Saturday, March 5, 2011

Straitened Circumstances

For the next four weeks or so, this will be my kitchen:

My house is a foursquare built in 1908; the original kitchen was most likely a tiny, dark, and utilitarian 19th-century cubby. At some point, someone rearranged a few walls and added four feet to the back of the house to create a galley. If the style of cabinets is any indication, this might have been done sometime between 1967 and 1978. In 1999, a hasty do-it-yourselfer slapped on some quarter-round molding and vinyl flooring to prepare the house for sale to me.

I cook in an awkwardly designed kitchen with a four-foot-square work triangle. The unvented stove is in a corner. The fridge is directly opposite. They share the end of the narrow room with a defunct radiator. The sink is eighteen inches to the left of the stove. It’s impossible for more than one person to work comfortably.

Over the past few years I’ve been feeling increasingly grumbly about the kitchen. The final straw came one morning this past November when I made pancakes. My bedroom upstairs smelled like an IHOP for three days afterwards. OH! That was IT!

So I’ve been working for a couple of months on figuring out what I want and whom to hire. Demolition starts this coming week. I won’t get to cook anything meaningful in my own kitchen until April. But when it is finished, I will have new cabinets. I will have hardwood floors to match what’s in the rest of the house. I will have more light, a new sink, a dishwasher (for the first time!), a better workspace configuration, and more countertops. The materials, style and colors will be appropriate to the era in which my house was built.

Meanwhile, though, I will be eating like a college student out of the microwave that lives on a cart in the basement. I'll keep you posted.


  1. A new kitchen just in time for Spring - here's to fresh beginnings!

  2. MEK,

    Indeed. And well in advance of cookout season. I can't wait to make side dishes in my new kitchen and hand them out the window to the patio.


Thanks for your comments - nothing scatological, please. If you wouldn't bring it in the kitchen, please don't say it here.