I am so excited. I think I need tying down with a piece of string to stop me jumping up and down on the bed. We're going to see two old houses tomorrow. One is over two hundred years old. They are in a little country village called 'Sheepwash.' Can you believe the name? It's like something out of a nursery rhyme.
We shouldn't be looking yet because our house still isn't up for sale. We really wanted to wait for the spring, but the weather turned this week, the flood defence came up opening the road into town, the trees are in bud and the birds are building a nest in the garden. We are itching to find somewhere new too.
So there has been more frantic decorating and sorting out. Somehow things have all got in the wrong place and as we sort out one room, we mess up another in the process. We've been camping in the living room whilst the paint dried upstairs...which was fun because we had breakfast in bed Sunday morning watching TV, but too much clutter caused me to spill a tin of white paint upside down in the kitchen...That wasn't so much fun.
At last we've said goodbye to the Christmas tree. Non-one had the heart to take it out before. It smelt so fresh and piney and the lights looked cosy on dark afternoons. I think we were dragging our feet a bit because it may be the last Christmas we spend here, and it's been such a lovely one. H has stayed home a whole month. We didn't want it to end. She goes back to London on Sunday. I will miss her. But tomorrow she's coming along for the adventure...and to bagsy her room.
Busy times like these I find the tempo of my cooking takes on a kind of foxtrot pace; with some slow cooked food that I can leave to it's own devices, other quickly cooked that goes from pan to table in minutes. Sometimes there is a pair of helping hands, or two, making bread or salad; and the crock-pot seems like a third pair steadily taking care of it's contents, whilst I'm busy else where.
Here are the steps of my kitchen foxtrot....
slow-cooker vegetarian chili, potatoes baked in the oven until crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy inside.
Slowly oven roasted garlic chicken or duck to eat with quick salads, or shop bought pancakes. Or baked unhurriedly in the slow cooker with mushrooms and herbs, till moist and tender.
Family favourite speedy spaghetti with prawns, chilli and ginger, pan fried fish or stir-fry
Amanda Soule's Left-over oatmeal muffins, flapjack crumble or this new crumble recipe I've started making
Fruits left to leisurely plump up and caramelise in the slow cooker to eat in bowls with yoghurt. Baked apples stuffed with vine fruits and cinnamon that make the kitchen smell like Christmas all over again...