It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here. We’ve been very busy on various projects but have completed nothing… until now. We are both happy to be done with the first phase of our master bath update – redoing the vanity.
The two guys we bought the house from who had bought it as a total wreck and started to refurb it didn’t quite get finished with the master bath. They had done a lot of good work but we came along and bought the house before they had a chance to finish everything. They had put a new vanity and lighting into the bath but it was not what we wanted so we decided to completely redo it.
Click below for a blow by blow of what we did!
We spent the weekend a couple weeks before Christmas helping our friends Cassie and Steve on a decorating project they were in the middle of. Their client had purchased a nice condo on one of the canals on Mustang Island; part of the Padre Island Chain just across from Corpus Christi. We helped hang drapes and pictures etc. and positioned and re-positioned furniture.
We did however manage to get away for a bit of time in the late afternoon one day and we went to the beach. It was a pleasant surprise, the sand white and soft and the water a clear green blue. I was expecting it to be more like the beaches I had experienced so often on Florida’s central gulf coast; gray water and coarse, shelly sand. It proved to be a lovely place and we’ll be going back.
We like to do something special for dinner at least once during the holidays and have the whole family over. This Christmas Eve we did a Crown Roast of Pork. Pretty spectacular looking and not very difficult to do if you get your butcher to tie it off for you as I did! You can roast it as is with just a little salt and pepper and some garlic slivers inserted into the meat and roast it at about 375 for a while – three – three and a half hours seems to get the temp up to 160 in the fattest part of the roast and it should brown up nicely that long at that temp.
However, that’s too easy… We like to do it up a little and so we stuffed it with an awesome sausage stuffing! We made up a mess of lumpy buttery garlic mashed potatoes and made a fantastic gravy out of the pan drippings and some chicken base to go with it. Bonnie brought her yummy green beans with ham, I made a sourdough boule to tear apart, and we finished with citrus rainbow sherbet for dessert…
Click here for recipe
The holidays really put a crimp on getting work done here at Maison Barbara and in me posting to this site! But we’ve gotten back on track and the demo is now almost complete. I just have a couple base cabs and the kitchen island to remove and a couple doorways to widen and then it’s on the the fun stuff – putting it all back together.
However, first things first; I need to re-route a lot of electrical and plumbing, and rerun the HVAC for the new ceiling height before I can start buttoning it all back up. But here’s a look at the interior of the main part of the house as it stands now – not a sight for the faint of heart!
Click here for Photos
We had some of our French Canal Tripsters over for dinner the other night to share memories and photos and it seemed fitting to prepare a classic French dish; Bouef Bourgignon (or Beef Burgundy). I used Julia Child’s recipe (sort of…), if it was good enough for her it was certainly good enough for me. I say sort of because I did double the number of pearl onions and mushrooms and I added a splash of cognac – to both myself and the pearlies and ‘shrooms – while sauteing them.
This dish, although labor intensive is well worth the effort. The flavors that develop are deep and rich. You might be willing to consider this as just another “beef stew” but I guarantee you it is far more than that. Enjoy it with a good Pinot Noir with at least a couple years under its belt; we drank an ’11 Mark West that was very nice along with an ’09 Four Vines old vine Zinfandel that was excellent.
Click here for Recipe
It is all too rare an occasion when I get to spend time with my relatives. But fortunately I do get that opportunity from time to time and this time it was for Thanksgiving, 2013. I spent a couple days at my Uncle Bob’s place on Cobb Island, in Maryland. I saw people who were just children when I saw them last and now they have children of their own – time really has a way of getting away from you!
I’ve included a few photos from the visit, enjoy…
Click here for photos
The guest bath remodel phase one is almost complete…
This is the new vanity in the guest bath. The mirror needs to be hung, the plumbing hooked up, the drawers modified to fit around the plumbing, baseboard installed and ultimately the counter-top will be a beautiful piece of limestone.
Phase two will be the installation of a free standing tub and putting a more attractive tile on the floor.