Sunday, 9 February 2014
Day 9 of Extremely Frugal February - Building a Bar!
Porridge for breakfast, as usual, then lunch was a bowl of the home made spicy lentil soup. There's enough defrosted to do us tomorrow again - just as well we like it! I'll need to make another loaf in the morning as the last one is finished and I forgot today! I did, however, end up baking some cup cakes.
It's been a busy day of non-spending. I had fully intended getting more of the pink fluffy blanket knitted for grand daughter, but time evaporated! I did remember to take a carton of Bolognese sauce out of the freezer for dinner and then, after much procrastination (while sat in front of the computer) I got off my bum and made a new list on the kitchen chalk board.
First up was pulling out the kitchen trolley to empty and clean it, which I did. That's when I spotted the cartons of cup cake mix and sponge mix - bargain buys from Approved Food a while back - got distracted and ended up making up a pack of the cup cake mix. Meanwhile, the entire contents of the trolley are all over the kitchen units. But worse still, I had another money-saving 'brainwave' in the middle of cleaning said unit!
As you know, I am still very excited about my 'new' sofa and the fact that we now have a 'proper' living room. H has glossed around the window today plus he had made a couple of selves for the little window alcove using surplus flooring, so he painted those this afternoon, too. It makes such a huge difference, even although we need to keep the ancient single glazing for a while longer. Inside looks fresh and it is cosy with all the new insulation and the fire lit. It makes perfect space for entertaining guests. All these thoughts were going through my mind as I washed and dried the kitchen unit and then it occurred to me! I should create my home bar right now!
A home bar always struck me as being the ultimate luxury 'must have' in the entertaining stakes. I had seen a few, mostly built-in and involving wall mounted optics, elaborate lighting, curves, polished bar tops and accompanying bar stools. Well, those things aren't strictly necessary, are they? All that's really needed is a flat surface and some storage space! I wheeled my kitchen trolley through to the living room... then remembered that I had stacked the other two big plastic cases full of paperwork in the corner to double as a makeshift lamp table! DISTRACTION ALERT!
Finishing emptying the boxes of paperwork was on my list! I had already done one of them and turned it into a footstool, so I set about emptying the next one. A second storage foot stool could be on its way soon but the third box isn't, yet emptied. There's a limit to how quickly you can check through several years' worth of paperwork before separating it for burning, shredding, composting or binning. The stove had been raging all afternoon!
Meanwhile, I slotted the kitchen trolley where the boxes had been and then raked out the dusty booze bottles from the cupboard below the stairs. It's probably just as well that alcohol doesn't go off, because most of mine has been accrued from gifts over the past few years, then set aside to open and share once we had a place to entertain friends. Well friends, this is it! I just need a few more glasses, as mine are made up from the free ones you used to get with 'Nutella', several years ago!
The trolley does not look out of place at all in the room, as I have covered it with curtains identical to the ones I have hanging in the window. Looking in the living room door (or window, if it's the neighbours walking past) you can't even tell it's a kitchen trolley. You can just see it in the back left hand corner of the photograph, disguised as a lamp table behind my precious frugal sofa.
Next up is making the second foot stool, raking in the out-buildings for the coffee tables we salvaged and, of course, sorting out the kitchen chaos. Dinner, as usual, was late and contrary to what I was expecting to make, the contents in the freezer tub turned out to be chunky roast red pepper and onion soup! I boiled up some penne pasta, poured the soup over the top, topped it all with grated cheese and popped it under the grill in the mini oven. After about 15 minutes, it came out looking slightly Mediterranean - I called it dinner!
That's it for today - kitchen is still chaotic, log burner has burned a stack more paper and cardboard sticks, I used about 10kg of coal to give the house a blast of warmth throughout and heat a tank of water and the shelves in the living room are all ready for a second coat of paint tomorrow. Oh! And I found my old chess set while emptying boxes, so that's something else that can go into the 'new' living room. I am no further forward with either grand daughter's fluffy blanket or my rag rug!