So, we had our kitchen done. In fact it’s nearly a year since the whole nightmare began. And although I can’t say that I am yet really enjoying it (the stress and pain of a potentially dangerous water pump and boiler, electrics which can’t be signed off and some very expensive and badly sealed tiles are all giving me sleepless nights) there is one element that has been truly life-changing.
And that’s the island.
At the end of it are two stools, on which, more often than not, are my two little boys. Precariously leaning back, often burping (the youngest is genuinely impressive) and, refusing to eat whatever delicious nutritiousness I’ve served up.
Mr McDonald and I tend to eat there too, rather than the dining table. It’s warm, cosy and intimate.
It’s become the absolute hub of our world, whether it’s colouring in or chopping up carrots, it all takes place here. If the youngest is feeling really irritating it’s a good thing for him to hide around – if you are opposite him, on the other side of the island and he really doesn’t want his teeth brushed, it can be almost impossible to catch him.
On the other end of the island is a small brass sink and a copper tap. Mainly it looks really, really cool. But it is also useful, especially if all three of us grown ups (me, Mr McDonald and Uncle Brend, who lives with us) are cooking in the kitchen.
It’s where I have the biggest fruit bowl known to man (I think it may have been a cattle feeder, in a former life), full of apples, satsumas and lychees (I know, get me!). And at the moment there is also a bowl full of roasted chickpeas.
Super-easy (open tin, rinse, roast), I am loving having a bowl of them within easy reach. I get home from work, ravenous, and instead of cutting myself a huge chunk of cheese (my usual ploy), I just take a handful of these babies. They are filling, moreish, healthy (surely? They are chickpeas, for goodness sake!) and go very well with a glass of dry white. Even the kids eat them, without complaint. I think they are a good alternative to crisps – well, maybe. Certainly for an adult, possibly for a child. Try them and let me know what you think. xx
1 400g tin of chickpeas
1 tsp olive oil
Seasoning – I used salt and smoked paprika
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C, 180 degrees in a fan.
Rinse the chickpeas really well to get rid of the starches and then dry as much as you possibly can with a paper towel.
Place in a single layer on a baking tray and put in the oven.
Every 15 minutes give them a shake and when they look really dried out remove, it takes about 50 minutes depending on your oven. You want them to be really dried and crunchy.
Once they have cooled, pour in to a bowl and add oil and seasonings. Stir until each pea is covered. Serve.