Updated 2010-07-22 18:34:38 ID=610:0

© 2010 The Romantic Table
©2008 The Romantic Table, Susan McGourty's Table Talk, a California Central Coast Lifestyle blog. 2011-06-09 16:33:16:80
©2008 The Romantic Table

Susan McGourty's Table Talk

The "Joys" of Living Through a Kitchen Remodel

The experience of living through a kitchen remodel is something you shouldn't take lightly! The stress encountered by not having available -at least in our case- our lifestyle existence and main source of inspiration and activity can lead to all sorts of discomfort and distress. This is a blog about our sojourn through the construction phase of this adventure.

Our "little remodel" is technically a "repair" since all we're doing is repairing an "about to be broken pipe" over the kitchen ceiling, updating old light fixtures, replacing the old cabinets with new ones so I won't have to climb into the bottom cabinets with a flashlight to find my missing dishes etc..., and updating my appliances with models that are from this century.

This sounded so manageable! Just a two or three week endeavor without a kitchen! We could do that we thought!

Three weeks before "D-Day" (better know as Demolish Day) I started removing from the cabinets all nonperishable food and non-regularly used pots, pans and utensils.---BOY! Do we have a lot of stuff--and junk -that's accumulated over the last twenty-seven years we've lived here! I started packing by doing one or two cabinets or drawers a day. It was exhausting work! Just looking at all that old stuff brought back a lot of memories-both good and bad- about the "good old days."

I started off with twenty file storage boxes. It didn't take long to fill them. So I got more. To cut to the chase, by the weekend before the Monday we started the demolition of the old cabinets and such, I had filled over thirty boxes! And we still had the highest cabinets (that I couldn't reach to empty.) On top of that, those days were during some of our record heat waves so it made the task so much more stressful than it had to be. Sweat we did and boy did we ever get tired! Then because of the heat wave, and apprehension about this whole ordeal, I didn't get more than two to three hours of sleep each night--which made me -of course -"quite useful" the following mornings! But somehow, between the two of us, my husband and I had everything tucked up before we went to bed that Sunday night.

Also in advance, we had turned our home office and mudroom into a 'temporary kitchen and destruction sanctuary." Our Mudroom, where my auxiliary refrigerator and laundry tub is already located, sits just adjacent to the office and we equipped it with a microwave, toaster, electric skillet, Krups coffee-maker and the Panini press that my brother had given me. Two weeks should be no problem! We also have our outdoor grill which we can always use to grill something easy when we're not too tired.

Monday, Demolition Day

Monday, Demolition Day, began bright and early and our contractor helpers showed up on time and came armed with hammers, saws and mallets ready to destroy! I woke up feeling like I had been run over! Absolutely no energy and feeling very old! We had planned on going out to dinner to dinner later that night to "celebrate" our kitchen remodel, but by afternoon. Neither one of us felt like eating --let alone celebrating! I just kept saying to myself "I didn't think it was going to be this hard!" I couldn't believe myself! Not even one day into the task, and I'm ready to run to the hills! What a coward! Twenty years ago when we did our first remodel of the house, I didn't remember feeling this tired or "old!" But of course I WAS twenty years younger! (As I remember, that too was only supposed to take two to three weeks, which ended up more like four months because of a lot of unexpected surprises!) Hope this "kitchen face-lift" can be done with only two to three weeks of "kitchen exile!" And at least this time we can sleep in our own bed rather than in sleeping bags like we had to twenty years ago!

D Day Plus 1

Day two, began a little less awkwardly than day one. And I was able to get an almost good night's sleep! So upon rising we headed immediately to the Mudroom for some morning coffee. My husband told me "now this isn't so bad is it!" I had to agree, "though this is as close to camping I'd like to get!"

My big discovery for the day is finding out that there are some options for people that are restricted to primitive cooking arrangements and short of time without the luxury and energy to make a regular meal.

"Birds Eye Voila" and "Eating Right" make some delicious ready-to -cook meals that are not too high in sodium and additives. What a shot in the arm! This is the stuff that revs-up MY "engine!" I can do this! Maybe two or three weeks without my usual cooking source IS possible!!!

I'll keep you posted!

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A tip from Sue!

Get a Black Pepper Mill

There's nothing that substitutes for freshly cracked black pepper. You can find pepper mills in all price ranges. Just get one that looks like it will hold up well over continual use. Freshly cracked black pepper can really enhance the smell and final taste of a recipe!