Sunday, 25 September 2011

Kitchen Rejuvenation

The last fortnight has been all about preparation.  Making sure there is enough food to reheat as our stove and oven will be out of action for a while.  Making sure we have all the materials we need to get started, the wood for our new counters, the paint, etc.   Writing list after list after list, trying to get my mind around this massive task we have chosen.  I am a big fan of lists, I wrote one for all the materials, one for the process we will have to go through, one for all the items I have to make sure to have on hand for the next few weeks (cups, plates, bowls, cutlery)

The worst stage was emptying the kitchen.  Going through all the drawers, cupboards and tucked away places, finding items of culinary delight that I simply HAD to buy, use a few times and completely forget about.  Trying to find homes for these items all over the house. MY poor Kittens are very confused.
Finally we managed to empty the kitchen of items, I cleaned it one more time in preparation for destruction. Which we earmarked for Saturday, during the week B has been preparing and painting the cupboard doors, but soon the real fun would begin.

Saturday morning broke like any other, we were both a little excited and nervous.  It was decided before the heat of the day set in we would do our usual wander through the garden, make sure nothing need watering or any other attention.  Check to see how the new shade cloth was doing over the vegie patch that was being brutalised by the hot spring sun. After we attended to the needs of the many plants and our Bonsai which need eternal care, it was time to begin.

Our Kitchen before the destruction.

I should begin by saying although our kitchen has been functional it has always annoyed me. The colour for one, the paint that looked like 4 year olds had a lot of fun.  Not to forget those AWFUL tiles.  My pet hate is grout, all those little tiles made for a lot of grout, therefore a lot of cleaning and bleaching.  The grout work wasn't even consistent, not a single line was straight, even or well done at all. We had a problem with the front tiles on the bench falling off. It is quite difficult to tell from the photo's but being in there every minute I can it is the little things that started to bug me.

We started the project with excitement and vigour.  It was easy enough.  Remove all remaining cupboard doors, turn off water and power to remove stove, and sink, this was time consuming but not difficult.
Then it came time for the tiles.  The bench tiles were easy, as it seems the former owner had decided to cheat and simply tile over the existing Pink laminate and wood bench top. B chiseled at the tiles as I danced around him with a dust pan and brush trying desperately to minimise any mess, as well as moving the tiles out of the way.  We worked well like this for quite a time.

Maybe we fell into a false sense of security, we were still energetic after hours and still worked with a sense of glee.  It was decided we would take off the wall tiles before removing the old pink laminate bench. As B started on the walls I heard a sound of surprise, after all these years I know when B makes that sound something hasn't gone according to plan.  I am still not sure what we were expecting knowing the methods the former owners have used in every other section of the house, which are all structurally sound if not a little peculiarly implemented. A large section of the wall had removed with the tiles, it seems that they had previously broken the wall then used tile glue to repair and simply tile over the surface, time and again.  So when me and my I hate these tiles self comes along and decides to rip them off.......... THE entire wall came with them. Again not sure what we expected, but wasn't quite that.  So as you can see from the photo's most if not all of the wall where the tiles where came off with said tiles.

We were optimistically hoping the tiles would simply come off and we could replace them with our chosen splashback, oh well not to be. Adds a little extra time onto our reno plans though!!!

Not exactly according to plan, but life is an adventure, and now we get to learn how to use/replace gyprock...............

Stayed tuned for more adventures of the Kitchen destruction, next week hopefully preparing the Ironbark hardwood timber we bought raw to replace all those tiles! ......

Monday, 12 September 2011

Cooking up a storm!

We are in full swing for the kitchen renovation, finally after so many little decisions and a few big ones.  There are still many things left on the list of things to figure out a few colours here and there, hinges, door handles etc. however the Big thing was the kitchen bench, splash backs, dishwasher.... and we have worked those out!  I won't give away any details today though. It has finally become time to prepare, as I am quite pedantic I like to start early so I don't have to rush.

The weekend was beautiful, although EXTREMELY windy, I hate the wind, it makes me anxious, all that sound and movement!! Willis and I usually stay indoors on such occasions, and this was no different.

So indoors we crept while B and Manny frolicked outdoors in the wind. I decided to make a month worth of food, so I can make sure we eat well, even without a kitchen.  Microwave dinners aren't my style, we both really dislike preservatives, not to mention we eat as much organic food as we possible can, the thought of a month worth of take away dinners is not very appetising. I rolled up my sleeves, I cleaned the kitchen and began. Firstly I ventured outside to harvest from our Cherry tomato plant once again to make a bolognase sauce, into which I crammed as many vegies as I could. I let that simmer on the stove all day before turning it into 2 lasagne, each a little different, one with triple smoked ham layers added, the other with spinach.

During this frenzy I also made Lamb Curry, a Chicken, asparagus, mushroom and Leek Pie, calzones, Asian Beef casserole and some stock. After the kitchen as well as the dishes were cleaned for the millionth time I started on dinner, which was decided we would have Creole chicken burritos with home made salsa, and guacomole.

The freezer is currently stocked with home made sausage rolls, red wine beef casserole, various home made soups, stews, more pasta sauces and vegetable pie filling.  I am hoping (believing!) that this will keep us fed for a month, I think it will take at least that long to pull apart the kitchen and remake it into a beautiful room.  I am making lists and lists and lists of things to buy,  idea's that might work to increase our meagre storage space. We are going to have our hands full, but I am convinced we can do it.  I shall be taking before and after shots, not to mention a million during photos that is for sure, so you will not miss out on the fun.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Perfect Clarity

Our Pea's are growing faster than ever this year!
B is extremely happy his squash finally decided to flower!
This is dinner before I washed it and cooked it.
The beetroot leaves are like yummy spinach when cooked!

Some green creeping back into our lawn.
The backyard looked so different at the beginning of the year.

Kookaburra sharing Father's Day with us,
awaiting his daily mince.
My first straggly sunflower of spring!

Someone else who enjoys the Jasmine as much as I do.

Sunning on my Daisy!

My Favourite Flowers, you can almost smell the musky scent..

These two love to make mischief in the Grevillia we planted by the
front door.

Manny hiding in the long grass stalking his prey....

Beauty can be in the smallest of things.

 I was completely unmotivated this weekend just past, as such I accomplished very little.  It was beautiful weather so I indulged myself and spent the day with my camera, no surprise there. As you can see...
These are snapshots of our lives and I believe they tell more than my words ever could. So this week I choose to be lazy and merely caption these little windows to our world.