We live in a 1901 house. When we moved here in 1995, we loved the light, the fireplace, the extra space for an in-home office, the nice yard…but we hated the cruddy kitchen. Peeling ancient cabinets, a terrible layout, a mish-mash of depressing appliances – it was all horrible. It was intolerable. It had to be redone immediately! And yet 13 years went by before we found the money/architect/contractor/courage to go through the havoc and mayhem involved in gutting half the first floor.

The person who most suffered during our 13 years of bad kitchen luck was the cook – Chris. I was fortunate to marry a man who enjoys and excels at cooking, and prepares 95.7% of the meals around here. As you’ll see from these before pictures, our old kitchen’s lack of counter space meant Chris had to use the stovetop as a food prep surface….and the room’s abject dreariness meant I spent most of my time avoiding it.

Six months ago, the new kitchen was finished.

Saturday, Chris was embarking on a huge project of making salsa. He long ago became resigned to the fact that I’m not enthused about cooking and didn’t expect or need any help with his project. But since the kitchen is such a nice place to be these days, I offered to chop all the onions, which I tearfully did, and this turned into a fun five-hour stint of serving as sous chef. Together, we put up 24 pints of salsa . And for a giddy moment there, I started to think that maybe I didn’t hate cooking, I just hated the old kitchen.

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