Things are getting serious!

Firstly, my apologies for my regular blogging contacts who must feel ignored by my lack of interest recently (I know they only exist to see my affirmations of their posts (not!!!)), but it has been so full on around here I can barely think. So what’s been happening you ask?

Well the biggest priority has been enjoying our new grandson, what a delight it is watching your child become a parent and I can’t explain how lovely it is to share in seeing this little tacker grow and develop. Joy oh joy!

Next up has been our exteno. Full Speed ahead!

Things are getting serious!

We have had builders, plumbers, electricians, plasterers, data cabling people, tilers, heating specialists all in and out either planning, doing or quoting on doing. We are thrilled with the way it is coming together and I can proudly say I now have a dishwasher and a sink. They might be in boxes in the front room but they are here.

Things are getting serious and we face the hardest part of all since we started. The kitchen sink had to go to allow access for insulating, electrical and plastering. A bit of ingenious camping technology means we still have access to the hot water but that will go soon too. Like the way we can still empty the sink dish bucket down the funnel?

Kitchen sink removedI’ve had to resort to using the mini Weber Q on the workbench in the shed for basic roasting and barbecuing as everything else has been relocated to down the back of the yard. Rest easy, my toy oven remains inside, it has however had a loss of its handle.

Weber mini qI’m fine with that. Tonights dinner was some roasted veg (had microwaved first to soften) served with feta, pomegranate seed and some beautiful steak we had left from a BBQ the other night. This brushed with pomegranate molasses, grilled and tossed through the veg and feta and it was lovely. Served with some fresh 40% rye sourdough, yum yum yum. Pomegranates would be right up there as one of my favourite foods. Sorry about the flash and cruddy photo, tasted much better than it looks.


I like to think I’m a reliable sort of person, never miss appointments and if I’m running late, I at least have the manners to ring the party and let them know. If I stuff up their schedule then I’m more than happy to reschedule to suit them. This was blown out of the water last week when my hairdresser texted asking where I was for my appointment. Mortified, I took around a straight from the oven rye and oatmeal loaf which her kids ripped into after school. Feedback from them was that it was very nice, the slice her 10 year old cut for me was indeed very delicious. The addition of oat bran made for a very soft crumb. Will work further with this formula.Oat bran sourdoughI’ve needed to do a lot of thinking about what needs to be included in this exteno so I picked up a crochet hook for the first time in about 40 years. I have found that it has been lovely avoiding the internet, Facebook and work emails at night and just thinking through what needs to be done. Not one to do anything with baby steps and inspired by the beautiful work by Jan at A Gluttonous Wife I picked a ridiculously intricate pattern and thought I’d “crack a tanty” after a few rounds and decide that was a stupid thing to start as a first time in a long time project. Surprisingly, I’ve really enjoyed it. I made Mr ATMT be the colour consultant as I just don’t do that ‘arty farty stuff’ at all well, where as he is pretty good at colours. I was aiming for a Turkish/Middle Eastern feel. Really happy with this little project so far and I think the end result will look good over a bed or as a snuggle rug on the couch for when things are cool. The pattern I’m using is available here, highly recommend the clear instructions and the  bonus is that there are video instructions that another very clever lady has done for each section of this rug. I have found that to be  a very handy resource indeed!

SphiesMy work on the chimney is progressing slowly. I need to get this done before plastering commences as I don’t want all the crap flying around then. chimney 4And as for next week!

Our sons wedding………yep another big week ahead. Stay tuned.

Reno Update

It feels like months since I thought about a post but it was only last week! Full speed ahead with everything at the moment around here. We are trying to decide on finishing touches, tiling, tap fittings, cornice, door fittings, kitchen cabinets, timber for floor boards, colours etc and I do not enjoy that side of things at all. I have no ability to visualise how something is going to fit into our space and invariably am disappointed when things look different to how I imagined. This is why I need to do things like make cut outs of fittings and pretend I’m working around them to see if it works. Because of this I get very stressed and tend to panic about how things are going to work out, I have several bottles of rescue remedy at hand at all times now. This pic shows the layout marked out in chalk and templates of the sink, dishwasher and small sink placed so I can move them around to get the best configuration. If anyone has any suggestions about range hoods I’d appreciate them. I can’t believe how expensive they cost to get something quiet and in my opinion most I’ve seen are really ugly. The flu sections are designed for homes with ceilings much lower than we have, so that creates problems as well. I’m sure something will evolve but that is one thing I’m quite anxious about.

Kitchen layoutThis photo shows the ceiling windows that will be over an island and how the new kitchen will extend into a dining/family area. Very excited about not having to turn the light on whatever time of day it is.IMG_6401The stripping of the chimney is coming along nicely but due to the hot weather this week I couldn’t rip into as I’d hoped. It is recommended you don’t use Peel Away in temperatures over 30 so that took out most of the week. I’m also limited to doing small sections at a time to minimise pain to my dodgy hands.

IMG_6397Weekend bread bake was just good old 20% rye loaves. My son has now decided I should supply him with bread too. Poor little ‘toy oven’ is really struggling at the moment!

IMG_6413Without doubt the best thing this weekend was the first real smile from our new little grandson ‘Charlie’. What a joy it is seeing your daughter blossom as a mother and her child blossoming because of her.



Picnic bread.

Today was our annual Long Table Lunch Picnic Day. This happens to be one of my favourite days of the year, a group of us pack a picnic, wine, chairs and nibbles and spend the day on the bank of (and usually in) the Latrobe River just outside of Moe. We set up our tables, spread with the fare to share and sample each others offerings. I usually take lots of photos of the day, but this year I just kicked back and relaxed. I didn’t even get in and have a swim, first time ever that’s happened.

I made a few different breads to take, this pic is of me trying to juggle dough in my makeshift kitchen. This is my entire bench space! Left to right shows walnut, apple & cranberry dough. This was made by pulling dough into a rectangle and spreading it with chopped walnuts, cranberries that had been soaked to ‘fluff’ them up, a grated apple and a sprinkling of brown sugar, cinnamon and mixed spice. I had thought I would make a twist from this but it evolved differently. Back left is dough that is going to become herb batard, plain batard and baguettes and on right are 2 loaves of normal family bread. The herbs in front went into the  herb loaf along with a finely chopped chilli and some grated parmesan cheese.

Sourdough provingThings change! I decided to put the two pieces of the walnut dough together to even out how the nuts were distributed and this turned into a big roll. I curled it up and put into a tin.

Sourdough walnut, apple and cranberry loaf.

This went into my ‘toy oven’ with a dutch oven lid over the top for about 25 minutes then without lid for about 25 more minutes until internal temp hit about 105. Wasn’t at all confidant that this would work………

Not to worry! I iced the bun and added finely grated lemon rind zest. This was a winner!

IMG_6383 Everyone  at the picnic loved it and I asked for feedback about what to change, we decided that maybe just a clear bun glaze with the lemon might be better. It was very divided between icing or no icing, but all agreed it was lovely.IMG_0813These are the other loaves after baking. All in all a good bake considering the baguettes and batards were cooked on the gas barbecue. The herb bread was a winner again and I have a couple of people wanting me to make them some on a regular basis. That’s  lovely’

SOURDOUGH BREADI did some more paint removal on the chimney before we headed off to the picnic and it is ticking away nicely. Slowly, but nicely. Very happy indeed with the PeelAway product.

Brick chimney paint stripping Peel AwayGuess what tomorrow’s job is!

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