My Mazamet

Life at β„– 42

Preparing the house for Imaginary Summer Girls

It’s the one time a year when the house gets cleaned from top to bottom, hard to get to cobwebs removed, unused rooms opened; So even though Summer Girls won’t be joining us this year because of the Covid-19 dangers, we’re doing all the preparations as if they were about to arrive. I’ve entered the waxing phase of the dining room floors, which is fantastic. Just a few more coats to go.

And for the sake of those who haven’t been following this story, here’s what was on the floor before:

With some difficulty, we’ve managed the effect we wanted which was for the floors not to look brand new, which would have made them stand out from the rest of the house. We’ve got a pretty good match now (thanks to mixing waxes), we even left some defects like slightly darker edges in parts of the room to give the impression of aged wax – even a couple of light stains for character

A few months ago I bought some inexpensive but quite attractive ceramics for use outside because when Summer Girls are here we eat mostly outside. We also got another Laguiole cork-screw because our last one died. They are the best, if you’re in the market for one don’t even dream of considering another brand. Their customer service is also outstanding. We had a little problem with our last one which they fixed immediately.

something like this

I’m thinking Italian or Mexican hand blown glasses with the bubbles inside to go with the blues/greens ceramics, but I haven’t chosen them yet. And if I don’t find exactly what I want right now I do technically have until their real arrival in summer of 2021. I’m also preparing a little package this year to send to Summer Girl #1 because I know she has a big birthday this year. I got her a little Victor & Hugo bag (minaudiere), which I saw an extremely elegant woman sporting the last time we went out to lunch before the pandemic and made a mental note that that was a good and practical gift.Β  And if she doesn’t like it she can always pass it on as a Christmas gift for someone else πŸ™‚

In food related activities for the summer, I’ve tried out a few versions of Venetian Pesce in Saor. It can be served at room temperature which makes it a great option on a hot day. Not to mention you pre-make it so it’s all ready in the fridge.Β  The winning version for me is with butterflied sardine fillets (skin on), but you can also make it with any firm white fish. For 4 people you’ll need:

500 grams white onions which you’ll slice, lightly caramelise and then set aside

500 grams filleted fish pieces which you’ll dredge in flour and then fry

Once those two things are done, you’re going to add to the pot with the caramelised onions:

120 ml vinegar

80 ml white wine

A handful of raisins

A handful of pine nuts

Salt to taste

Then lay the fried fish on top of that and give it a gentle mix. Turn the burner back on and let the whole thing simmer together for 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool, refrigerate. Fantastic with salad and bread, but also on warm rice. Lasts a good week in the refrigerator and can be repurposed in many ways. That’s it.

Have a great weekend!

 

 

33 comments on “Preparing the house for Imaginary Summer Girls

  1. Kris
    July 11, 2020

    You have created an epic experience even if only imaginary. The house looks fantastic and I love the blue bowls. My favorite color!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      July 11, 2020

      The problem with the imaginary experience is I won’t have an excuse to gain weight this summer. I love that blue too. They’re hand made in Belgium, but were super cheap, just 2 or 3€ each piece – which also means if they end up getting broken going in and out of the house, it’s all good πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kris
        July 16, 2020

        You have an excuse to gain weight, it’s called the COVID 19 (ala the β€œfreshman 15”)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Anonymole
    July 11, 2020

    I’m afraid that even another year passing may not change the impact of this virus. One can hope for a vaccine, but chances are, we will be en garde for years to come. If one can prove antibodies, then groups of survivors might party together, else? We are now forever suspicious. Cough, cough.

    Have you ever made garum?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      July 11, 2020

      I can see you writing that story. It begins with, “It’s been five years since the discovery of Covid-19. The virus has mutated every winter and lock-downs have become a part of common everywhere on the planet.” πŸ˜€
      I hadn’t heard of garum but it sounds very interesting. I’m going to see how easy or difficult it is to make.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anonymole
        July 11, 2020

        I’ve got that reputation now, I suppose.

        I’ve become enamored with a fellow on youtube who produces a channel called “Tasting History” with Max Miller. I’d known of garum before, having researched greek and roman cuisine, but recent viewing of that channel brought it back to mind.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        July 12, 2020

        Have you tried making it? I’ve read it’s similar to south-east Asian fish sauces like Nuoc-Mam or Nam-Pla.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Anonymole
        July 12, 2020

        No, but from what I’ve read, my thinking is must taste better. More unctuous. Looking forward to your experimental results. Perchance you have a corner of your expansive yard you can rest it while the stench wafts drawing cats from city-wide.

        Like

  3. Robert A. Vella
    July 11, 2020

    Simply beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      July 11, 2020

      Thank you. The dining room floor was the last major aesthetic issue, so it feels like we’ve turned a major corner!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. john zande
    July 11, 2020

    You’ve won me on the plates.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      July 11, 2020

      They’re even better in person. The glaze gives them a really lovely rustic feel.

      Like

  5. Elizabeth James
    July 11, 2020

    It all looks so inviting. I’m going to imagine being there (unnoticed and no trouble) Enjoy yourselves. X

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      July 11, 2020

      Thank you! It’s been quite the journey. When we first began I was daunted but now it’s thrilling to see it all coming together πŸ™‚

      Like

  6. themisstree99
    July 11, 2020

    😊

    Liked by 1 person

  7. inspiredbythedivine1
    July 11, 2020

    Lovely home you have. Lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Susan
    July 12, 2020

    You have a beautiful home renovated with love and care. Just beautiful enjoy your summer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      July 12, 2020

      Thank you! It’s a really great feeling to transform the house into something that’s perfectly viable and usable in the modern world. People are often afraid to take on projects like this, but if one has time and patience, it’s incredibly rewarding.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Steve Ruis
    July 12, 2020

    Come on now … Virtual Summer Girls! Set up a big TV to video chat over and open a shitload of good wine and chat and drink and tell lies. C’mon, that’s the spirit! You can do it!! Think of all of the laundry and cooking and cleaning up you won’t have to do!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      July 13, 2020

      We’re taking the opportunity to do a final push to get the house “done”. I’d really like to get it to the point where all the jobs are related to maintenance rather than building or carpentry work.

      Like

  10. midihideaways
    July 13, 2020

    What a fabulous floor – I’m very envious!! πŸ™‚ I find polishing can be very meditative, furniture, floors, silver, whatever. Do you find that too? And of course it’s hugely rewarding to look at what you’ve achieved!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      July 13, 2020

      Thank you! And yes, I do. Polishing creates a sense of near total control of life because we’re in charge of the entire process, and then get to keep the result πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Helen Devries
    July 13, 2020

    When we were in France, preparing the house for the summer arrival of friends and family was the job that took most of the month of May….not just cleaning and making up beds, but deciding what to change by way of furniture and decorative things. i used to enjoy it immensely.
    I like that recipe…I have a trout one which uses orange juice and vermouth, but this sounds super to use with corvina….when I can finally get out of the hiouse to buy more pine nuts. We were all released when some idiots held a party, numbers went up and we are all back to restricted travel again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      July 13, 2020

      We could always tell what season it was by the guests – but this year it’s been very very different and so strange.
      I wonder what the future will bring? If this opening and closing is going to become a normal part of life?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Helen Devries
        July 16, 2020

        Now that most of our visitors are long distance the unpredictability is going to be a real pain in the proverbial.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. acflory
    July 14, 2020

    I’m sorry the Summer Girls can’t come; I know how much you look forward to their visits, but with luck they will be back next summer.

    I adore your parquetry but cannot imagine how you find the energy to wax them. It’s kind of shocking to see those before and after photos of no. 42. I mean the blue carpet was probably quite serviceable but why any sane person would hide parquetry in the first place is beyond me.

    Love the outdoor ceramics. I wouldn’t normally go for those colours, but they do look ‘summery’ somehow.

    Stay well, both of you. -hugs-

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      July 14, 2020

      From what we understand when the previous owner was ill they turned that room into a ground floor bedroom, and put in the carpet for comfort. But the workmen who installed the carpet poured a ridiculous amount of glue on the wood – making the removal process a nightmare!

      Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        July 15, 2020

        Aaah! That does make sense then, although I would have thought a nice big rug would be just as comfortable. Commiserations on the glue. My first house was a real fixer-upper-a and my job was to peel up about five layers of lino [remember lino?] from the kitchen floor with a heat gun. Never again.
        Your parquetry, though, is worth every backbreaking hour. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Susan
    July 18, 2020

    The floor is absolutely radiant and beautiful well done

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on July 11, 2020 by in design, food and tagged , , , , , , .
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