The word for the food situation here is ‘abundant’. There’s loads of stuff in the one fridge and two freezers plus bottles of fruit and kilner jars full of pasta and rice and unexpected corners bristling with biscuits and dried fruit and crackers. It’s a hole-and-corner house, this; having been designed partly for a priest (a Catholic priest, so probably very little in the way of family quarters) and a small house on the end, now long since knocked into one. There is a kitchen (I wish I could post more pics but I’ve brought the wrong thingy with me so I can’t upload them yet) with a pantry and of course the range, but there is also a utility room where the fridge and two other cookers live. These are for everyday use, the range being impractical for anything other than a semi-permanent state of cooking. You get it up to temperature, then you stick the kettle on the hob, wait half an hour for it to boil and then leave it hovering, half-on, half-off, for the rest of the day. As soon as the oven registers ‘warm’ you stick your spuds or whatever else in there and prepare to spend the rest of the afternoon in a state of cookery because the thing takes so long. Still it’s a good antidote to the age of electric kettle, toaster and microwave (all of which the house also boasts) and I am looking forward to experimenting with baked potatoes this evening (or tomorrow morning, whenever they’re ready).
Actually the kettle didn’t take as long to boil as I thought; but I think the idea of a range is that it’s always in a state of half-readiness. You have to remember to top it up with wood though and before that you have to remember to check the fuel and wood situation (see yesterday’s post) and go to the woodshed with buckets. Fortunately today my nephew Stephen got the fuel and wood situation sorted so all I have to do is light it and keep it going. Yesterday it went out, so today I’m continually opening the door to check whether it’s still alive. Probably not a good idea – a bit like pulling up a plant to see if it’s still growing.
I’m enjoying it though. It forces you to have a different pace of life; not to expect your dinner to be ready in ten minutes with a little ping of the microwave.
Stephen and his gaggle of friends have gone for a long walk which will probably end up in a pub, so I may not see them for a while. It’s quite toasty in the kitchen now: there’s usually hot water in the morning if you’ve run the range the night before and also because of the solar panels. I must say I do like the idea of paying less for your electricity but nothing comes free as you have to buy in logs and then first forage for wood and then cut it up. Floorboards are best apparently and since a quite startling number of people seem to rip up their floors every day, there’s plenty of them to be had.
And now they’re back.
Excuse me. I must check the oven situation.
It appears the potatoes are hard. But hot! Hmm. Maybe the microwave will be needed after all…