Monday, March 05, 2012

Towards Two More Beautiful Bathrooms

A big weekend for us, watching in awe as my contractor brother James ripped two of our bathrooms out and started making them beautiful. My personal bathroom had been paneled with cedar painted white (umm), boasted a clunky plywood vanity sink base, and sported some old showerboard around the tub.

Travertine, James said laconically. I didn't know what that was, but he assured me I wanted some around the tub. Turns out I did. It's beautiful stone something.

Fresh painted walls and a pedestal sink to come.

And upstairs in Clara and Bella's bathroom, the showerboard was even more dreadful (there was more of it), and it was replaced by fresh white tiles. And the linoleum floor got pulled up, and black and white tiles are going down. And the plaid wallpaper is facing some numbered days. Glory.

With three very hard-working men in the house, and three of us running massive long runs, a dinner with *presence* was in order, but I only had a chicken in the house.

•Creamed Chicken over Biscuits•

Gently simmer a whole chicken in a large pot, almost covered with vegetable or chicken broth. Keep the lid on and the heat low until the chicken is quite tender.

Remove it from the broth to cool, and take the meat off the bones, pulling it into bite-size pieces.

In a large skillet, heat 1 1/2 sticks of butter over a low heat, and whisk in
2/3 cup flour.
Cook and whisk for a minute.

Whisk in 4 cups of the broth you cooked the chicken in, then add
3 cups of milk or half and half.

Whisk and cook a little more, then begin seasoning the cream sauce with about 1/4 cup of sherry, the juice of a lemon, lots of salt and pepper, and about a 1/2 t. nutmeg. Use a heavy hand with the seasoning, and when it tastes like the best fried chicken gravy you can imagine, stir the chicken into it and serve it over fresh, hot biscuits, but only to people who are really in need of calories.

This will serve about ten big eaters.

(mostly from Joy of Cooking)


Lilian said...

That looks beautiful already - travertine - even sounds right - glorious stuff. Makes me think of old castles and cobblestone paths.

Tracy said...

Beautiful, indeed! I especially love the stone in your bathroom.

When is your half-marathon?

Kyndra said...

Oh, exciting! Replacing a worn out bathroom or kitchen can make the whole house feel new.

Erin said...

That meal sounds amazing. It's going into my file.

Laura {{* *}} said...

"If you feed them,
they will work."

{{* *}}

Margo said...

How restful a beautiful bathroom is! We have very similar black and white tile in our bathroom. We had to rip out our 1930s tile, but we replaced it with the exact same tile because we loved it so much. Ours has pale blue-grey walls above the wall tile. . . and a sherbet-orange curtain.

Your chicken reminds me of my chicken and dumplings that I made last week. Good AND filling.

seashoreknits said...

Oh Anna, that chicken dish sounds so good. And it sounds simple and nourishing.
The bathrooms? Looking lovely - black and white floor tile in a bathroom is just right.
And I think you are going to love that travertine.

Anonymous said...

The bathroom tub surround is going to look great! And as for that biscuit recipe, I have a similar one from my Betty Crocker cookbook that I make, sometimes using chicken & sometimes turkey, just depending. It goes over very well in my household. I'm certain your hungry crew was well pleased with in, there was probably not much, if anything, leftover. :o)


Lisa said...

Travertine sounds like something from ancient Rome. Don't know what showerboard is, but it doesn't sound very good.



M said...

Oh, how I wish I was in serious need of calories!

BerryMorins Bits & Tips said...

I love the redo of the bathrooms. Just beautiful.

Polly said...

Well. The travertine is gorgeous. It is inspiring me to get back to my delayed bathroom renovation plans. And I love the floor, too! Beautiful.

The meal sounds wonderful, and great for a hungry crowd--next time I have a hungry crowd, I may whip it up. But not anytime soon--my husband is 'in training' (running) and would not appreciate extra calories. But maybe if I can convince him to train for an ultramarathon--he'd need them then, right?!?

Natalie_S said...

I've been wanting a proper creamed chicken recipe, so thanks for posting this :) My own version isn't really creamed chicken but more of a stew served over biscuits. Basically it's a mirapoix sauteed with butter, salt, and pepper and then stewed with white wine, chicken stock, shredded chicken, parsley, and a little Parmesan, thickened with cornstarch or arrowroot, and served over biscuits.

Antonella said...

Hi from Italy! Travertine is actually a type of marble, ancient Romans built the Colosseo with it. Just so you know.. you'll be bathing in style! :-)

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