Since the builders started work at maison Nick and Petula’s, the breakfast schedules have gone to pot and I’m getting confused. According to my normally reliable schedule today’s breakfast should have been cereal, but it turned out to be a nice hot bowl of porridge with blueberries and honey – if this carries on the world will surely implode. Still slightly confused, I decided to finish off the last of the decorating work in the bedroom interspersed with my consultancy role advising the builders – 2 more days and they will finally leave us! Meanwhile Petula has put together a spot of lunch which today is some hummus and beetroot on some really nice rye bread with a side salad.
Hummus and Beetroot on Toasted Rye
We spent a pleasant hour this afternoon on Skype with my sister in New York, where it seems to be a little chilly at the moment. But, quelle horreur, it turns out that she has not had a healthy weekend as she confessed to having a hot dog and fries followed by wine and peanuts in the afternoon! After a short sit down to get over the shock, Petula headed off to create a lovely healthy, hearty hotpot – just the thing that you should be eating on a cold day! Healthy Hearty Hotpot Recipe Here.
Doesn’t everyone love Sunday mornings, slow to rise, a hearty breakfast and big thick newspapers. All the comings and goings this week have blown Petula’s breakfast schedule slightly off course, so today was a nicely hard boiled egg with some crispy slices of wholemeal toast. The rest of Nick’s morning was spent following Petula around the aisles of the local Waitrose in a bid to refill the fridge for another week of fabulous meals.
Lunch was a bowl of pea and spinach soup with some really chunky lumps of wholemeal bread plus, of course, our customary salad which today was rocket, tomatoes, radishes and the usual sprinkling of pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
After an afternoon of painting skirting boards (plus a teabreak or two) ready for the new carpet that’s being fitted on Wednesday, the call for dinner rings out. Flashing down stairs, there, ready and waiting are Lemon Sole fillets lightly dusted with herb seasoning, baked in the oven and served with sautéed potatoes and onion, plus steamed courgettes with mint. After a final coffee and two squares of dark chocolate, it’s now time to slump on the sofa and watch an action packed thriller on the telly.
No rest for the wicked – even though it’s the week-end it’s up early to let the plumber in to start work on connecting the new bedroom radiators. The plumber obviously needs my expert advice which leaves Petula free to wander off to get the papers in the lovely morning sunshine. The morning was devoted to an early spring clean in the kitchen to get rid of the remaining dust and general grime. Then it was fit to prepare a proper lunch of hummus, salads and toasted rye bread. Normal service has been resumed.
Cracking Hummus Salad
The plumbers been and gone and the house is now nice and toasty. I’ve spent the afternoon putting back all the floorboards, being careful not to screw through the nice new shiny copper pipes. Meanwhile Petula has decided to try out one of ‘A Girl Called Jack’ recipes, a Pearl Barley, vegetable and cream cheese risotto. It was delicious – using pearl barley gives it a lovely chewy, nutty flavour and is a healthier grain than the short grain rice that is normally used in risotto. It’s gone down in the magic book of recipes to be re-visited in the future. Jack Monroe’s Recipe Here.
The builders arrive at 08:00, a rushed bowl of cereal and out of the door for an appointment at 08:45. When we returned an hour later it was off to the last undisturbed bedroom to take up the floorboards and notch the joists ready for the plumbers arrival tomorrow morning. The only lunch that was easily to hand were a few crackers and cheddar cheese plus a low fat yoghurt with some mashed banana, then I was once again back at work. The builders were under strict instructions, under pain of death, to finish off all work in the kitchen before they left for the day. Darkness descended and yay, yay and thrice yay the kitchen was liberated! Petula dashed in and pulled together a scratch meal consisting of a can of green lentils plus spinach, in a tomato and chilli sauce all served with wholewheat pasta. It was a delicious treat. We can return to normal tomorrow – although builders will still be here until Wednesday – just not in the kitchen!!!!
Disaster, the fridge is covered over with a dust sheet, the cooker is nowhere to be seen and as far as I can tell there is no food! How will I make it through the day and more importantly how is Petula going to get us through such a dark time. It looks like the builders will be around for a few more days yet – and to make matters worse the plumber will be here all week-end! So many things for me to worry about while I hoik up the bedroom carpet in preparation for it’s replacement next week – it’s all go at the moment! A call to lunch, that’s a relief, and as if by magic another yummy sandwich appears on my plate. Voila, a cheese, tomato, rocket and pesto sandwich to the rescue – marvellous.
Cheese, Tomato and Pesto Sandwich
After lunch it’s back to watching the builders and trying to establish when we’ll get access to the kitchen – another day yet. So, there’s only one thing to do, we’re off out to dinner and as it turned out we had a rather nice fish pie with some perfectly cooked veg – yum. Normal service will resume soon – I hope.