Tuesday, January 9, 2007

My Unfinished Kitchen

The fantastic photographer and cook, Ilva, at Lucullian Delights, is hosting an event called "Show Us Your Kitchen". Her deadline for entries is Tuesday, Jan. 9th, so if you want to have your kitchen included in her round-up, better get crackin'.

My kitchen is, and has been, in an unfinished state for quite some time. This made me think for quite a while whether or not I wanted its unfinished self to be out in the world. Then I decided to go ahead. This is a blog after all. My culinary journal. Consider these the "before" photos. I'll post the "TA DA!", "after" photos when the long-anticipated day arrives that the project is finished.

I love my kitchen. It's warm and homey and the color of honey. It has old things (stove) and new things (wall oven - not shown because it's not installed yet, but it will be). It has hefty wooden beams from which my pots, pans and baskets hang.

It has beautiful (still unpainted) window and door trim that Mr. CC made and that sports a sweet wave pattern, in keeping with the whole ocean thing.

It has my mother's ceramic match holder, hand-painted from Italy, which graced her kitchen bricks when I was a child. And it has a scratched and worn pine floor that I didn't used to like but have come to cherish over the years.

My kitchen has a real butcher's block that came from an old, greasy restaurant in Redding years ago. Mr. CC schlepped it back home to me, knowing how delighted I would be to have it. After the initial sanding and cleaning, it has graced the center of my kitchen, developing a whole new patina.

My kitchen has a "dry" side where the stove lives surrounded by thick wooden counters. The "wet" side, where the sink and dishwasher reside, is still waiting for the sunny yellow tiles with the cobalt blue filet to be laid on the counter top and on the wall around the sink.

My kitchen has two prized crocks that I dearly love and which hold cooking utensils on either side of the stove.

My kitchen has my mother's bread box, nestled snugly against the fridge. I don't think about it much, but I use it every day and know that that's somehow a comfort to me.

But mostly, my kitchen has love. It's the heart of my home. It's where I ponder what I will cook for those I love and it is, of course, where I put my thoughts into action. My kitchen is filled to overflowing with memories of family and friends, laughter and joy, new beginnings and lives laid to rest.

My kitchen, finished or not, is where I'm happiest.

Is where I follow my bliss.