Saturday, July 3, 2010

DI who?

Even if you have no pretensions to DIY ability (and I absolutely don’t), it seems to be an inevitable part of owning a house (speaking from my vast almost-three-weeks’ experience). You can’t just call a contractor for every little thing; not only is it expensive and time-wasting, you might as well put a sign on yourself that says, “Hello, I am useless.” I’m related to people who’ve done their own lead paint abatement and cut and installed their own drywall; I reckon I ought to be able to figure out how to install a shade bracket.

So I’m on a learning curve, and the nice people at the hardware store and Home Depot, along with some judicious Googling, are my instructors. Managing to complete even the smallest DIY project is very satisfying, even more so if I’ve picked up a new skill along the way. It’s almost as good as a successful kitchen experiment: you can’t eat it, obviously, but then it (hopefully) improves your quality of life for a lot longer. Plus, when you own the house, you don’t have to ask anyone’s permission first.

Kitchen DIY
As I grapple with developing new DIY skills, and accompanying feelings of inadequacy, it’s encouraging to remember that lots of people are equally intimidated by the concept of DIY cooking. I guess it’s all about your perspective (and your skill set). This week, I celebrated the ability to use my hand mixer again (thank you, reverse voltage converter!) by making a whipped cream poundcake that was simultaneously rich and light. I served it to dinner guests topped with more whipped cream and a peach and raspberry compote. But it was even better the next day, slathered with the last of the batch of raspberry skillet jam I had stashed in the fridge.

Recipe for whipped cream poundcake (I omitted the lemon and poppyseeds and made plain poundcake)

Recipe for skillet jam (I adapted this to make raspberry jam: raspberries, lemon juice, sugar to taste)

Peach and raspberry compote
4 peaches
½ cup white wine
2-4 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
other spices to taste (I used cardamom)
½ cup raspberries

Cut peaches into bite-sized chunks; place in saucepan with next three ingredients and stir to combine thoroughly. Bring to a low boiling point and let simmer 15-20 minutes; if you leave the lid off once it’s hot, the compote should thicken up somewhat. Stir in raspberries towards the end of cooking time.


Celia said... Best Blogger Tips

But isn't it just oh-so-ever rewarding to be able to actually drill a nail into a wall, because the house is yours? :)

Roving Lemon said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh, yes! I've already drilled in six screws, and pounded in four nails, and I didn't have to check with anyone first, because it's mine, all mine!

Sparkly Em said... Best Blogger Tips

were you just randomly nailing and screwing...or was there a purpose!? :-)

Roving Lemon said... Best Blogger Tips

Well, they did...but I could have just done it randomly if I felt like it!

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