Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Last Supper

Perhaps the title of this entry is a little too dramatic, but on Saturday night we had our "Last Supper" in our old kitchen. The professionals from HWC Homeworks start work on our new kitchen on Monday morning (yes, there will be at least daily blog entries as that project progresses), so we had to start moving everything out of the kitchen in preparation for the 3-4 days of demolition that will be needed in order for the remodeling to truly begin.

Each evening after dinner the past few nights, Deirdre and I did an hour or so of work to remove stuff from our soon to be extinct kitchen. The
job would have been painful to do in a day, but by spreading out the work over the week, it really was not that difficult. Thanks to Deirdre's efforts in the basement, we had plenty of shelf space to move our glasses, cups, pots, pans, wine and booze into the back room out our basement. Here is a partial list of the things that will not be with us in our new kitchen:

1) Old mismatched coffee cups and plates purchased in 1994, just before I left for a tour in South Carolina.
2) A griddle what had lost its non-stick capability.
3) Expired foodstuffs. We actually found an item that expired in OCT01. Yep, we had moved that thing a couple of times!
4) A bunch of cutting boards. We had way too many...
5) A teapot that was a gift many years ago that was never used.
6) More ugly glasses than I can recall.
7) Some pots and pans which had simply outlived their service life.
8) A coffee grinder which had also outlived its service life.
9) Some painfully ugly coffee cream holders.
10) Some oversized wine glasses which could have almost held an entire bottle.

We had to move our small fridge down the basement and once again, the HWC Homeworks came through for us. Dave not only offered to let me use an appliance dolly, but he even offered to come by on Saturday afternoon and help me move the fridge down the basement. I picked up some lunch for us before h arrived, and as soon as we were done eating, we strapped the fridge to the dolly and in a matter of a few minutes the fridge downstairs and back in operation.

After Dave left, Dee and I continued to work removing things from the kitchen, as well as removing the doors to the cabinets. The same craftsman who remodeled our two bathroom, Jim, will be doing the work on the kitchen.
I thought I could help him get a head start on the demolition by taking out all the cabinets and removing all the hardware. I also had a lot of fun doing this preparatory work! There is something very fulfilling to me as I fired up my cordless drill to remove the fasteners holding the cabinet doors in place, as well as removing the cabinet's hardware. I also discovered that this kitchen was once painted red. As you can see from the photo to the right of this text, behind where the vent fan used to be located was red paint. We also found red paint behind another cabinet. I can only imagine how ugly that color might have looked at some point in the history of this house.

When we first
started removing things from the kitchen, Samson was a little disturbed. He seemed a little unsettled that we were taking things out of the drawers and cabinets and moving items to the basement of guest bedroom. However, after an hour or so, he realized that his puppy treat jar was not moving anywhere, so he settled into his place under our dining room table to observe our work. He also seemed to enjoy the ability to look out the windows in our nook now that the table and chairs had been moved out.

Now, for our "Last Supper," I asked Deirdre what she wanted me to make and without a moment of hesitation she said, "Tenderloin DeLuxe." This is a recipe my sister shared with me a few years ago and it has become one of our favorite meals. In our bin freezer in the basement I retireved one of our frozen tenderloins and allowed it to defrost over the course of a day or so. Here is the entire menu from Saturday night's meal:

Tenderloin DeLuxe
Long Grain & Wild Rice
Ceasar Salad
Hartley Ostini Hitching Post 2005 Generation Red

We dined a little later than normal as we had a late lunch. I put the tenderloin into our oven a little after 7PM and a few minutes before 8PM the internal temperature of the meat was 124F, which translates into a perfect medium rare. I removed the roast from the oven, put it onto a cutting board and loosely covered it in foil to allow it to rest for 10 minutes or so. While the meat was resting, Deirdre made the salad (I had decanted the wine soon after I put the roast in the oven) and set the table. In no time, dinner was ready and we enjoyed the final meal cooked in this dysfunctional kitchen. And yes, Samson got a little beef, too.

So now, we are simply waiting for Jim to arrive tomorrow
and start working on this latest project. Deirdre and I will be eating out most meals for the next few weeks as our new kitchen takes shape. Last night as Dee and I enjoyed our meal and entered the gloaming of the day, we reflected on how after seven years here, we are truly making this house our home. Look for updates on our new kitchen as the work progresses.

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