Can you hear anything? A low rumble, maybe? A gurgling noise? Pipes clanking?
Well, me neither. Because my new boiler is very, very quiet.
Yes, you read correctly. New. Boiler. After five unhappy days and nights with no heat and no hot water, British Gas finally condemned the old boiler and the landlord no longer had any other option but to get a new one. I was told that this could take up to a week (another week?? Good grief, imagine how much cava my neighbour and I could get through in another week of our soirees!). But somehow my landlord managed to persuade a small local firm to come in yesterday morning and fit a new boiler, an electric immersion heater (should this ever happen again, God forbid), some thermostatic radiator valves and a new timer - all in a single day! Granted, I had to spend four hours today trying to get every object and surface in my kitchen clean and free from the blanket of dust generated when they moved the boiler to an adjacent wall.
But at least I can look forward to a HOT bubble bath, up to my earholes, in the comfort of my own home :) God bless the boiler men.
And to ensure that you, my lovely readers who enquired anxiously about the boiler situation every day this week, can share in my warm, fuzzy feelings, I'm going to share with you one of the simplest, quickest and most delicious desserts that I make. I last made this a couple of months back when we still had summer fruits in the shops, so it's probably more appropriate right now for my Southern hemisphere readers. But I should also point out that my mom used to make this all the time using tinned peach slices and glace cherries – so don't feel constrained by the seasons
CARAMELISED NECTARINES AND CHERRIES (serves 2)
2 small nectarines
about 10 cherries
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
vanilla ice cream to serve
Wash and cut each nectarine into 8-12 wedges. Wash and halve each cherry, and remove the pit. I would then macerate the fruit in a few tablespoons of brandy, but this is optional.
In a skillet or heavy pan, heat the butter and dark brown sugar over medium heat. Allow the butter and sugar to melt and wait for the mixture to bubble and turn slightly brown before adding the fruit (be careful as the sugar will probably splatter!) and cinnamon.
Stir to coat each piece of fruit with the caramel sauce and cook over medium heat until the fruit is warmed through.
Serve immediately with vanilla ice cream.