Wednesday, 31 October 2007

24 hours later

The new cooker and hob arrived as arranged, and it took an hour to get them fitted. Then the rest of the day to clean, clear and store all the crockery, pans etc. But now it's up and running, and tonight it will cook its first meal. (Don't quite know what, yet - I shall have to explore the freezer ...)

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Chaos in the kitchen

The new cooker and hob arrive tomorrow morning at some time between 7.00 a.m. and 8.00 a.m. ! Which means that this evening the old ones have had to be removed and disconnected. Due to the cowboy kitchen fitters and builders almost 7 years ago, this entailed dismantling two of the built-in kitchen units as the fittings of the old hob were concealed behind the backboard. The hob was also held in place with "blu-tack". Hence, at the moment, my kitchen looks like a bomb has dropped!

As it was ...

As it is ...

As it shall be ...

? ? ?

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Tell it like it is

Browsing the web pages for the French Diocese that covers the Dordogne, I came across this article. There's not a lot one can say .....

I can see Christian relations with the Islamic world taking a nose-dive!

Friday, 26 October 2007

A fortnight ago (3)

... and it was a visit to Castelnaud Chateau. On the southern bank of the Dordogne, it lies halfway between Beynac and La Roque Gageac. Privately owned, it has a superb display of furniture and armaments. best of all, you can wander around on your own - no Guided Tour!

Thursday, 25 October 2007

A fortnight ago (2)

... there was thick morning mist in the Dordogne valley. From the hilltop village of Domme it looked as if we were at sea ....

so it was quite appropriate there was "Isle Flottante" on the menu at lunch ....

Later there was a nice cooling "Orangina" in the sunshine at Villereal.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Damn, but I hate spending large sums of money

Well, I've finally bitten the proverbial bullet and spent almost £700 this evening ordering a new oven and hob. The present ones I inherited when I moved into this vicarage, the Diocese informing me at the last minute that it was my responsibility to provide cooking facilities in their house, and I just managed to prevent the cowboy kitchen fitters/builders from throwing them out. They were past their best then, (the cooker and hob, not the builders .... though I don't know ... ), but for the past 6 years they've cooked my meals, boiled the marmalade, and generally worked as they should. However, the door on the main over has never shut properly, and it remains a bad fit even after replacing both the hinges. I've had to prop it shut with a clothes peg rammed underneath! And then, about 6 months ago, one of the two elements in the fast electric ring went "phut", followed about 8 weeks ago by the fan oven refusing to heat and the thermostat on another of the rings not working, so that it's either "on" or "off" with no variable control. Which means I have just two rings and the small top oven working properly - though the top oven is a bit like a miniature "blast furnace"!.

As it's not my house I have dithered over replacing the units, but I really do have to do something now, otherwise it will be difficult to cook my Christmas confections, or keep hot the various dishes at the December Shared Supper which I host. (And as an aside - the photograph shows the total work space I have - just a small corner. Wonderfully designed for a vicarage kitchen don't you think?)

I await the courier's call to arrange a convenient delivery slot. I have already primed the local electrician in the village to disconnect the old units beforehand.

Oh well, the rainy day has arrived, and I can't take it with me .... though if and when I move, I just might take the cooker and hob!

Friday, 19 October 2007

More food

Tonight was a "Shared Supper" night - the monthly "pot-luck" supper held in various homes around the parishes of the Benefice. The invitation is open to all to come along - just bring a dish of food to share. The result is that you never know how many will turn up or what you're going to get. In the event there's usually between 10 and 18 people, and the dishes a good balance between savoury and sweet.

Tonight was a "protein-rich" night with 7 hot dishes of meat, one roast vegetable flan, and two bowls of mashed potato. There was also cold trout as an entree. Then there were five different desserts and a cheeseboard, so it was all rather good. There's always wine and beer and fruit juice available, and we finished with coffee.

These suppers are not a fund-raiser, they're purely social, and it's good to have a regular event that doesn't ask for money.

I can't claim responsibility for them - they were already established when I arrived, but I'm certainly going to see that they continue.

*burp* (again!)

Thursday, 18 October 2007

A feast for the senses

Back from a 10-day sojourn in France to a land that is in the depths of autumn. This time last week I was wandering around in a short-sleeved polo shirt, sipping red wine and nibbling on bread, pate and cheese. Now I've a shirt and jersey on, and the heating is going. Next door has lit their wood-burner, and the delicious smell of wood smoke is drifting down my chimneys.

Last Thursday was also the day of the buffet lunch. In the Leclerc Hypermarche at Villeneuve-sur-Lot the restaurant had a massive lunchtime buffet where you paid a flat rate and ate as much as you wanted.

Four main courses, four desserts and some cheese later, and I was slumped in the chair sipping a small black coffee. It was wonderful.


Tuesday, 2 October 2007

It speaks volumes

It's now a fortnight since the 3rd annual second-hand Book sale at St James South Elmham. Last year we eventually made just over £1,000 and we wondered if this year we would be as successful. It was a busy day, with lots of people in the morning, and a steady trickle through the afternoon. Money has been coming in ever since, from sales that took place afterwards, late payments, and a couple of specialist books placed with a local Book Dealer. At their Harvest festival this last Sunday I learnt that the total for this year now stands at over £1370. A magnificent result, and the event goes from strength to strength as it becomes more widely known. It's already planned to have another one next year! I thoroughly enjoy it, and always come away with several volumes earmarked for holiday reading.