Staple Guns and Happy Accident Pasta

It’s been a busy old time here and writing has been virtually impossible. Floorboards are up, plumbing is going down, kitchen units have been delivered and it’s freezing cold. Oh well, I think we’ve got to the stage where it can’t possibly get any worse, just better, so onwards and upwards.

In between the mucky stuff, we’ve continued to eat well. Never fear, Chica and Big Man won’t fade away. I had planned one evening to make a carbonara but got home to find, shock horror, not an egg in the house. As we have no chickens here, I had to make do and ended up with what I call my Happy Accident pasta.

Happy Accident Pasta (1)

I fried some garlic and finely chopped onion then added a few rashers of finely chopped smoked streaky bacon and a handful of sliced mushrooms.

When the pasta was cooked I kept a little of the cooking water and stirred in the bacon and mushrooms plus a good dollop of crème fraiche, some finely chopped spinach and about half a cup of chopped up dolcelatte.

Result? Creamy, delicious, quick pasta but most definitely not carbonara.

Then it was back to work tidying up some dining chairs we bought second hand. Quite a traditional style but it will work in the house. The chairs had a regency stripe silk material covering them but it had seen better days…many bottoms had clearly sat on them and enjoyed countless meals around the table.

Dining Chair Seats (3)

So it was off with old material.

Dining Chair Seats (4)

Cutting out of a new piece using the old one as a template (and the fabric was recycled too from a friend’s kind donation of unwanted curtains). Fortunately Luna and Alfi (who appears to be headless in the photo) were around to comfort test the fabric.

Dining Chair Seats (6)

A staple gun frenzy followed.

Dining Chair Seats (10)

Now we have six fancy new dining chairs…who wants to come round and help wear them out?!

Dining Chair Seats (13)


78 thoughts on “Staple Guns and Happy Accident Pasta

  1. You are working seriously hard, and I’m sure you’ll reap the benefits. The pasta looks great. I’ve just finished gardening – taking advantage of wonderful sunshine – and I’m deciding what to cook for late lunch. Could it be pasta?

  2. Accomplished chef, gardener, home contractor, seamstress, and now furniture restorer. Is there a Wonder Woman costume in your closet, Tanya? 🙂
    If I haven’t had this same pasta, I’ve had its close cousins dozens of times, all because I didn’t want to run to a store for a missing ingredient. Here it was an egg. It could just as easily have been the crème fraiche or one of the others. Mistakes are going to happen and, with a little luck, they’re as delicious as this pasta of yours.

    1. Have not yet had time to whip up a wonder woman costume and I’m not sure they make lycra quite powerful enough to contain my …er…curves…so I find that wine and food give me super strength and creativity 😉 Have you heard the expression “Jack of All Trades, Master of None”…well I’m Jill to that Jack!

  3. I would be thrilled to have a bowl of your accident pasta while sitting in one of your lovely chairs. I do think it is uphill for the two of you on your new home. Next year you can reap the rewards.

  4. I do the same , improvising new recipes…! When my children ( two adults , actually) tell me : “mamma ,write this down!” , I know I’ve been successful !
    Congrats for your new chairs,they ‘re so elegant!

  5. I’m impressed with the industry. It’s coming along great. Then again, you have to keep busy to keep warm in this weather.
    Good idea with the pasta- I’ve never tried reserving water to mix cheese/creme fraiche in, but will give it a go. I’m hopeless at making proper carbonara so this might suit me better. Thanks for the tip

    1. Tell me about the cold…our boiler doesn’t go in until tomorrow so we work bundled up liked Michelin men! Yes, keeping a tablespoon of the cooking water is great for loosening up the sauce, I do it with my carbonara too!

  6. I’m loving your pasta and your finished dining room chairs! Your pets are so sweet….my dog would’ve been right in the middle of any chair makeover (trying to distract as I stapled)!

    1. My dogs always like to be where we are, so they are currently covered in dust and plaster and have a great desire to jump down between the floorboards which are currently propped up against the wall 🙂

  7. Lord when I read the title I hoped this wasn’t one of those ghoulish posts about accidents and cooking. LOL. Yum pasta and I make something similar but with cream. Probably will make it tonight and what a good idea to whack in some mushrooms. Kids can pick them out and give them to ME 🙂

    Nice chairs. I hope many bottoms enjoy countless meals around your table seated on these cushions too.

    1. I nearly called it “I have a staple gun and I’m not afraid to use it” but I wondered if wordpress might censor it! Fortunately no pasta was stapled during the cooking process 😉 I love mushrooms too, so I’d be fighting you for them!

  8. Have made pasta sauces all my life and I don’t think any two have ever had the same ingredients : yours sounds moreish . . . and I love the chairs result too! Have seen this DIY ‘staplegun methodology’ before on all our “Home & Garden’ shows – don’t know that I ever believed it really worked like that 🙂 ! Super!!!!

    1. Staple guns are fantastic, you can hide a multitude of sins, and when you get fed up of the covers, just redo them again in a couple of hours! I’m with you on the pasta sauce, mostly they’re made from whatever we have to hand 🙂

  9. Those chairs look LOVELY :). Kudos on your friends good curtain taste (and your good luck 😉 ). We did the same thing with a sad old vinyl covered (cigarette burned…”DAD!”…) stool and a HUGE leather jacket that my daughter bought from a thrift shop to act as an umbrella to get her home. It turned out amazingly well and restored my faith in my ability to do “stuff” :). Your chairs are a triumph girl!

    1. Love the sound of a stool covered with a leather jacket! And isn’t it great when you can repurpose something like this. My pal was downsizing and used to make costumes for a local drama school and I now have bags of fabric, lace, beads, curtains…it’s so exciting!

  10. I’m on my way – keep one of those chairs for my rear please – oh and a portion of that pasta would hit the spot too!
    Can’t wait to see the end result of all your and Big Man’s hard work.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  11. I love happy accidents in the kitchen. Your pasta looks so creamy and delicious. I was quite concerned with your title that you were going to sharing an incident with the staple gun and someone in the ER and so happy to see it is your beautiful chair coverings instead.

  12. You’re accidents turn out better than mine. If you need help next time Miles will comfort test the fabric. All he needs as payment is a hug. He love hugs.

  13. actually i had some accidental menu make overs,
    i invates some of my friends and pnat to make NASI GORENG/ fried rice, i forgot to cook the rice before and end up with pasta as a quick substitution for the seasoning….
    btw, your dining chair even looks better then ever…..

    1. Oh dear, but from the look of your blog (which I’ve just been browsing) I don’t imagine you have too many kitchen accidents! Love your recipes, will be back soon.

  14. Happy Accident recipes might be my favorites…there’s such great pleasure in the discovery as well as the taste! I’d love to come over and wear out your chairs anytime. 🙂 So glad things are going well and moving along.

    1. I was so thrilled with all the bits…they’re already finding places around our new home! Thank you again 🙂 And I think Auntie Mabel’s cabinet is travelling down to us this week!

  15. What a pretty change you made to those cushions,Tanya! You’ve got enough volunteers to last you several seatings, but sign me up for the next available chair! You’re awfully handy with tools, girl! We just never know what you’re going to come up with next! From skirts to aprons, pastas to bathrooms! A Twenty-First Century Renaissance Woman!

  16. Only you could make a “happy accident” look planned and gourmet! Just like those chairs.. they look brand-spanking new, imagine accomplishing that with just some new fabric. This is a great idea.. I’m going to have to go to some thrift stores to see what I can find.. xx Oh, and yes, I’d love to come wear them out, when will you be expecting all of us, lol?

  17. Ooh, gorgeous! Both the chairs and the pasta. Clearly one must sit upon an exquisite little throne in order to fully appreciate the delicacy of the fantastic dining. Well done!

  18. Aw, I love that original style of material there (the one that was removed)… I never knew what it was called though – thanks for telling me the name! The new fabric is nice though – my parents have some stuff in a similar design 🙂

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