Today is the last day of the summer holidays. I feel that I haven’t seen much of MsDD. She was away gallivanting for much of the first half and the rest of the time has been overshadowed by the ongoing kitchen saga and preparations for her big brother to go off to Canada.

What with that, the apocalyptic weather and having to rise early to greet the builders every day I don’t really feel that we’ve had much of a break. We haven’t even been to Bluewater together for the school shoe run.

I’ve often thought that, apart from January 2nd, that day early in September is the saddest day of the year. Back to a 6.20 am start and hoping fervently for no ominous calls from school until suddenly panic about homework and music practices and activities and admin and mealtime ensues at 4.30 until after supper.

So we went out for lunch together and then this evening we enjoyed the first family meal cooked entirely in the new kitchen.

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I cooked both the rice and the sole in the steam oven and was delighted at how they turned out. 3 minutes to cook the fish perfectly. I think I needed to add a little more water to the brown rice, which still took less than half an hour to cook. I think I’m going to be a huge fan of my little steam oven. The only disadvantage is that you have to be really scrupulous about wiping it dry afterwards, which can be a bit of a pain.

And the braised Puy lentils? Still cooked on the old Lakeland hob that was plugged into one of the pop-up sockets on our vast kitchen island while the damaged hob lay, inert and sulky, under an old Captain Jack Sparrow towel.

Miele have been less than cooperative: as I expected they said, “Well, I’ve never heard of that happening before.” Which, of course, doesn’t mean that it hasn’t happened. Apparently the ceramic hob tops are robust enough to take weight but will be damaged by friction. I still can’t believe that the hobs are such primadonnas that they will be damaged by such slight pressure. I am wondering whether the hob was not properly lacquered.

The Miele representative offered the tip of placing the pan on top of a tea towel placed on the induction ring when cooking and I’m sure Lakeland used to sell silicon discs for this purpose but I can’t seem to track any down.

They have offered us the option of replacement glass and I’m not entirely sure what’s happening about this. Watch this space.