Playing with our new toy

This week we had the second attempt at proving the pizza bases in the new proving oven:

It starts off quite flat, which is handy for storage.

The lid lifts up, then off, then the inside unfolds so you get a box.

It takes less than five minutes to get to 40°, during which time I make the pizza bases.

Next, the frame which Phil designed and 3D printed is unfolded, and the pizza bases stacked in it.  We had to buy new trays because the old ones were too big!


Finally, the whole lot is lifted into the oven. I must say the contraption is much more stable than I feared.  It’ll be interesting to see what it’s like with four pizzas!

Time to reduce my wardrobe

That is in quantity, not size!  For the past however many years, in the same way that we did when I was growing up, I have done a swap in May and October of the winter and summer clothes which are put in the camphor wood box while they aren’t in use.

This spring I was prompted to start early, and my aim was to reduce the (embarrassing) number of clothes I had so there would no longer be any need to keep the out of season ones separately.

So I took over the front bedroom for several days and emptied my wardrobe and drawers onto every available surface.  The beady eyed may also see the kirtle and coif in the foreground.

The shoes alone covered the bed!

I almost succeeded in my goal – there are only heavy winter coats in the camphor wood box now, and there are four bags waiting to go to the charity shop.  Furthermore, the clothes I do have are better organised.  Result!

 

Christmas 2020

Like most of the country (world?), our Christmas was a much quieter affair than recent years, but we had an enjoyable day nevertheless.

Gemma had wrapped a chew for Rocco, but he was very unsure what to do with it:

An hour later, it had disappeared, so he either ate it or hid it somewhere!

After lunch, we went for a walk in the sunshine. This is Rocco waiting me to throw his stick for him:

The park looked nice in the sun:

But it didn’t stop Rocco getting muddy:

Another bout of Sorting Out

The top of my sewing drawers was getting cluttered, so I decided to tidy it up.  Which, of course, led to sorting out one of the drawers. 

As is the way with things, this led to sorting out my eaves cupboard…

A real sense of achievement!  And so to actually doing something now that my sewing space is ready for action:

La vendange chez les Wheeler

Well, I haven’t made wine, but… I picked most of the grapes I could reach from the kitchen step stool.  Loads still left on the vine.

So, after about an hour taking the grapes off the stalks (you can’t just squash them if you plan to make jelly), I had to go and do some other stuff, so the grapes took over the fridge.

A couple of days later, I continued… The bowl on the left is the one that started out full of grapes.  And, may I say, spiders and earwigs!

So there was lots of rubbish, but a big pot of grapes, to which I added apple and lemon for a better set.  Well, any set, to be honest.

That evening, the cooked mixture was left to drip.

My jelly bag was too small, so that’s part of Phil’s old brewing kit.

After cooking again with an equivalent amount of sugar: many pots of grape jelly.  That should last until the next harvest!

Oh, and there are still a few in the fridge for me to eat.

Harvesting herbs for winter.

This year, for the first time in several, I have had time to gather some herbs for the freezer.

Here’s a big bowl of herbs ready for sorting.

And here they are sorted.  The lids are from pots I have used in previous years, although not recently.

And here are the stalks, the leaves which weren’t good enough, and a few dandelions.

The herb bed has been particularly good this year, and I have really enjoyed using it.  I even took a bag of herbs with me on holiday, which livened up what is usually very plain cooking when we’re away.

The sorting bug spreads

I knew the dining room cupboards needed sorting out.  Some of them contain overflow from the kitchen, and buying a new wok triggered a sort out of some of the kitchen cupboards.  Furthermore, we looked at old photos of the dining room and realised it had not always been this cluttered!

So I emptied the cupboards on to the table…

Reminds me of the photo we took of our wedding presents!

Some of it went to the bin, some to be re-homed, some to the loft, and the result…

Of course, the fireplace is gone, the wallpaper is different, and the pile of games is “new”.

You may recognise the little dancing girl from the 1980’s photo.

Office Changes

This is photo of the north west corner of the office taken in 2001 – what a lot has changed since then, including the “old” monitor, a record player and lots of cassettes. But the desk is clear, which is unusual…

The corner behind the door has evolved since then, and by 2013, you can just see a rack of DVD’s, a rack of books and just a few cassettes behind the door:

The cassettes are now past history, but the number of books has increased, so after a bit of reworking, I’ve ended up with this:

Note that the main shelves on the left were rebuilt in 2017!