Making progress…Making Food

3 Sep

It´s been a while, I´ve missed you all. Lots of news to update you with though.

Work has been going well, the kitchen has now moved on from this…

To this…

Just the final touches to the units (handles, skirting boards), then the wall units to follow. There´s still wall tiling to go but … pah…easy peasy compared to some of the things we´ve been doing.

Of course, when you have a hob and an oven (as of yesterday) you can COOK!! Oh what joy to have a relatively dust free area to prepare meals that are not sandwiches filled with cement or fried eggs lightly dusted with sawdust.

Supper was a simple meal of grilled lamb chops sprinkled with Malvern sea salt and a squeeze of lemon juice, with rice mixed with garlic mushrooms. It was nothing complicated but with a good glass of wine it tasted like the food of the gods.

Lunch today was a sharing platter (we have a lot of those as it means less washing up, very important when you´ve had to wash up with cold water in a bucket!). Good old tortilla, a leftover corn cob and some salami from home with a little salad made with sweet juicy local tomatoes.

Hopefully soon I´ll be able to get a little more adventurous in the kitchen, and we´re not talking about power tools here.  So…a little more news which may leave some of you wondering if we both need to get our heads examined. Things have gone so well, and we have learned so much…we´re going to do it all over again when we´ve finished this house. Yes, you heard right. Just around the corner from this house was another one crying out for some love and attention. It has a very similar scary carpet but we´ve learnt not to fear the shag pile.

It´s been more recently modernized…we´re talking some time during the late 1970s as opposed to the early 1960s in the current house, so a little less work. But not much.

No…your eyes do not deceive you…that´s a downstairs bathroom coming off the “oh so modern” kitchen.

We´re getting the internet installed though, so cross your fingers, toes and eyes for us and hopefully in about a week I´ll be chatting away to you all in my usual fashion and hopefully doing a bit more talking about cooking and a little less about house renovating. But I´m not making any rash promises!


62 Responses to “Making progress…Making Food”

  1. idiosyncratic eye September 3, 2012 at 21:38 #

    There’s something lovely about the old retro fittings in one way, nostalgic. But that new kitchen looks stunning, being able to cook is definitely something worth celebrating! 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza September 4, 2012 at 13:47 #

      There are a few bits that we´ll try to “recycle” but most of it is past saving sadly 😦 It´s great to be cooking, even if it´s only on a small scale!

  2. Marianne September 3, 2012 at 22:33 #

    Mmmmmm …. fried eggs lightly dusted with sawdust! Yummy! 😉

    Thanks for the update – looking good!

  3. Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy September 3, 2012 at 23:02 #

    Great to see you making so much progress! And all ready to do it again!?! Wow…

  4. chaiselongue1 September 3, 2012 at 23:03 #

    It looks as though it’s all going really well – but I think you’re brave to contemplate starting all over again.. Good luck! That bathroom off the kitchen reminds me of my early 70s student flats – ugh!

    • Chica Andaluza September 4, 2012 at 13:47 #

      Oh yes, I think we´ve all lived in flats like that!

  5. Marina@Picnic at Marina September 4, 2012 at 00:02 #

    Thanks for update. You kitchen looks lovely, I bet you can’t wait to start cooking in it “full time” 🙂 That lamb chop is mouthwatering, and as always simple meal is the best! Good luck on your new renovation adventure! 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza September 4, 2012 at 13:48 #

      Thanks Marina – we have lovely Kentish and Sussex lamb which is fed on the salt marshes here…so tasty!

  6. ChgoJohn September 4, 2012 at 01:50 #

    Ah! You’ve got the bug, Tanya. People renovate one home, are surprised that they can, in fact, renovate a home, and move on to a 2nd. You’ve done such a good job in the kitchen — both the remodel and the meals — that it’s easy to see why you’d do this again and, dare I say, again? And a sharing platter would be perfect for your current situation. In this case, it’s what’s on the platter that counts, not whether you’ve set proper place settings. Continued good luck to you both, Tanya, and thank you for taking the time to keep us updated.

    • Chica Andaluza September 4, 2012 at 13:49 #

      Hi John…yes, I think you´re right. We´ve got the bug but I am hoping that after renovating the second one the antibiotics will kick in and we´ll be cured! Sharing platters are the way to go when you´re in a rush and need to get back to the painting 😉 Hope all is well with you, can´t wait until I am properly connected again and I can read your posts!

  7. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen September 4, 2012 at 02:41 #

    What an amazing transformation! And only you could make some “simple” dishes look wonderful and gourmet! I like the idea of sharing one dish… or maybe I would just eat out of a pot?.. that would be so much easier at clean-up.. and kinda fun!!

    • Chica Andaluza September 4, 2012 at 13:50 #

      Thanks Barbara! One pot dishes are also very popular here but (so far) have managed to rustle up a dish each and some cutlery 🙂

  8. The Seas Of Mintaka September 4, 2012 at 02:47 #

    Good thing that run-down kitchen and bathroom look more enticing and workable to you than to me! I would never know what to do with them! Maybe run very quickly to the next item on the rental list?

    • Chica Andaluza September 4, 2012 at 13:51 #

      I am a “glass half full” kind of person – always seeing the best in things, even stinky kitchens and bathrooms. I should have put in a shot of the outside loo – now that´s scary!

  9. spree September 4, 2012 at 04:27 #

    Oh sounds like you’ve been bitten good my friend! Once the mind starts a project like this, then succeeds, suddenly an appetite appears for more! I love the idea of Chica Tanya and the Big Man from the Mountain going about an English neighborhood beautifying what’s been neglected! I so relate to what it’s like to once again put warm food on the table…kind of thrilling, isn’t it, when before being put to the minimalist/remodeling test, it felt quite ordinary. Continued best of luck to you & the pups! It’s all looking so good!

    • Chica Andaluza September 4, 2012 at 13:52 #

      Thanks for all the good wishes Smidge – yes Chica and Big Man are hooked…we´re on a mission to Beautify Bexhill!

  10. Eha September 4, 2012 at 06:32 #

    You feel pretty good when you doss down totally weary, don’t you?! I wish for you and a long, reasonable autumn in S England! Results much faster than I would have anticipated . . . and they look great! I would be challenged by numero due also, but, somehow, I can hear the mindsets moving . . . 🙂 !

    • Chica Andaluza September 4, 2012 at 13:53 #

      Oh yes, we are sleeping so well here…totally exhausted every night! Thinks are moving quickly, we´re on the last few laps with the first house for sure.

  11. TBM September 4, 2012 at 09:07 #

    My bathroom is next to the kitchen as well in my flat. I found that quite odd. Why would you do that? Congrats on the progress and good luck with the next one.

    • Chica Andaluza September 4, 2012 at 13:55 #

      I think it was done a few years back in lots of places, although I´m not sure you can do it now if you´re modernizing. It has its advantages too, especially if you are cooking and “caught short” 😉

  12. Food,Photography & France September 4, 2012 at 09:18 #

    It’s strange seeing English houses like that after living in a stone house for so long. I don’t envy you, but you’re doing wonders:)

    • Chica Andaluza September 4, 2012 at 13:56 #

      I know what you mean Roger. We´re having the carpet fitted today and Big Man is fascinated by the process as he´s never seen anything like this before as we´re used to tiles everywhere!

  13. themateriallady September 4, 2012 at 10:20 #

    You are doing so well I am not surprised you are looking to do a second house! It is well beyond my capabilities so I am very impressed.
    The food looks good too.

    • Chica Andaluza September 4, 2012 at 13:57 #

      Thank you – I am rapidly becoming a DIY expert Maybe someone will give me a cooking/sewing/DIY programme on TV!

  14. Calico Stretch September 4, 2012 at 10:21 #

    Oh the silver motif on the wallpaper. The loo oh so handy when needing a nature break while washing up. Lovely.

    You are, of course, raving mad to do it all again lol. Internet access will help, dongle free hopefully and I guess access to long beachy walks of an evening will soften the madness some. Oh, OK then. Hope you make it back to the mountains too though :o)

    • Chica Andaluza September 4, 2012 at 13:58 #

      We will definitely be heading back to the mountains – I miss them desperately. But I´m enjoying the experience, am gobsmacked by the hideousness of the wallpapers we´re coming across, and we are becoming an expert DIY team. We´re having great fun together too, I have to say, with very few rows (which is remarkable under the circumstanceds)!

  15. Danny & Sue September 4, 2012 at 12:21 #

    House really looking good Tanya, and the lamb chops, lol, they look like proper lamb chops, yumee. Slowy packing things away here, apartment hunting Thursday/Friday. Hope to speak soon, lots love, XXX D & S

    • Chica Andaluza September 4, 2012 at 14:01 #

      Proper English lamb chops! Very tasty they were 🙂 Good luck with the packing…you´ll probably have moved by the time we´re back!

  16. gardenfreshtomatoes September 4, 2012 at 15:26 #

    If you and Big Man haven’t killed each other during this, then there’s no reason not to do it again!
    So glad to see you back – hope it can get back to normal soon. I’ve missed you!

    • Chica Andaluza September 5, 2012 at 23:47 #

      Thank you for your kind words – yes, it´s a real test of a relationship but so far so good! Hopefully things will soon reach a level of relative normality!

  17. thecompletecookbook September 4, 2012 at 17:17 #

    Missed you LOTS – so nice to see an update! You are really going for it with doing another house – I am super impressed and I must say that your chops and rice looks…wait for it…SCRUMITY!
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Chica Andaluza September 5, 2012 at 23:48 #

      Ah, thanks Mandy….and that “scrumity” makes me feel all warm and happy!

  18. Mad Dog September 4, 2012 at 19:42 #

    Great to see you back and I love the White Cliffs!
    I haven’t posted for a while either – I’m shooting a documentary on the Paralympics with a German film crew. I haven’t had time to think let alone type 😉

    • Chica Andaluza September 5, 2012 at 23:49 #

      Wow – I am looking forward to hearing more about what you´re working on. We were hooked on the Olympics and are now complete Paralympic addicts every evening! Hope it all goes well 🙂

  19. Bluejellybeans September 4, 2012 at 20:22 #

    ¡Qué bien Tanya!
    Lo estais haciendo fenomenal 🙂 Una vez terminada esta casa, ¿qué hareis con esta casa? y con la próxima? Me parece un proyecto super interesante.

    • Chica Andaluza September 5, 2012 at 23:50 #

      Gracias Giovanna – esperemos alquilar las casas (a largo plazo) durante unos años cuando terminemos….cruzamos los dedos!

  20. Pendle Stitches September 4, 2012 at 23:00 #

    Crikey…you’re a glutton for punishment! I’m impressed. The kitchen is looking gorgeous.

    • Chica Andaluza September 5, 2012 at 23:51 #

      I´s a worry isn´t it?! The kitchen should look really good (even though it´s small) when it´s completed!

      • Pendle Stitches September 6, 2012 at 11:21 #

        Small can be really useful as long as you use your space thoughtfully.

  21. narf77 September 4, 2012 at 23:10 #

    Some people are addicted to alcohol…some to sex…Chica and her man are addicted to renovating! I guess you will at least have something to show for your addiction ;). Wonderful “first food” shots…taken with all of the love and care of someone salivating behind the camera. Kitchen “tick”, NEXT! Bring it on! We can lounge around here in our armchairs in our pyjamas (some of us in our underpants ;)) and watch you work…nothing like it for making a body feel mellow…no work for me dear…I am too busy watching someone else work! 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza September 5, 2012 at 23:52 #

      Yes…our addiction is out in the open! I should go to a meeting “My name is Chica and I´m a Renovator”! And as for work…it´s great, I could watch it for hours 😉

      • narf77 September 6, 2012 at 07:45 #


  22. Tandy September 5, 2012 at 06:00 #

    I’ve been so worried about the fires in Spain! The kitchen looks amazing! Have fun 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza September 5, 2012 at 23:53 #

      Yes those fires were scary (and deliberate, to make it worse). Not so far from us, but not so close either, I guess they could have been worse Not good though. The kitchen is coming along well and should look fantastic when it´s done!

  23. expatchef September 5, 2012 at 18:01 #

    wow! Go go go! Two houses and so fast! Want to come and update mine? 😉 Well done on preparing simple meals too, sometimes those are the most rewarding!

    • Chica Andaluza September 5, 2012 at 23:54 #

      It´s amazing how many people have asked us to go and do the same in their houses! I think we´ll need a long rest when this is over 🙂

  24. ambrosiana September 5, 2012 at 18:50 #

    Even though we have all missed your recipes, I love all your updates on your house refurbishment! Keep them coming! You are making good progress. In bocca al Lupo!

    • Chica Andaluza September 5, 2012 at 23:55 #

      Grazia Ambrosiana – we need all the luck we can get!

  25. trevorhunt September 6, 2012 at 08:24 #

    Ha ha! Don’t be frightened of the shag pile!! Are you two MAD! I take my hat off to you both. Blimey, you’ll end up buying the whole street! Its looking good though. If you get a chance don’t forget the Wartime Farm starts tonight. Keep Calm and Carry On!

    • Chica Andaluza September 6, 2012 at 13:24 #

      Keep Calm and Carry On should be our motto! Am def going to watch the programme – think Big Man will enjoy it too 🙂

  26. Karista September 6, 2012 at 16:33 #

    Looks fantastic! I’m in the middle of remodeling our little 1968 cottage and feeling overwhelmed by all the visual chaos! Looks like you’ve got it all under control and you even cooked! I must make one of your tortilla’s soon. Everytime I see one I want to reach into the computer screen and grab a slice. 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza September 6, 2012 at 18:35 #

      Ah Karista – don´t put yourself under too much pressure! One pot is the way to go 🙂

  27. Karen September 6, 2012 at 22:45 #

    You and Big Man are doing a terrific job! Oh that meal must have tasted so good. I commend you for taking on another project…when you are on a roll, sometimes you just have to keep going. The best of luck with your work ahead.

    • Chica Andaluza September 9, 2012 at 10:29 #

      Thanks so much for your kind words Karen – although it´s exhausting a lot of the time, we´re having a great time. It´s all very satisfying seeing things come together!

  28. spicegirlfla September 7, 2012 at 17:21 #

    I know how excited you must be to step into the kitchen again and start to feel your way around the new surroundings!! You’ve done alot of work in that house so far, it’s amazing to watch the transformation! Take it one day at a time Tanya….one meal at a time too 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza September 9, 2012 at 10:29 #

      One day at a time and one meal at a time – I love the philosophy of that!

  29. Natalie Ward September 10, 2012 at 18:24 #

    You’re doing another one! Are you mad? That or very clever, I can’t quite decide 😉 Loving the patterned carpet wallpaper combo very Vivienne Westwood 1992, I believe. When she was doing Dangerous Liasons basques with carpet bags, I so wanted one of those basques, I was 19. Anyway, good luck from (still scorchio) Andalucia!

    • Chica Andaluza September 10, 2012 at 21:26 #

      Mad I think rather than clever. I´m trying to see the Vivienne Westood but failing 😦 Too much scary wallpaper strpping has addled my artistic brain! Please send us some hot weather please, it´s cooling down here with rain and wind on the way…

  30. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise September 22, 2012 at 21:25 #

    You are doing a great job so far Tanya and I can only imagine how good a home cooked meal seems after all this trouble!
    I am looking forward to seeing the whole before and after now..and ofcourse the new before pictures of the new house too

    • Chica Andaluza September 23, 2012 at 10:24 #

      Am working out a way of showing these separately – maybe a web link for anyone interested! It´s good to be cooking again – even if it´s only quick and simple meals 🙂

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