Friday Favourites Hiatus
There may have been a row or two in the house this week. Or possibly even three. I know there was one about skirting board. And one about banisters. And a real humdinger about the cock (who is still alive, but on his absolute final warning). I can’t think of any others right now but I get the feeling I’m leaving something out.
Our house renovations have been flying along. Up to now it’s been mostly structural work and there was no urgency to buy fixtures and fittings. Well, the urgency has arrived with a bang and we’re struggling to keep up. We spent the whole day on Saturday in IKEA. Under normal circumstances this would be a dream for me but when you need to kit out an entire house from scratch it becomes a bit more of a chore.
Putting together a kitchen from IKEA is a bit like putting together a jigsaw when some of the pieces are missing. Their kitchens look amazing and are both functional and reasonable priced, but they are one-size fits all. If your kitchen measurements are not multiples of 60 cm then it just won’t fit.
We have designed our kitchen so that the windows are flush with the counter and want the worktop to extend out to form the window sills. We also want an island with open shelving on each side which, using IKEA components, would require a worktop 80 cm wide. Having been told repeatedly that the worktops could be cut to order up to 120 cm wide we discovered on Saturday that this only applies to their laminate worktops, whereas we want solid wood. So I’m back to the drawing board, quite literally. I can either get a bespoke worktop elsewhere or get creative with IKEA components. (I have typed with words “IKEA hack” into search engines many times this week.)
Amidst all this I’m trying to keep my blog alive. I knew I wouldn’t have time to develop and photograph a recipe for you, so I thought I’d do a cocktail instead. We bought some tantalisingly tasty strawberries from a woman at the side of the road and I was inspired to make you a strawberry daiquiri. I went into the supermarket to buy some rum. Alas, they had none, but I do not exaggerate when I say they had at least 100 variants of vodka. Between different brands, different labels within brands (silver, gold, etc.), flavours and sizes there was a full wall dedicated to vodka. Why fight it, I thought. This here’s vodka country and if I’m going to make a cocktail it should be vodka based.
I bought a litre of my favourite brand and set to work. I muddled my strawberries, added a good splash of cream (which I’d earlier skimmed off a jar of fresh milk, straight from the cow) and a few spoons of sugar. It was a play on the “strawberries and cream” dessert of my youth. Unfortunately the vodka just didn’t work with strawberries. (A shot of rum in this would have been perfect.) To confirm, I made another. Then I fell asleep.
The next day I tried again. I thought I’d try a white Russian as I know these work with vodka. I didn’t have any Kahlúa so I used a double shot of espresso instead. I used three spoons of sugar to make up for the lack of sweet liqueur. I added plenty of cold, creamy milk and shook the mixture until it was frothy. I tried a sip. It was divine. I didn’t even bother to pour it into a glass – I drank the whole thing straight from the shaker. To confirm my proportions (ahem) I made another. Then, despite the four shots of espresso, I fell asleep.
As this is the second week in a row that I have no Friday Favourites recipe to share I have concluded that I’m just too darn busy for recipes at the moment. As such, Friday Favourites will be on hiatus until we move into the house. We are currently aiming for July 18th, a date which is significant for two reasons. Firstly, it will be a year to the day since we arrived back in Lithuania. Secondly, and perhaps slightly more importantly, it’s the day I turn forty. (Yikes! When did that sneak up on me!) In the meantime I will continue with my vodka experiments on your behalf until I hit on that one phenomenal cocktail.