Friday, 24 July 2009

A bit of a bonfire

Most of my kitchen equipment is put away in boxes. Before the hurricane hit us in late January I knew where everything was. Since then I don't. But I have managed.

One of most used pieces of equipment are these cheapo plastic bowls, bought from Wilkinsons for £2.25 each before we left the UK. These I have managed to keep to hand, although often get in the way because of their size.

I have six. Or rather, had six. One was used as a drinking bowl for Boolie, and was left outside during the winter. It didn't like the cold, and died, breaking into several pieces as it did so. So, one down.

The rest have been so very, very useful. They can be dropped and won't break, are big enough to mix bread and cakes in, can be used as a washing-up bowl, can be used to soak one's feet in, can be used as a store from donated under-ripe fruit from Sara, can be used as a mini-compost bin for veg peelings en route to the proper compost heap, or can be 'borrowed' by Hubs for various unrelated kitchen tasks. Oh so many uses, and most times they are being used or waiting to be washed up after being used. They are very busy bowels.

So, in the kitchen this morning. Kettle on for tea, Hubs just getting up. Kitchen caravan a bit overloaded with washing up, it being a difficult environment to stay in for any lenght of time because of the heat. Normally do the tidy up in the morning when it is cooler. Stack washing up to minimalize untidyness. Bread made, one bowl. Cake made, another bowl. Veg peelings from yesterday just been put out onto compost, that makes three bowls to wash up in total. The other one is somewhere else I don't know where, and one is being used as the washing up bowl.

Fleur barks. Boolie chases out to see what she's making a fuss about. Ah, the overnight converted jallopy campervan conversion made out of an old horsebox which arrived at two this morning, and parked out on our front. It's arrival had woken Lester up, who swore and cussed his way into his trousers before going out to have a look at who had arrived in the middle of the night, him being worried in case Toto got loaded up and carried away to somewhere else.

Bools and Fleur messing about in the river.

Now in daylight, I go out to meet and greet them. Fifteen minutes later, after having a chat with the young dreadlocked (or is is it 'deadlocked'- you know when they put extensions into the hair which makes the hair have furry ringlets) female owner of the van, whose partner was still in situ inside the van with their three huskies and one collie, all of who were off to the coast for the summer, I made a return to kitchen-tidy-up duties and making Lester's tea.

Toast. Need to cut the bread. So need to have a bit of a clear surface. Oh I know what I will do: On top of the stove I stack the saucepans, then the bowls on top of them. Big items. Out of the way. Bread cut. Grill on. Toast under grill.

Lester calls. "Can you help me move Toto?"
Toast removed from under the grill. Kettle switches itself off, it having been boiled twice already for tea.

Me and Toto

Out I goes, to receive a nuzzle from Toto. Fleur and Toto belong to Bruno and Maddi who are on holiday up in La Rochelle. Fleur isn't supposed to be staying with us, just Toto, but she decided otherwise when she say Bruno and Maddi drive off without her. She is supposed to be at her own home, staying with the remaining family of one son. It would seem that she also has decided to go on hol as well.

We shift Toto. Then heft his large water bowl to his new grazing place. The flies are already bothering him, so we stay a while and keep brushing them away, before our tummies do a rumble and "Tea and toast" I call out to Lester as I mooch off back to the caravan.

The smoke wasn't too bad. Obviously whatever was making the smoke was not in too dire a way.

Through the haze I can make out quite a perky flame. Mmm, well actually, several perky flames, all emanating from the grill. But not to worry, the toast is out from under the grill so it is probably some bits of food splash from yesterday which are now being grilled.

But I turn the grill off anyway.

The little flames seem to do a bit of a higher surge.

Mmmmmm. Hubs to the rescue. Manfully he thrusts me out of the way, taking charge. Grabbing the pots and stuff he takes them outside. Then he returns. Deadens the flames. Growels at me. Goes outside. "Do you want your cup of tea now?" I call after him. "And your toast?"
"I'll just have bread today, not toast" he flings back at me over his shoulder as he extinguishes the last of the flames. "....And my tea. I would like my tea."

But not to worry though. The saucepans, although blackened, have scrubbed up OK, and while they are never going to be the same again, they are usable. They still have life.

The cupboard, plates, cups, and other bits and bobs, all washed up fine. The ceiling is not too bad, but waits for another day for its wash over.


Three bowls down, two to go!

Things I have learnt: That plastic bowls behave like melting butter when they get hot.
That plastic bowls behaving like melting butter can put up quite a little bonfire.
That plastic bowls behaving like melting butter are likely to be forever unusable mostly because of the wapping big hole they will get in them after the melt.

Not to worry though. Since the kitchen was out of bounds until the smoke cleared, and I thought it best to give Hubs, who was now in the office, time to cool down as well, I gathered Toto, Bools and Fleur and we all had a nice walk down to the Louet and back passing Christiane and Pierre just back from their holidays who gave me a donation of a huge flagon of fifteen percent sweet white wine bought from a wine cave in Spain. Yummy.

And the good news is: that the bowl which was missing turned up, and that one together with the washing up bowl makes two remaining bowls. Raising my glass and saying "Salut" I gently weave my way to my bed.


DUTA said...

Vera, you're so good with details! You are a writer, no doubt about that, and it's a great pleasure to read your posts.

Vera said...

Thanks for your words of encouragement, Duta. They are much appreciated at this time.