I started the weekend with a little get together with friends at my friend Lori’s house. We cooked a fancy meal together to celebrate my birthday (yes, still celebrating.) One of the highlights of the evening was using a blow torch for the first time. I chose a lemon tart for dessert that required a flame to caramelize sugar sprinkled on top. I don’t own a kitchen torch, but Jonny’s propane blow torch worked out well, although we were all a little nervous. (This is the recipe, from Martha Stewart. It’s been altered from the time it was published in the magazine, eliminating the need for the torch. My friend Eve replaced the crust called for in the recipe with a gluten free gingersnap cookie crumb crust. This may be my favorite dessert ever, but I am a huge lemon fan. I completely sympathized with Martha when she noted that the food she missed most when in prison was fresh lemon.)
Eve and I took turns. Lori of course was manning the camera, and Sarah was holding her sweet new baby girl!
(This photo was taken just seconds after the entire tart burst into flames. I thought the dessert would be ruined, but it wasn’t. The flames went out almost as quickly as they erupted, and Eve and I were able to keep the torch under control.)
I spent hours upon hours cleaning my kitchen. I had the hardest time sticking with it, but I did the deep cleaning I’ve been needing to do for weeks. Then Jonny had the presence of mind to tell me to take a photo. Some of you have asked for a photo of the kitchen. Of course this isn’t the whole thing, but it shows all of our cabinet and counter space. I am hoping for Jonny to build a set of pine shelves for the area on the left wall that hosts a couple of small home improvement store bought white shelves. I want three shelves that stretch from the left wall to the window, maybe in the same style that he made the boys’ shelves. Old wood would be my first choice, but we don’t have enough.
Meanwhile, upstairs: Clean clothes on the left, dirty on the right. This area looks better now, but only because I got all the dirty clothes washed and neatened the baskets of clean laundry. I’ll fold it later today. For now, I am focusing on the fact that I emptied the “one-sock” bag and made lots of matches and also bleached the shower curtains. I can’t do everything at once! And here’s the reality of the situation: If one room gets really clean, another is going to have to get pretty messy. That’s just the way things work here.
Part of the reason that the upstairs bath is so messy is that all eight of us are still sharing it for showers and baths. Progress on the downstairs bathroom has been sl0000000ow. Jonny has been too busy the last few months and is just now getting back to work on this project here and there. He is having a hard time following through. I understand. I feel the same way about the laundry (refer back to previous photo.)
The temperatures were very mild this weekend, but the sun was hidden beneath a layer of permanent gray. Sunday started with a thick fog that never really lifted. My afternoon walk was perfect because I love fog, but driving home from Mass Sunday evening after dark was a little scary.
I’m starting the week with a deep cleaned kitchen. So good.