We have had another really busy at the Cafe, but are starting to see results now, whereas before everything just seemd like an enormous mess with paint tins scattered everywhere.
I have grouted the toilet floor, put up shelves and a newspaper rack, cleaned and scrubbed everything in sight and done lots of PR work (ie. gossiping outside with the locals)
The boys have painted, moved the safe (quite some feat, believe me) put up tiles, moved fridges, sanded walls, taken out wiring and pipework, laughed and taken the mickey out of me for 'shirking' my reponsibilities (they don't understand PR work, obviously).
The painting is nearly finished. The splashback is grouted and splashproof! (and I have the yucky fingernails to prove it) the doors and skirting boards are sage green. The glasses are washed and sparkling. The coffee machine is still foxing me! But I am getting better.
We have lovely cream walls, beautiful new lights and loads of enthusiasm. In fact the bags of enthusiasm I have almost match those under my eyes, in size.
I have even had time to partake of some 'experimental cafe cooking' and here is one attempt..herb bread. It's from a book by The National Trust called 'Traditional Teatime Recipes' that I bought on a recent shopping trip to Oxford with Nancy. It's the only thing I have made from the book so far, but it was a success. We had it for lunch today with (homemade!) Sweet Potato, Red Pepper and Lentil soup. Alas there is no recipe, I just made it up as I went, but the recipe for the bread is as follows...
8oz Self raising white or wholemeal flour (or a mix of half and half) sifted
1tsp dry English Mustard powder
2 tablespooons of fresh chopped herbs (chives, basil, thyme, sage etc.-from ones' herb garden!)
4oz grated mature cheddar cheese
25g (1oz) butter (melted)
1 egg, beaten (defeated, cannot take it any more...etc..)
150ml water (5 fl.oz)
Preheat the oven to 190 C, 375 F, gas mark 5. Grease a 1lb loaf tin.
Mix together the flour, mustard herbs and cheese.
Add the melted butter, egg and water and mix to a soft, wet cake like dough.
Turn into the tin and bake for 45 minutes until well risen and golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or cold with butter. Or soup!
It is incredibly easy to make and really tasty. You can use any herbs you have to hand, and I used chives and basil, which made for a great combo.
So the week ahead holds more cooking, costing up recipes, finishing the writing of the menu (or the provisional menu, anyway) finishing the painting, sorting out the kitchen, finalising suppliers, chasing up the solicitors and meeting with the sign writers. As well as more tiling, cleaning the glass fronted fridge, cleaning the windows, cleaning, cleaning and possibly a bit more cleaning.
Did I mention the cleaning?
Have a great week