Kitchen Creation

Peering into a cupboard next to the stove, I spotted a small casserole dish that I often used. Shaking my head, I eyed the package of chicken breasts I had bought at the grocery store the other day and muttered, “Nope, not big enough.” Bending over even further, I peered into the dark recesses of the backside of the cupboard. Behind the kettles and dishes that I usually used, I spotted the perfect casserole dish. Unfortunately, two large kettles sat on top of it.

Pulling a step stool over alongside the cupboard I sat down to lean into the open cupboard to get a better angle. With my back end higher than my head and shoulders, I struggled to pull out the two kettles. Then I dove back into the dark recess to pull out the lid and finally the dish. Sitting upright, I looked at the two kettles. It was tempting to leave them out until the big casserole dish was washed and ready to be returned to its hideaway. I looked around at my cluttered kitchen and struggled to push them back into obscurity.

I’d bought a lemon and a package of fresh blueberries the other day at the store too, so I set about making lemon blueberry scones. Trotting to the far end of the kitchen for the pail of flour I needed, I immediately turned and trotted to the opposite end of the kitchen for the butter. Then, pulling hard, I extracted a jelly roll pan from where it was wedged between a few other pans.

Making meals is easy for me to do, but struggling with an inconvenient kitchen is tiring. Usually I don’t dwell on the things I’d like to change to make the kitchen look and function better. It is the way it is. I shouldn’t complain because after all, it’s a nice, newly remodeled kitchen. Right? Arnie and I had had new cupboards, countertops, flooring and a lowered ceiling put in…probably in 1988 or 1989.

I don’t think my kitchen looks bad, but most of the shelves inside the cabinets sag. Sometimes the plastic pins holding up the bakeware shelf snap off, spilling its contents onto the shelf below. Open the cabinet door when that happens and it’s like Fibber McGee’s closet.

 A few months ago, I bought a smart television, which is really a big computer monitor on the wall. A subscription to Discovery channel appealed to me more than watching television sitcoms. I’ve been watching HGTV remodeling shows. Surprisingly, I’ve found them to be very satisfying. These shows may have opened my eyes to how nice it would be to have an improved kitchen. The clincher came when I talked to two remodeling men about what cabinet, flooring and countertop improvements they could give me.

Now I am excited and can’t wait for them to get started.

The frugal side of me worries that remodeling a perfectly functional kitchen is an excessive extravagance. But the practical side of me knows that the remodeling will make my house more attractive to buyers when I am eventually ready to sell.

Out of curiosity I checked the internet for how often a kitchen should be remodeled. Each place I checked said the average time frame was every ten to fifteen years. The articles said kitchen cabinets, countertops, flooring and walls get dated, require repair or may even become environmentally toxic. Since my last kitchen update was about 33 years ago, I’m clearly overdue! I’m fairly certain the only toxic thing in my kitchen is my temper when I have to crawl into a corner cabinet to retrieve something from the far back.

I put the chicken breasts into the big casserole dish seasoned with poultry seasoning and baked them long and slow. They turned out tender and moist. The lemon zest blueberry scones baked to buttery shortbread perfection. Food created in my kitchen is top quality, but will be so much more satisfying after the kitchen is a new creation itself.

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