Tuesday, August 02, 2005


I have a grand plan to remodel my ancient kitchen. Fortunately, I have a great deal of space to work with, and don’t need to expand into other rooms or beyond the current house boundaries. Unfortunately, I’ve gotten bids from three contractors, all within the same range, and I can’t justify spending that much money on my house. I’ve contemplated possible ways to scale back the project, and it won’t save a lot of money—what I need to do is, frankly, just costly.

First, gut the plaster. And as long as I’m doing the mess, I’m going to do the office, which is an ugly room right off the kitchen. Happily, that’s something we can largely do ourselves—not as quickly and neatly as a team of professionals, but hey, even the kids can swing a hammer and break up old plaster.

Actually, FIRST first is the heat. I have clunky, ugly, effective radiators that need to come out both for esthetics and to be able to move the sink where it needs to be. They are to be replaced with in-the-floor conductive heat. D is confident he can do this, and has order the parts. Obviously, this has to be completed before heating season, which usually starts in early October.

Meanwhile, how do we eat while this is going on? The refrigerator and microwave will get moved into the dining room—which is actually going to become a DINING room, not a TOY room as it’s been for the last eight years. I probably will try to manage without the stove, although D says he can hook it up in the garage or basement. In good enough weather, I can use the grill outside. And I’d like to make ahead and freeze a bunch of meals (not completely once-a-month-cooking, but something along those lines).

I’ve started boxing up stuff for moving to the attic. Some (like the cake saver or Christmas cookie cutters) is rarely used; some (like the giant salt shaker and pepper grinder D got me as a joke) could probably be tossed. (Last summer I did take several boxes of stuff to the local donation center, including the wok.)

In packing, I found a smallish (maybe 6x9) three ring recipe binder with a garish flowered cover that I clearly remember getting for my birthday from my grandmother when I was about 11. It has tabbed sections for various types of recipes, with an introductory page about each category (“appetizer means appetite teaser”). I remember being enamored of it, and my mom’s puzzlement at my fascination. I actually put only a few recipes in it; they include cookies and brownies. (In retrospect, I’m sure my grandmother either got it on clearance or at a garage sale—she wasn’t the type to buy new gifts.) And yet, it somehow followed me around through three states, two marriages, and at least eight moves since college. It was clear there was only one thing to do with it—I gave it to The Girl.


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