I don’t think I ever really considered getting a new kitchen until I started to spend more time in it. For the first 35+ years of my life, I would describe myself as a person who “eats to live” rather than “lives to eat”. Gradually, over the last few years, I’ve come to appreciate good food and cooking. I watch “Top Chef” weekly, which I find to be immensely entertaining. I shop at Whole Foods and find myself becoming something of a food snob (i.e., shopping at Giant or Safeway is only for condiments and paper products), know what an heirloom tomato is and love to eat them raw, download and try new recipes, and generally appreciate the act of cooking much more than before.It’s not that I was ever disinterested in cooking, but disinterested in cooking just for myself. Becoming domesticated (i.e., cooking for more than 1 person) is a huge factor; when the girl is away, I find motivation to cook something for myself to dwindle back to frozen food. (The first meal I “cooked” for us was store-cooked chicken and box macaroni and cheese. Seriously. I didn’t know any better, but it makes me laugh to think about it, since my new found snobbery allows me to laugh in horrible embarrassment at my naivete.)There is something to be said for the notion that adults are still in essence kids, just with bigger, more expensive toys. Having purchased a home with an kitchen that is over 30 years old, and acquiring a taste for cooking eventually conspired to make for that high-end expensive new toy: remodeling.(Yes, those are before and after pictures. Yes, that is the same kitchen area.)
I had actually thought about doing it for some time, but it was only when I had gotten to a comfortable place financially, and I was sick of looking at my kitchen that I motivated. Okay, I admit that it was also motivating that I accidentally burned a hole in my linoleum floor and charred my existing cabinets with a flaming wok – we don’t talk about that incident, nor were the paparazzi allows to film the evidence. Suffice to say, I felt it was a Holy Sign, akin to the Burning Bush, one that in no uncertain terms declared that ye should really think about putting in a new kitchen. And as we all know, I never, ever turn my back on imaginary friends.Nor should I turn my back on real friends, which I happen to have in the way of a contractor who does this kind of work. I contacted THE CONTRACTOR (His site is here with more in-progress pictures), who was very excited about the project. I mean, the kitchen was shoddy, and I wanted to put in something nice, classy, and expensive. I don’t mean like diamonds-in-the-counter, but I definitely want quality. Darryl's the kind of guy who looks at a problem and sees a challenge. (Needless to say, I highly recommend his work.) And I wanted a breakfast counter.Also, I wanted to time it so I could be on vacation for at least a week while this was done. In retrospect, probably the wisest decision I could have made, but seemed like a no-brainer to me. (Hardwood floors at Christmas?) So, while we traveled to glorious Michigan (pause for sarcasm, but not really – we had a great time, I just can’t help it being a PSU alum), Darryl and his crack team of specialists crafted a superb product, as you can see.We now have more cabinet space (and closeable cabinets next to the fridge!) than we can fill, even after ripping out the L-shape and turning it essentially into a galleon-type kitchen. The effect is startlingly different, and it feels like there is so much more space. I couldn’t be happier with the product, and I feel now that I have a show-model type kitchen. Which means the pressure is on to step up my cooking skills to match. Which means no more burning woks. I hope. Cheers.