This is what my days are looking like. My temporary kitchen is a mish-mash of various meals in progress. Either that or it sits empty while we eat our takeout around the coffee table. Today I have a tomatoey bolognese simmering in the slow cooker, recipe from The Kitchn. The hotplate is grudgingly at work making a grilled cheese. I get to take a break from the tiling because I am the food provider. I am glad for the breaks, a rest is needed for my tired feet and aching back. I rinse the marble dust and dried up mortar off my fingers, stir the bolognese and rotate the sandwiches in the skillet. If not rotated, on side will remain soft and pale while the other becomes black and crisp.
Our counter tops are somewhere between Indiana and Seattle, they have estimated they will be here either March 9th or 11th, I don’t believe them, but we will see. So far the husband’s estimate of tiling time of 19 hours seems to be off, but unfortunately in the wrong direction. At this point we are maybe 28% done, with about 16 hours of work put into, you can probably do the sad math. But after that all that is left is building and painting cabinets by hand, installing them, installing the counter tops, installing appliances, painting, building the kitchen island, and building a light fixture. That’s ok though, because we have both decided that this will be the most amazing kitchen that has ever existed in the existence of kitchens.
I am still amazed at what low heat and time can do to improve most anything. It is rare that something non-delicious comes from my slow cooker, I do not take credit for that. It does even better if I am actually gone for the day, leaving it to do it’s business without my constant poking, stirring, tasting and tongue burning. I am an impatient cook. I like to watch my water boil, I like to stir. Yes I love making risotto, it makes me feel needed. My slow cooker doesn’t need me, it likes it space and sometimes that’s a good thing.
Someday I would like to make a cassoulet. This is not a cassoulet as much I would like to say it is and as much as I like to say “cassoulet.” It has beans and meat and cooks for a long time and has some similarities, but is a lot less work. This recipe is adapted from a recipe by David Lebovitz. The beans become smooth and creamy and complement the salt from the ham, and does deserve an overnight in the fridge if you can handle it.
I have moved out of the world of slow cooker stews and into the realm of desserts. My lack of an oven is requiring this. The kitchen is making progress daily, albeit slow. The doorways has been moved. The wiring is near completion. The biggest setbacks of the week: our cabinets have turned out to be particleboard held together by glue (not gonna work) and lack of companies wanting to ship large chunks of butcher block counter tops to Alaska. They will ship to the lower 48 states, and they will ship internationally, but if you are in the death zone of Alaska or Hawaii you are expected to down your own trees as it was likely your choice to live in such rural and inaccessible reaches.