Saturday, October 4, 2008

My love/hate relationship with my kitchen

I love to cook, and I especially love to bake.  I just wish I didn't have to do it in this kitchen. Although it has a great pantry, the stove doesn't work so well, the tile grout never looks clean (the previous owners painted it instead of using colored grout), the sinks are too small for my sheet pans, the dishwasher isn't next to the sink...I could go on for hours but that's no fun for you.

We live in an old house renovated by well-intentioned people who didn't do a very good job of it. During one vacation, something in the house broke each and every day, and I couldn't wait to go back to work. By broke I mean the shower head falling off the wall and the garage door falling down. Big repairs.

Houses like this are challenging to remodel. You never know what you'll find when you uncover what's hidden. You allocate a nice chunk of your budget for the unexpected. You pray a lot. You rationalize ("Aren't you glad they found the problem with that pipe so we could replace it?")

Over the years, I've accepted the limitations of my kitchen and not thought much about changing it. A couple of months ago, M suggested out of the blue that we remodel the kitchen. I said no. In my mind, there wasn't enough money in the world to get me the kitchen I wanted in this house. M, a very savvy man who undoubtedly sensed my sadness at working in this kitchen of endless frustration, declared the kitchen reno my number one project and sent me shopping.

I started at Lowe's. They carry it all. I saw cabinets, counter tops and appliances. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I spied them. Sleek and inviting, they called to me, showing a peek of blue in the light.  

Electrolux double ovens with convection. With ball bearing-mounted racks. And a temperature probe. I think I gasped. It was almost like the first time I spotted M, waiting for me on our first date. I was 20 minutes late, and he was still waiting for me. When I saw him, my heart stopped. 

Just as I was after I met M, I became obsessed by these ovens. I visited the website to peek at them. I researched reliability for the brand. I imagined taking trays of perfectly baked cookies out of the ovens. Crispy roasted chicken. Roasted vegetables in half the time.

The ovens hooked me. Other appliance picks followed. A six burner cooktop. A french door refrigerator. A sleek and powerful hood. An ultra quiet dishwasher. Then I picked the sink, faucet, disposer and microwave. Almost every day M asked if I was close on the cabinet decision. 

Not really.  I was paralyzed.

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