I am having a sense of humour failure about my nascent kitchen.

Today is the start of week 11. Originally the builders had planned on a 13 week build. Admittedly that was pushing it but they were scheduled to finish in time for our joint birthday party, to be held on July 11th.

In the event, the mortgage company delayed and prevaricated with a resultant delay to the start of the build. There have been the usually supplier delays and some structural rethinks to accommodate both the planned awning and incomplete or bodged works done in the past. This has added to the time, the complexity and the cost of the project.

As I say, we’re now at week 11 and there are probably about 6 or 7 weeks left until the finish. The builders have been great and unintrusive and polite and communicative but a nice young man worked all day on Saturday demolishing a brick wall whose dust intruded though into the front of the house, where we’re currently living in one room and a temporary kitchen. That’s not strictly true: we have all of our upstairs rooms apart from the bathroom that has been out of action all weekend lest our fairy footfall put undue pressure on the tiles of an unsupported floor and crack them. Or worse, we go careering through it. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

We have ordered our slate and sat on the unfinished patio steps. A fireplace salesman is coming tomorrow to measure up and quote for the gas fire we’d like in the sitting room. I’m hoping that by the end of this week I’ll have ordered the kitchen appliances and the awning. It’s so frustrating, though, when it all still looks like this:

I want to sit on those steps, rendered in brilliant white and finished in black slate with a beer and a book. All that floor will be heated from beneath and there will be a wide modern gas fire by the wall. There will be sliding doors from the kitchen to the pantry and to the utility room and a long, granite-topped kitchen island with space for my knives and my recycled plastic and glass.

I am slowly but surely going stir crazy. Crazy to stir.

I am drooling of the thought of making my favourite food:

Steak and kidney pudding with a light and tender suet crust;

Madeira cake. The one that’s Oscar’s favourite.

Lusciously moist brownies;

Lemon roasted monkfish on a bed of braised vegetable Puy lentils;

Risotto. (I tried making this using the slow cooker to keep the stock hot but the slow cooker is just too slow and the risotto was not one of my finest;)

Slow cooked pork, tender and ready to shred and put in a bun with apple sauce and mustard and eaten in the garden with a beer;

Oven-roasted ratatouille where the vegetable retain and enhance their flavour rather than the mushy stewed version that I can make with only one induction ring;

Roast chicken.

I know it won’t be much longer but I’m itching to get into my new kitchen and produce something lovely to eat.

If you’d been without a kitchen for months, what would you cook first?