Sunday, January 31, 2010

Getting ahead of myself

I just can't wait any longer. Don't have much to say but I just have to share the progress of the house with you. Our living room is D.U.N. James put in some serious time painting this weekend and I cleaned. We are striving for a dust free environment and it's getting there.

The floor was sanded and then Michael applied a white stain and then satin polyurethane on top. 4 coats I believe. The floor has had it and even this sanding was pushing it. We can see daylight coming in from the basement. But this was a great way to de-doggify the area and just make it look fresh. Next time we'll have to replace the boards... But this should buy some time. We are moving in and the couch should be here end of next week.

(Sigh of relief)

The bedroom also got a facelift. We are not painting the baywindow area just yet, the whole room is going to get a makeover in the next few months, years... and we were just dying to get the house back to cozefactor -hi so I cleaned and am now sitting at my desk in one of the prettiest places in the house. Hey that's me!

Got lemons?

Make Hollandaise.

It's so much easier than I thought and it turns sunday breakfast into brunch!

First, I don't have a double boiler so I just put a bowl over a pot of simmering water. So put 3 egg yolks in the bowl and whisk till they get thick. Add 4 tablespoons of boiling water, 1 tablespoon at a time and whisk in between.

Add 2 table spoons of warmed lemon juice. Whisk again.

Take the pot off the heat and slowly whisk in 1 stick of melted butter.

Finally add 1/2 teaspoon salt and a 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.


And if you have Hollandaise. Make Eggs Benedict!

Finally got my poached egg right. 
- I'm using very fresh eggs. 
- The water should be simmering, not boiling.
-  Add about 2 tablespoons of vinegar to the water. 

It's a beautiful thing when it just stays together in the pot.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Coze factor - lo

Came up on saturday morning. Hello House. Contractor bills on the kitchen table, a general bloody mess and a shower we didn't ask for. Welcome back. It's been frikkin Grand Central Station over here on Maple Ave. The electrician started looking over our less than ideal situation. In the spring we want to upgrade our box, bury our lines and get power to the barn. The plumber fixed the toilet and the shower and started planning for our 2nd bathroom. Scott is working on finishing the windows and Michael is our floor sander. Yes, we started a few too many projects and the house is a construction zone. We knew it would happen and this is the worst it's gonna get. 

We moved in to the blue room upstairs for the weekend. It felt like staying in a hotel. And it's good we're testing it out because my parents are coming over for quite the stay this spring and that will be their room. Couldn't keep me completely out of the kitchen though and for sunday breakfast I made scones. 

Cranberry Pecan Scones

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4+1/3 cup brown sugar. The recipe called for 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/3  cup white, but why use white?
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspon salt
  • 1/4 cup chilled and diced butter
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1/2 diced pecans
  • 3/4 cups of liquid. I used milk, the recipe called for cream but I think I would like to try buttermilk or plain yoghurt next time.
  • 1 egg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put batter-dough on greased baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. My sister said to use a muffin pan which is a great idea and now I know what to wish for for my birthday.

WT...? Whose green car is that?

Our wonderful neighbors who look out for us will wonder. It's Ebba! She's on the east coast! Ebba is my California car that was just shipped out via car carrier. She is named after the Swedish punk band Ebba Grön (green). Because of the color AND her rather punk attitude. She does not take crap from anyone and does exactly what she pleases. Be it drain all transmission fluid on a hairpin turn in Baja, Mexico or bust a fan belt exactly 5 minutes into reaching civilization after 3 days driving in the desert. Sometimes her timing is good.

Here is a finished window, trim and everything, in the living room. It still needs one more coat of paint, but that's it.

Here is the bay window in the bedroom. Also almost close to finished.

The door between the hallway and the living room, my vacation project. Stripped and ready for a final light sand. We like the bare look. No puns, no jokes. We'll see if we'll stick with it.

One last look at the floor in the living room. When we left on monday morning, Michael the floor sander was just about to start making a mess. After the sand he is staining it with a light stain and then coating it with polyurethane. Can't wait to see it. 

The couch is done and we will most likely have a living room in 2 weeks. 

I would have you all over for Superbowl because I want to make wings but I'm afraid we would have to reenact the football part of the event cause we don't have cable.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Demolition Derby

There's strippers...

And then there's this stripper.

My christmas vacation consisted of a lot of this, with eco terrorist get-up and heat gun in hand - OLD PAINT beware. 

Also beware of the destruction force that is Big Jimmy. On New Year's Eve he went bezerker on the green room. 

Heeeeeeere's Jimmy!

We are hoping to put the bathroom in this end of the room and we are most likely sealing up the doorway that leads to the green room.

19 Maple Ave is a funny  little house, because you can close a door in one end of the house where it looks like there was a postapocalyptic earthquake and then walk to the other end of the house, light a fire and get ready for New Year's guests. 

But, even this had to go.

This is how I left things things this morning, living room is ready for a floor sand.

But in this house, which is becoming more and more like Dark City, things move around a lot. All our furniture has soon lived in every room.

We also took apart our lovely, but temporary living room, the pastry shop. 

We are insulating, tearing up floors, trimming windows and god knows what else. This project is growing out of control faster than wild fire. Oh my.

Wallpaper, more wall paper...

Beautiful barn, beautiful snow.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy happy gott nytt år!

So it's almost been 2 1/2 weeks and all I've got to show for it is a computer in the emergency room. She finally gave out and I got some local yokels checking her out right now. So as a result I am wring this on my phone and that is hella frustrating so I will make this short. Things HAVE happened in the house and there will be pictures as soon as my baby is back and running. Demo-Jimmy's knock-it-down-yourself service went bezerk on the wall in the green room for instance and Linda-Lou turned 19 Maple Av into a strip joint by taking on one doorframe at a time.

We also rung in the new year in good Clintondale style since all our guests traveled less than 5 minutes to get to our house. It was a low key and civilized evening with intellectual conversations and sipping of fine wines. Oh wait. That was the original plan... Need I say it failed miserably.

So for now I just want to wish everyone Happy New Year and hopefully I will return in full on Monday (oooh fingers crossed and holding my thumbs as we do in Sweden.)