Monday, April 5, 2010

Light at the end of the tunnel and two yummy recipes

This Friday our sea shipment arrives and all our lovely things will coming pouring into our flat. I can hardly wait. All my stuff: my pots and pans, Kitchenaid appliances, my sewing machine, books, vases, clothes and furniture. My reading glasses (I'm going BLIND here), my spring coats, the kids toys, Claire's Mrs. Potato Head and the rest of our DVD's and music. The changing table (my back is breaking bending over the bed). The list goes on and  wonderfully on. Ah, the joy.

Have NO clue where it's all going to go but I'll make it fit. I just can't wait to get my kitchen together. Yesterday we were invited to Easter lunch at a friends house and I made bruschetta - tomato/basil and mango/avocado. It was just so nice to make something I love but haven't had the equipment to make in this kitchen. I have a wok, a saucepan and one baking dish. Talk about being limited.  I went to Sainsbury's today and bought the store out in anticipation of being able to really let loose and whip up a big fancy meal, cakes, sweets, soups and stews.

My only concern is this tiny electric oven. Half my baking dishes aren't going to fit - and the seal is broken so it can only go up to 375 degrees Fahrenheit/200 Celsius That's not going to cut it for some of my favs. But I will manage.

To further complain - the washing machine broke AGAIN. Last time the repair man found a penny in the drain that had clearly been there since Churchill was in office. But it broke on Thursday afternoon - every light started flashing like a 70's disco and eventually the entire thing plunged into darkness. Repairman is coming this afternoon - hopefully.

I had to go to a laundromat for the first time since I had my first job out of university. Nothing has changed... in case you were interested. It actually wasn't so bad because I finally finished reading a manuscript I've had for 2 months. I wrote the editorial notes, sent them to the author (unfortunately a reject) and I started on the new one. So it wasn't half bad.
This Thursday they are coming to remove the furniture to make way for ours - we're painting the flat and once again trying to decide ahead of time where we're going to put everything. I just can't believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I can SEE it.

In the meantime enjoy the following. Both recipes are VERY easy, fast and really, really tasty:


2 large plum tomatoes (or medium ripe vine tomatoes)
1 large bunch of fresh basil
4 garlic cloves crushed
salt to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
1 loaf french bread

Slice loaf into 1/2 inch slices, line on cookie tray, drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake at 200 degrees Celsius until toasted. 15-20 minutes. May also toast on grill. Set aside.

Chop tomatoes, basil and mix in large bowl. Add crushed garlic, olive oil and salt. Mix together. Scoop one spoonful of tomato basil mixture onto each piece of toasted bread and serve.


1 long thin baguette
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 large avocado, pitted, peeled and cubed
1 cup diced mango
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp lime juice

Slice bread into 1/4 inch thick slices, arrange on baking sheet, brush with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toast until browned - about 15-20 minutes. Or grill.

In bowl, combine avocado, mango, cilantro onion and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper and mix. Scoop 1 spoonful of mixture onto bread slices and serve.


  1. When we first moved here, we also had problems with our washing machine. After complaining to several friends I started to notice a general link between moving into a new flat here in the UK and the washing machine breaking within weeks. I did some searching on the internet and found out that it is a rather common problem here because of the chalk (limescale) in the water building up and then drying out in a washing machine that hasn't been used in awhile. When the washing machine goes back into action, it can't cope with the junk that has built up after drying in the pipes. You can buy 'soda crystals' at any local grocery...add a scoop of the crystals to each load of laundry and presto....working washing machine (for us anyway). The soda crystals don't harm clothing if used in moderation and will keep your pipes clean and washing machine working.

    Good luck!

  2. You recipes sound delicious! :)


Go ahead, make my day!