Wednesday 17 September 2014

Today has been an odd kind of a day .....

Today has been a bit of an odd kind of day. 

I didn't sleep well last night, which is strange in itself for me.

I'd just got lots of stuff going through my head and was feeling a bit overwhelmed. I was thinking about things I wanted to do, things I hadn't done that I should have. I felt like I was losing my way a bit and my life was becoming a bit too 'fluffy'. 

I rationalised with myself, in the dead of the night, and decided I'd just got a bit too chilled out and unfocused, whilst I was still achieving lots, I wasn't really being that organised about it any more. 

After a good old ponder I soon felt better and dropped back off to sleep. It was going to be back to the old to do lists in the morning, so I could make sure I knew what I was up to. It's always worked for me before. 

The phone woke me at about 7.15am. It was mum. She was really upset and calling to tell me my brother's hamster, Snuggles, had had to be put to sleep. Mum had been looking after her whilst David & Alison had been on holiday, so she was wondering if it was because of anything she had done whilst they were away. David was also wondering whether moving her to mum's had distressed her. This all brought back memories of when we had to have our cat Monkey put to sleep and more recently when we lost poor William.

I went back to bed and, in spite of the sad hamster news, got up feeling quite motivated.  After having had my one person 'brainstorm' in the night I was going to get the house tidy, make a tomato and basil quiche for tea and an apple strudel from a bag of apples that had been sitting in the back porch for a couple of weeks. 

Before I started anything I wrote my list of what I wanted to get done this week. 

I got off to a good start, got the beds made, upstairs tidy and the dish washer running, before heading out into the garden to pick the tomatoes for the quiche. I got them in the oven roasting, and started on the flan case, all going to plan so far. 

I was using ready made pastry, so that was nice and easy and I got the case lined and in the oven to bake blind, ready for filling later. Whilst that was baking, I started to prepare the apples. I was using about 5 for the apple strudel and the rest I was going to stew and freeze. 

This is where it all started to go a bit wrong. Firstly, half way through preparing the apples. I cut my finger, so was trying to stop this bleeding, whilst rooting through the cupboards for a plaster, whilst also trying to get the cut apples into lemon juice to stop them browning. 

Plastered up and back on task, the flan case was ready to come out of the oven. Well it had baked fine, but split, so my mixture was going to run straight through, oh well. I left that to cool and finished off the apples. Now, onto the strudel. 

Well, that was a complete disaster, my puff pastry pretty much disintegrated when I tried to roll my strudel up. Not much I can do there, but I did have a bit more puff pastry in the freezer so I defrosted that, in the hope that I can patch up the gaps later. Fingers crossed. 

So, whilst I was waiting for the pastry to defrost, I thought I'd fill my flan case. The first egg I got out of the fridge I dropped on the floor, great! things really were not going well. Well, I managed to get the flan case filled, obviously the egg mixture all ran through the crack in the pastry, but whatever. 

By now the kitchen looked like a war zone on a bad day. Definitely time for some reparative action. I just managed to unload and reload the dish washer as Jackie, my friend from round the corner turned up for a chat. 
Any excuse for a breather, ah, well you might think that but no, she sat on the stool in the kitchen, whilst I very slowly and gradually brought things back under control. First, a repair job on the strudel, the extra pastry worked a treat, might be a bit thick on the bottom, but at least it will be edible, assuming it cooks right through, we'll find that one out later. 

Then a good old wipe down on one half of the kitchen, so if I stand with my back to the sink it looks nice and tidy. 

We had a quick walk round the garden before Jackie left and I remembered I needed to pick and cook some beetroot to have with our salad for tea. Oh well, the hob stayed clean for all of five minutes. 

With Jackie gone, the kitchen half tidy and beetroot in the sink, waiting to be scrubbed ready for boiling, I felt a lot better, a bit more in control of what was going on. 

It's amazing how a good chat with a good friend can invigorate and re-energise you.

A quick twist off of the tops leaves and a quick swill under the tap ready for boiling to the welcome sound of the dish washer finishing it's load and it's time to lock and reload! 

Excellent, everything back to normal in the Kitchen at Number 27.

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