I SO* wanted to be one of those bloggers who goes through a home renovation, documenting it in an inspiring and humorous way and weaving something creative and uplifting out of a frustrating and challenging situation. I truly had no idea I’d be without a kitchen for over a year. We ripped ours out in September last year and WW’s Dad is currently fitting our new one. Between then and now we’ve knocked a wall down, had a beautiful roof lantern and bi-fold doors fitted and we’re going to have a lovely family space at the end of it. It’s just, for a variety of reasons, taken forever.
I’ve been washing up in a makeshift plastic sink in our very narrow utility which has also become my kitchen (with camping stove, slow cooker, microwave and kettle) which also, as it turns out, has become my shower room because our upstairs bath is leaking when we shower in it. So we’re basically cooking in our utility with adjoining (by a rickety sliding door) toilet and shower, and have been for a year.
These things take their toll on your creativity. I want to post slow cooker recipes and camping stove bakes, I really do**, but yesterday completely demonstrates why I haven’t been able to post a letter, let alone a blog about the kitchen renovation.
So to yesterday, Sunday, a day when WW was helping his Dad with the kitchen. BUB.2 has been begging me for a lattice-topped blackberry pie since he saw something similar in the movie Zootropolis. I had some blackberries in the freezer which we stewed with apples on the the camping stove hob, three little IKEA chairs pushed up against a counter no wider than one chair. We moved to Kitchen B (my old office which has become a sandwich making/cereal pouring/lunchbox making zone this year) to roll out the pre-made pastry. All good until we discovered we didn’t have enough pastry for the all-important lattice top so off to the shop we went, BUB.2 on his bike, me striding behind, feeling like we could do this.
On our return I heard an almighty crash from the Toilet Kitchen. Running in, I discovered my colander of stewed blackberries and apples in a heap on the Toilet Kitchen floor, with splattered blackberry juice all over the pile of white washing (Judo kits & white bed sheets) that were at our feet as we baked. Toilet Kitchen is not only the toilet, shower and kitchen but also the laundry room. The washing machine had vibrated the colander off of the top of the camping stove (the only spare place I had to put it) and onto the floor. At this moment WW asked me what I thought about the positioning of the cooker hood in the Future Kitchen. My reply was curt and turned the air bluer than than the blackberry juice.
Then, just to cap it, I burnt my flapjacks, a side project I had undertaken because I am a masochist. After three days sugar-free, and a week alcohol-free, I was to be found moments later hunched over, scooping great spoonfuls of crumbled, burnt, sugary oats into my mouth and opening a bottle of Brancott Estate with my other hand.
Fortunately I had some frozen Aldi berries in the freezer and the kids like granola. And I had wine. The children got their pie.
But this is why I haven’t blogged about this magical adventure, or much else for that matter. Because mostly I’ve been too busy ricocheting between chaotic rooms looking for things in my house (we decided to also knock through a bedroom at the same time because we are mentally unstable), stress-eating sugary snacks and cooking in the toilet.
*I didn’t at all really.