Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Place for my Cookbooks

One of the features I wanted in the new kitchen was a book shelf to keep my cookbooks. So it was built into the island. I now have more than enough room to keep the books in one place and there's room for more. I've got some already on the shelf but there are more still tucked away in boxes.

Christmas time brought some additional books that will be added to the collection. Santa brought me The Gardener's A to Z Guide to Growing Organic Food. While not technically a cook book, it will be a big help in the garden. The book goes alphabetically through most of the fruits and vegetables one might grow and provides information on growing, watering, pests, diseases, and harvesting tips (all organically).

At a recent Costco visit I picked up Alice Water's The Art of Simple Food. For each section she has a lengthy discussion on the particular item. Each recipe is followed by 4-5 variations that one could try. There is a great introduction with tips on ingredients and hardware that every kitchen should have.

Santa also brought The Vegetarian Times Complete Cookbook. It is packed with over 600 recipes arranged traditionally. It looks like it will provide some interesting new ideas.

After Christmas, we spent a day in Half Moon Bay and I brought home some books from the used book stores there. I bought The Silver Palate Cookbook because someone once made a recipe from it and when I asked where the recipe came from I was told it was this cook book. When I said I didn't have it I got, "You don't have this cook book!?!?" So now I do. This one has an interesting butternut squash soup recipe I will try next week. I have a box of about 14 squash that I grew in the fall.

Finally, I also picked up Michael Pollan's Second Nature. I have read most of his other books and thoroughly enjoyed them. So I'm looking forward to reading this earlier work of his.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas with the Kitchen

We had the painter here working on the 22nd and 23rd of December doing final touch ups. We also had him paint the pantry so that we could start unloading boxes. At the same time we had the cabinet guy in installing his final touches. We brought up furniture into the living room. Our new dining room table arrived. We got our Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. Stocking were hung. Although it was not complete, we were able to use our kitchen for the holidays.

Our new DWR table has two leaves and we expanded it in order to seat ten for a December 26th luncheon. We're quite happy with the table.

We started to arrange furniture in the living room but we will have to play around with the arrangement some and find something that works for us.

The fireplace is still sitting there waiting for the face to come in. They hoped it would arrive by Christmas but didn't honestly think it would given the cold weather in the midwest.

This week we'll just enjoy the holidays and not worry about the kitchen until January.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Side Cabinet Completed

Yesterday, the cabinet people were here trying to finish up all things related to cabinets. They didn't finish as of 8 PM but a lot got completed. The side cabinet that is on the east side of the house was installed. The Richlite counter top got installed on it and the glass cabinets placed on the counter top. Most of the drawer pulls were installed but we may have some issues to resolve with that.

All of the contents of the old fridge have been moved into the new fridge. Today we will move the old fridge into the garage and we have to decide if we'll continue to use it or give it to PG&E who will pick it up and give us money for it.

Tomorrow morning our new dining room table will arrive which will sit in between this cabinet and the island. We've been watching for chairs on eBay but we haven't bid on any yet.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Floors are Finished

The entire week was devoted to the hardwood floor. Monday and Tuesday were sanding and prep work. Wednesday through Saturday were devoted to adding coats of finish to the floor.

On Sunday, we had the floor finished and it looks great. Joel installed the refrigerator. We cleaned up and began moving items into the new kitchen. We also began moving items from the old fridge (downstairs) to the new fridge.

Sunday afternoon and evening, we started to clean up the kitchen and remove the fine layer of brown dust that covers the entire house after sanding the floors.

With the floor done things will, once again, begin to move forward.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Countertop Progress

Today the Formica around the sink was reinstalled and (finally!) we're happy with it! The pattern is much better and the installation job seems fine.

Now that that's done, we have a permanent sink, faucet, dishwasher, and garbage disposer.

So now that we've crossed that bridge, we're ready for the next steps. Today Joel cleaned up the room in preparation for the hardwood floor work that will happen beginning on Monday. We're told that sanding the floor in both noisy and stinky so we'll board Evlin for at least a day so she's not freaked out or walking across wet floors. Should be an interesting week.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Slow Progress

Things have been slow over the last few weeks. We decided that we weren't happy with the Formica counter top around the sink. The printing job was not good and the installation was not up to par. One attempt at a reinstall was made but in the end it was not good enough. We ended up having to reorder Formica from a different company since the first company decided that "variations" in printing were within the normal parameters. So you'll notice that the counter top is missing from around the sink area

Today, (finally!) we saw some progress. They pulled out the old counter top and worked with the cabinet installer to fix some alignments. The new counter top should go in later this week or early next week at the latest. Many of the drawer pulls were installed.

The cabinet installer stayed today and installed the glass doors and pulls on most (but not all) of the drawers. The hinges are still not correct but that will come.

Floors are scheduled for Monday or Tuesday of next week.