Saturday, May 28, 2011

Earth, Air, wind, fire and ... tiles!

We've had the builders in this week as we're having the hot tank put in the roof to free up space for a shower in the bathroom as well as engaging a special system called an ecocent that draws all the hot air from the bathrooms to recycle it to help heat the tank.
All sounds great in theory because we're on oil, so along with the PV's we'll hopefully be able to reduce our oil bill considerably over the next few years.
However, as with every house project, nothing ever goes smoothly.
We currently have power showers, but with the new system with have high pressure gravity showers, this has meant purchasing new showers. That, in itself hasn't been an issue, but of course, the showers we've removed have left one or two places where the tiles have had to come off to sort out plumbing.

Ye Gads, trying to find matching tiles that are anything older than about six months is really like trying to find the Holy Grail. I have been in and out of tile shops, buying and taking back due to things being the wrong dimensions, the wrong style, the wrong colour, the wrong thickness. Finally we have tiles in.
I could get matching tiles that were just so subtly different that they would have looked like we'd not managed to match the tiles so i thought it'd be simple to go for a contrast *throws head back and howls with laughter*. Suffice to say, I'll be glad if I NEVER see the inside of a tile shop again, although I am currently contemplating tiling around my work area in the kitchen, but at least I won't have to match stuff up!

My willow trellis for the clematis.
Today I've released my frustration by burning things.
Yeah, the hidden pyro in me has been pulling up crap and playing with my new incinerator.
What is it with a pair of secateurs and an incinerator that draws me in so much. It's so cathartic!

I've also planted out some beans

and made some eccles cakes. D'ya want the recipe?

Eccles Cakes made in Banbury!

Puff pastry (ready made stuff!)
4oz cranberries
4oz sultanas
4oz sr flour
1tbsp oil
4oz brown sugar
1 egg
1tsp all spice
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 lemon and zest

Beat your egg, sugar and oil in a bowl, then fold in the flour, baking powder and spice. Add the lemon and zest and your sultanas and cranberries (I saw the recipe the other day using carrots and walnuts - sounds nice too!)
You then want to roll out the pastry and cut it into around 10cm diameter circles. Put a blob of the mix in the middle and then close the pastry over to make a kind of cornish pasty style casing (brush water around the edges to make it stick.
When you've done them all, ensure your tray is greased and then brush milk over each cake and add a sprinkle of sugar. Use a knife to make three air vents!

 180 deg C for around 30 mins, although keep an eye because any escaped fruit will burn.
Nom Nom!!

How big are these beetroot? Not from my garden but the farm up the road! Looking forward to pickles!
First of the season's Elderflower cordial.

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