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.


  1. Thanks! It looks like a great kitchen to cook in!

  2. I think your kitchen looks great just as it is Christine, I for one would love to be the owner of it. Mine definitely needs an overhaul but I can live with it for the moment and I, like you have an 'older' oven but I much prefer them, nice and roomy. My floor has subsided slightly so that needs doing before the kitchen, so maybe one day soon when I am retired.

  3. I LOVE your kitchen-it is exactly as I pictured one that you would have-it is you all over! It is so warm and enchanting-i understand why you love it so much. will anxiously wait for pictures of the new one-

  4. So what is and who has the finished kitchen. I hope the things all get installed and finished out as you would like and as soon as possible. I don't want to disappoint but you have the perfect kitchen now from your words: My kitchen is filled to overflowing with memories of family and friends, laughter and joy, new beginnings and lives laid to rest. That to me is the kitchen I want, that is the kitchen of my dreams. It is where I'm happy and where I follow my bliss. So my wish for all of us is always an unfinished kitchen where life and love is always happening. Thanks so much for inviting us in.

  5. Oh, Christine, I love your kitchen. I'd be happy there, too.

    My father had a butcher's block that is very similar. It's at my mother's house and has been promised to my brother.

    Yours is one of the nicest, warmest kitchens I've seen.

  6. Christine,
    Your kitchen looks so inviting. It's beautiful!

  7. Thanks so much to all of you for visiting and leaving such warm comments.
    My kitchen is pretty great just as it is and the few changes still to be made, or finishing touches I should say, will only enhance it further.
    Please click on Ilva's "Show us Your Kitchen" link to see all the wonderful kitchen photos in her round up of this great event.

  8. Your kitchen looks so warm and welcoming--makes me want to ask for a cup of tea and settle in for a long chat. Unfinished or not, it's got heart--the most important thing!

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Tea, I would welcome you into my kitchen for a cup of tea and a long chat anytime! I love the thought you put into your blog and your writing and would consider it a great privilege to share with you.

  10. I thought I left a comment here, but maybe I got interrupted! Anyway, I love your kitchen. I could really enjoy cooking there. Maybe I'll get to see it someday!

  11. Kalyn,
    To have you and all the other wonderful blogger buddies who visit my site regularly come and cook in my kitchen would be the greatest gift! We can hope. And plan...

  12. Your kitchen is like warm honey. If this is the before...I can't wait for the ta~da! Thanks for letting me sit a spell.

  13. I love your kitchen.. especially that stove - it's gorgeous! Other than the few things you've mentioned that are yet to be added/installed - I wouldn't change anything else.. I think it's perfect. =)

  14. Your kitchen is warm and inviting. I would love to be hanging out there, cooking up something wonderful with you. I just know we're kindred spirits!


  15. I LOVE your kitchen, Christine! So wonderful, so begging to be cooked in. Your butcher block is amazing. I used to cook on an Wedgewood old stove just like yours. Of course you'll miss it - but your new one looks fantastic. Congratulations! I'm sure you'll soon be cooking up a storm. xo :)

    1. Thank you, Susan. I'm so glad to have you visit my kitchen. Somewhere in this blog are the "after" photos with the new tile and paint. I do admit that I'm thoroughly enjoying the new cooktop, even if it does pull my kitchen out of the 19th century!

  16. This post made me feel so much better about my own kitchen which is also "honey-colored" and "unfinished." I sometimes get so caught up in wanting a new kitchen that i fail to appreciate the goodness and homey-ness that it represents. Earlier today, i pouted and whined to my husband about wanting a kitchen remodel, to the point that he got annoyed. I know we will do it someday, after we finish some other pressing projects. So I want to be patient and content, and ideally to be just as appreciative as you were of your kitchen. Thank you!


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