Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How are we cooking?

Our temporary kitchen has been set up in the basement.  We've learned quite a few things about our basement in the 9 years that we have lived in this house.  The pipes overhead are very low.  They hit around 69 inches off the ground which would be great if I wasn't 70 inches tall.  A concussion is in my future.  The one outlet we use for the extra refrigerator goes out when it rains, we get water seeping through the floor sometimes, it's a yukky 100 year old basement.  We did not, however, learn that there are only 2 outlets down there until we decided to put the temporary kitchen and laundry down there.  Since the refrigerator is plugged in to the outlet, we decided to get a big old power strip to use.  Surprisingly enough, you can still only use one appliance at a time.  I've already fried one strip and it's supposed to be for power tools and things.  I did it with a toaster and a microwave.  I'm just good at destroying things.

We just finished week two of being completely in the basement.  It really isn't fun.  Especially when you can only use one appliance at a time.  I had envisioned being about to cook fairly well but that is definitely not the case.  So far my arsenal contains the following:

- Microwave
- A small oven (looks like a toaster oven but bigger and it bakes/broils)
- Toaster
- Coffee Maker
- A Crock Pot (which I am not fond of)
- Electric Skillet (courtesy of Mom)
- Electric Griddle (also from Mom...she had lots of appliances)
- A big electric turkey roaster
- A big weber grill outside

Luckily I also had a stainless steel work table that I bought from Ikea a number of years ago.  That has been incredibly helpful.

I think we have managed to cook about 5 days out of 7 so far.  Not too bad but I still think I need to pare down the dinner plans.  Less elaborate is better.  Also, I've started drinking wine out of plastic cups because the giant 100 year old work sinks down there are hell on wine glasses.

Week 2

This is what my kitchen looked like after it was emptied out.  Our dishwasher died on Christmas Eve of 2010.  Most of the minimal counter space was used for drying dishes.  I would show you the picture of what it usually looked like but I'd have to kill you and that's not nice.

Anyway, notice the drop ceilings and florescent lights.  The lovely plastic parquet floor tiles (they're self stick!), the wall paper (peach and turquoise), cabinets that have lost most of their shelves and drawers that are falling apart.  What you can't see are the beautiful backsplash tiles.  I had to immortalize these things for posterity.  Are you ready?

I believe they are monarch butterflies.  They are definitely unattractive. 

Here's what it looks like now.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Kitchen Progress

The demolition of my kitchen is coming along.  We have foundation and footers, the siding is all off and the inside is down to studs.  The inside of my house is covered in a fine white dust.  It actually is kind of fun to walk through the torn up space and imagine what it's going to be like when it's done.  I'm fortunate to have a lot of talented people working with me to make this right.  It's a lot more detail oriented than I ever imagined.  Needless to say I have a really big headache.

Monday, February 13, 2012

My kitchen

My kitchen could rival those on the ugliest kitchen renovation shows.  It's poorly laid out, has all really ugly 70's colors (beige!, brown!!, monarch butterflies on the tiles!!!), and it is drafty.  And when I say drafty, I mean it's usually around 50 degrees in the winter.  The people we bought the house from put a separate heater in to heat the kitchen area but it's hard to heat the arctic tundra when there is air flowing through the uninsulated crawl space and the beautiful drop ceiling tiles are moving with the blowing wind.  Why didn't we insulate the crawl space ourselves you ask?  Well, you would have to be able to get in there and you can't.  It's blocked by heat ducts.  You can't reach the plumbing under the sink either because it's down there too (and yes the pipes freeze...often).  Also, there's no hood over the stove and no place to plug one in even if you wanted to buy one.  Also, there was paneling in the table area.  Wood grain paneling.  It looked like it had animals burned into it (remember those wood burning projects you did in middle school?).  Pheasants and deer and elk and stuff.  I'll see if I can find a photo of it.  We actually painted it because it was more hideous than any of us could bear to look at every day.  All in all, it's awesome.

I've lived in this house and used this kitchen for over 9 years and we just started a kitchen renovation project.  It's been planned for more than 2 years but it's been a crazy mess to try to to figure out.  If my budget was unlimited, it would be great but it's not. 

Anyway, I thought I would chronicle the events on this blog and also see how Evil Sid deals with it.  It should be entertaining.