This past week has been somewhat hellish and I am so glad that it is over, even though this weekend won’t yet be relaxing either. On Monday, we’ve had a wall between our kitchen-diner and living room knocked down for more open-space living. While I was prepared for mess, I was not prepared for the amount of ubiquitous black dust this operation was going to generate. Had I known, I would have moved some of the stuff out of the house rather than just upstairs, as while the dust fallout was definitely worse downstairs, nothing was spared. Even clothes in the closets upstairs received a thin sprinkling. Certainly this experience has cured me from any thoughts of extending the kitchen one day.
On Tuesday, I was told that the dusty part is out of the way and I am okay to clean. I proceeded to spring clean the kitchen only just to discover that the builders were trimming some plasterboard inside and black dust I had painstakingly managed to get rid of was swiftly replaced with a brand new coating of white dust. I was mad to have wasted half a day and decided not to touch anything (unless I really need to use it) until this is done. We were living in horrible conditions from Monday till Wednesday, then we did a superficial clean and are now waiting until the rest of the living room is plastered (next week hopefully) before we can get some more of the dust out.
What I find the most frustrating about the whole thing is waiting. If I could clean things and know that they will stay clean, it would help me feel less like I am drowning in dirt, but I appreciate that isn’t really the nature of renovating anything. Waiting time is an essential part of the process. If there is ever going to be a next time (and we certainly won’t rush into it anytime soon), we will try to find alternative accommodation for the duration of the work, I think.
While renovating is a pain, it has already been worth it. The living room still has a way to go – we need to finish wallpaper stripping, have the remaining three walls plastered, paint, level and restore the floor and put new skirting up – the knock-down has already improved the layout by making the living room feel more airy and spacious. We won’t be able to start buying furniture (like a much missed sofa!!) until the end of January, but we are both happy with the decision to open up downstairs and excited about the prospect of having a great living space at some point in the hopefully not too distant future.
While I have not been able to cook much this week, I have got a new Thanksgiving (or just autumn / fall) appropriate recipe for you today. It’s a delicious pumpkin (or squash) galette with caramelised red onion. It’s a freehand pie so it is really easy to put together. A real advantage of not having to line a pastry case is that there is a considerably lower risk of overworking the dough (which is what makes pastry tough) – great news for pastry newbies. The filling is simple too and if you want to simplify it further, use red onion chutney instead of caramelising the onions yourself, although they require hardly any effort. Serve this guaranteed crowd pleaser dish alongside a few other vegan sides for a plant-based Thanksgiving or a neat Sunday dinner.
PS: If you make my vegan pumpkin galette, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram as @lazycatkitchen and use the #lazycatkitchen hashtag. I love seeing your takes on my recipes!
CARAMELISED ONION (optional)
**It’s best to pick a dense, fleshy pumpkin / squash variety for this dish.
The pastry has been veganised and adapted from this recipe.