This post has been a long time in the making. The fact is that writing, cooking, most things really, well they've all taken a back seat while I've been renovating the house. Instead of picking up knives or wooden spoons everyday, i've been wielding hammers and screwdrivers. Instead of a palette knife, I have been using a plasterer's trowel, and an electric drill rather than an electric whisk. Now, after many months of labour, I have a shiny new kitchen to work in.
It wasn't just a simple refit. Walls were removed, new plumbing and services installed, and floors were levelled and laid with a specially stained parquet. We wanted a space that would be practical but with great aesthetics, somewhere that would work as a sociable space in a family home but could double up as a workspace for me. A large island topped with a beautiful slab of marble forms the centrepiece of the kitchen, big enough for a group of six to work around if I end up running cookery workshops from home.
After much deliberation I decided to make the move to induction and installed a large Neff hob in the island. It was a tough call, having been comfortable cooking on gas my whole life but in the end I went with aesthetics, the convenience of cleaning, and the lack of naked flame - an important consideration now I have a young child beginning to cook a bit more. I have to say I don't miss gas and I love the speed at which the pans heat up. It was also a good excuse to buy some induction friendly pans!
While the work was ongoing, I completely lost the will to cook. The combination of a temporary kitchen in the basement and the sheer fatigue of the long days of building drove me to the ready meal aisle of the supermarket. It was a strange feeling, but it did give me an insight into the lives of people who feel they are too busy to cook something from scratch when other priorities take over.
Thankfully, once I'd painted the kitchen (Basalt by Little Greene), and stocked the cupboards, I slowly began to feel at home in the new space. Although I still haven't had time for a proper cooking session or any entertaining yet, I know this space full of light (and music) will be a great place to experiment, work, teach or just hang out. So what next? Well the next few months will be spent testing out a few concepts I have been considering while performing the mind numbing jobs of painting the walls. Hopefully I will have a bit more time to blog and photograph food again and maybe I will get a few classes on the programme for early next year. Watch this space...