be a linen closet. We still have blue plastic over the opening to the proper stairs, and will until the sheet rock is finished and the doors installed.
Mon mari uses the decrepit stairs.
There now, is that all clear as mud? It's getting more challenging taking photos of it all - darn walls keep getting in the way….
Whilst he was busy doing that I was busy doing Christmas: decorating, baking, planning and such.
This morning I tackled the annual Christmas Letter.
I didn't have anything to say.
I didn't win the Nobel Prize for Physics (although rumor has it I was very close).
Mon mari didn't scale Everest (although he dreamt about it one night).
Neither dog saved the life of a famous person or uncovered a lost Rembrandt whilst burying a bone (although they tried their best to dig up the latter).
I simply didn't have anything to say that was worthy of being in a Christmas Letter.
So that's what I said.
I made it really big type and it almost filled half of a page.
I'll be banned from the Christmas Letter Elite Club after this one, I'm afraid.
And then I'll be banned from the very chi-chi, very Prestigious Complicated Recipe Club after they see this post.
I still have a lot of butternut squash in the barn.
I was tired of the frying, roasting, baking and tossing with Balsamic vinegar / Truffle oil Reduction options and decided just to mash them.
I drained it, added a glug of sherry and mashed the lot. Topped with butter and pepper, it was simple and delicious.
I had some left over.
two 6" (15cm) square sheets of puff pastry
12 slices chorizo
6 tbs mashed butternut squash
1/4 cup crème fraiche
Spoon the squash into the center of the pastry squares. Put a slice of chorizo on each corner and fold pastry over. Put more chorizo wherever. Bake until pastry is puffed and golden – it actually got very orange from the chorizo.
Whip the Crème Fraiche.
To serve, top each pastry with whipped crème fraiche, the remaining on the side.
I had heard that one could whip crème fraiche (one cannot whip sour cream or yogurt), but I'd never tried it. It whipped up in no time just using a hand whisk and the slightly tart flavor was perfect with a savory dish.