Today, Kenna and I had to hit the road and get out of the house while some people came to take a second look. Since the realtor had told me that they would only be there for a little while, I didn't want to drive into town, so we went down to the lake to take a walk and take some photos for the blog. Lovely and bleak, no?
...and this is why I depend on my light box to get me through 75% of the year here.
So, the past few days have been pretty interesting. The people who looked at the house today also came on Sunday. When I returned on Sunday, I noticed that they had taken some clementines from the bowl on my kitchen table. Okay, I thought, that is weird, but if they want something to eat, that's fine. Side note: what is the deal with people who come to look at this house and insist upon pulling the shower curtains open and not closing them when they are done looking? These same people use the bathroom (kind of weird in and of itself) and leave the toilet lid up. The lid is closed when they arrive, the lid is closed when they lift it to use the toilet--who leaves it open in someone else's house? Why do people leave toilet lids up at all? They have lids for a reason--it looks nicer and leaving the lid up when you flush the toilet allows germs to spray up to six feet away from the toilet. Gross.
Fast forward to today--these people wanted to see the house again over their lunch break, so I straighten and polish things and thoughtfully bake some chocolate chip cookies to leave on the counter because A) I know these people like to eat and were missing their lunch break and B) it makes the house smell good. I purposely did not leave a note--after Sunday's clementine give away, I wanted to see what would happen. Upon arriving home (after they were here for 1.5 hours), I found both shower curtains pulled back, a toilet lid up, cookies eaten, another clementine gone, and a missing tomato! Who takes a tomato? Again, I do not care--if people are hungry, they can help themselves, I just think that taking a tomato is strange.
All of this activity at the house and having people here, looking at my things, leaving things askew, eating my food, etc. kind of freaks me out. I know it is necessary in order to sell the place, but I find it creepy even though I am never here during showings. Anyway, it makes me really crave comfort food. I wanted to make a chicken casserole to use some of the chicken in my freezer, so here's what I came up with:
Yummy! I sauteed about a cup of onion and a cup of leeks in 1/4 c. of butter and a tablespoon or so of olive oil until both were tender and then I added about a tablespoon of minced garlic. Once the garlic cooked for about a minute, I added about 1/4 c. flour and cooked it for one to two minutes. Then, I added two cups of my chicken consomme and a cup of whole milk. While that thickened, I chopped about 1 1/2 c. cooked chicken breast and added it along with a cup of frozen peas. The last ingredient was about three cups of (slightly under) cooked egg noodles. I seasoned the whole thing with salt, pepper, and some Mural of Flavor from Penzey's to taste and then put it into a 425 degree oven until the top browned and the casserole bubbled. Definitely worth a try if you like a light, but filling casserole with lots of flavor.
This week, I also perfected my granola bars, which are loosely based on Ina Garten's recipe. I was determined to make mine more healthy than hers (not difficult to do), so here's my adapted recipe (apologies for the fuzzy photo):
1 c. sliced almonds
1 c. shredded coconut
3 tbsp. canola oil
2/3 c. honey
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 c. raisins
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. chopped dried apricots
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x12 inch baking dish and line with parchment paper or foil.
Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
Combine oil, honey, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the oatmeal mixture. Add the dried fruit and stir well.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, pressing the mixture evenly into the pan with dampened fingertips. Bake for 25-30 minutes until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2-3 hours before cutting into squares. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in a cool, dry place--they can also be frozen.
You can vary the types of nuts and fruit, too--I sent some to Father of Ken made with pecans that he really likes.
While I eat to cope with the invasion of my home, I hope that the potential buyers are thinking of a fair and reasonable offer for the property...