We're completely re-building our kitchen. The builders have started work this morning, ripping out the 80's composite marble counter-tops and smashing up the cheap, magnolia painted fitted units. Instead, we're going for a semi-fitted, or even unfitted look. Free-standing stove, light oak counter-tops, American 'fridge, Belfast Sink, white Metro tiles, unlacquered brass taps from Barber Wilsons, with re-claimed 1930's pine floor-boards from LASSCO and a hanging rack for the pots and pans above a huge kitchen island. A bit like one of those old-fashioned Country House scullerys from the 1920's or 30's (Agatha Christie or Laurence Olivier's kitchen in the original Sleuth): that at least, is the idea. The kitchen at Lutyen's Castle Drogo has this in spades.
But in the meantime, it's going to mean: No Proper Cooking. Some generous person gave us a brand new microwave as a wedding present, and I've lugged this upstairs to the drawing room. It's going to be our new friend for the next month or so.
Despite writing a food blog, I think microwaves are quite useful in the kitchen. They're brilliant for warming plates up, for instance; but I have to admit that I've never actually used one before. Don't even know yet how it works, or what button to press. And it looks like we're going to be paying multiple visits to the Sainsbury's or Tesco's "ready-made meals" sections very soon. Do Waitrose also sell this sort of thing? Can anybody recommend a particular dish?
When I was about ten years old, the high-point of my existence was a Chicken and Mushroom Pot Noodle, eaten in front of the late-night Frankenstein movie on a Saturday Night. It came with a little sachet of Soy Sauce. It may yet come to that.
The kitchen at Castle Drogo, Devon. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.