Obviously I'm beside myself with excitement, but as I write this, still in that terrible miasma of anxiety and to-do lists and hideous mess that comes with leaving the country (in some cases, just leaving the house).
More than anything, I'm hoping that the people who will be living in our house while we're away (they're a family of Mexican wrestling champions with a pack of snarling attack dogs), will appreciate the quirks of our kitchen. We've written them a list of operating instructions for the rest of the house, but I thought I'd stop short of adding 'please be nice to all my kitchen things'. Then again, there are things I want them to know... perhaps just a top five will do it.
MY KITCHEN RULES
1. Don't use the insinkerator - it leaks down into the cupboard under the sink where I store all my cake tins. There is nothing worse than realising that you have to clean every single cake tin you possess - or worse, not realising they are collecting mucky water for days.
2. That funny grill thing beside the stove top? It doesn't work. It does make an excellent cake rack though.
3. Please enjoy opening and shutting the oven. We've had it fixed just for you and it cost so much we could nearly have bought a new oven - or a slap-up high tea for the three of us - instead.
4. We thought about putting away various precious bits and pieces but then decided it was just too hard. So please don't break anything. Especially the stuff from my mum's house. Please? And don't go scrubbing the cast iron frying pans with detergent. That glossy sheen has taken a lot of building up.
5. All useful bits of kitchen kit - wooden spoons, graters, whisks, poultry shears - are in the second drawer down. If you happen across a set of measuring spoons and a green spatula, let me know. They have gone AWOL.
Given we're going to be itinerant for the next seven weeks, I'm not sure I'll be able to help you with advice on what to have for dinner. If you miss me that much you can always keep up with our adventures here or here. I'll drop in when I can - and I'll be back, cooking stone stoup, in mid-August.