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kitchen remodel #12

Here is an updated floorplan.

There are a couple small changes in the pantry/utility area. The water heater at this end of the house was placed in the corner so space could be left in the furnace area so we can have the option of adding a heat pump later. The refrigerator/freezer space will be closed in so pantry shelves can be placed on both sides of the hall. The narrow shelves will be just for canned goods and the wider shelves will be for grains and flours.

kitchen remodel #11

We got what I am going to consider the first draft of the second stage (overhead and elevations) drawings and started going over them. They are pretty close to what we are after but there will definitely be at least one more revision before we go to the third stage (full architectural) drawings.

We have settled on this layout:

A new favorite

The other night we offered to go over to one of Laurie's co-workers house to attempt to help them get their wireless working right. In exchange they offered to feed us dinner and made the most incredible Moroccan stew. The spice mix was just perfect, and it was so filling that I could have sworn that it had meat in it. As soon as I get the recipe and test it out, I'll be posting it. It was perfect for a stormy winter night.

kitchen remodel #10

Here are the last few photos of the utility/laundry/pantry room remodel until we get into the full kitchen remodel.

A view down the length of the room from the doorway. Lots of space left. Right now we are thinking that we will try to fit my flours and grains on the left side of the room, after the refrigerator/freezer units are in place, and install very narrow shelves on the right for a wall of canned goods storage. With the new furnace this room now stays cool and dry instead of hot and humid.

kitchen remodel #9

Five days into the utility/laundry/pantry room remodel and the infrastructure is almost done. That is all that we are really after in this first stage. Once the infrastructure is done we will put our old pantry shelves back up and wait for the kitchen designer to come back with the stage two drawings before we get into the next stage of construction.

I am trying to minimize my kitchen down-time by doing some of the utility and structure work that needs to be done before the actual remodel starts. The locations of the refrigerator, freezer, range, and sinks have been determined in the first stage drawings - as are the numbers of outlets and lights.

kitchen remodel #8

We went out and looked at a the designers' show room and a completed kitchen. We liked what we saw and now we are waiting for the second stage drawings - elevations, colours, and materials.

The HVAC contractors will be coming out next week so here are a few pictures of the demo work that I did to get the utility area ready for them. (Doing my own demo saved me about $1500 plus the tax credit that I will get from donating the bathroom fixtures to the local re-building centre.)

View down the utility/laundry/pantry/bathroom hall:

kitchen remodel #7

Had the HVAC, electrical, and plumbing contractors out this morning to get a detailed estimate of work needed for the first stage of the remodel - the laundry, pantry, utility areas, plus some additional infrastructure for the later stages.

Started our Thanksgiving feast preparation

We like to expand out our Thanksgiving preparation to three, or sometimes even four, days.

Thanksgiving cooking day

Ever since Laurie and I got together, Thanksgiving is our holiday. Our parents can lay claim to Easter and Christmas, but Thanksgiving is for us. The tradition is to either go backpacking or car camping out to the coast, which makes it hard to get very fancy with the cooking, so we cook everything ahead of time and heat it up in a skillet when we get there.

kitchen remodel #6

The scope of the remodel has expanded a bit. Our furnace is on its last legs so we really started looking into the utility room area as part of the kitchen remodel. This is the outline of the space that we are now remodelling:

Kitchen Remodel #5

I know, I know, it has been a long time since the last remodel update.

On the materials front:

We spent some more time researching flooring and counter top materials. We are still leaning toward bamboo flooring but have moved towards a slightly darker granite than we originally selected.

On the City of Tigard trying to bite us in the ass front:

Sometimes you need to restrain yourself

I spent a little time baking last night just to relax and went a little overboard. I put together a 2 lb. sour-white loaf with 1 lb. of cheddar and asiago cheese and a chopped onion.

The resulting loaf tastes really good, especially with a spicy baked coppacollo salami, but it would have risen better if I kept the cheese down to 1/2 lb. I made a salami sandwich with a couple of slices of this bread and it is sort of like eating a sandwich of salami between two thick slices of cheese.

School potlucks

I'm in the Ecological Agriculture which has a weekly potluck for lunch every Tuesday. This is a bit of a challenge for me because the the morning lecture goes from 9:00 till noon, and they want the food ready within a few minutes after noon.

Band Road Trip Potluck

My first "big" road trip with my pipe band is coming up in a couple of weeks - with a six hour drive from Tigard, OR to John Day, OR. (Actually a nine hour drive if you include the lunch and rest breaks.)

A busy day in the kitchen

It was supposed to be a real rainy day today (it hit last night instead) so I planned to spend the day in the kitchen. I canned up a batch of tomato sauce, made a batch each of blackberry jam and Oregon grape/salal jelly, and finished things off with a nice juicy garlicburger. And in the midst of all that I was out trying to replace the thermostat in my car, which is a lot more complicated than it was in my cars from the 70s.

Garden goodies

We've had another cool summer here in the northwest, which means that the garden just started offering up its bounty within the last few weeks, and now it's kicking into gear big time!

Looking for dried orange peel

The last time I was down visiting my mom, we went to a Chinese restaurant and she ordered the best orange chicken that I had ever tasted. It turns out that they make it the way they do in China, using dried orange peel (zest) instead of using orange juice like most places in America. They said using fresh is better than using orange juice, but the dried peel is even better. The great thing about it was the great orange oil flavor without all the sickly sweetness that you usually find these days.

Fall 2007 IDOS Convention Update

Dutch Oven Cooking Convention to be Held in La Pine (Google MAP)

The International Dutch Oven Society will be holding its fall convention in La Pine, Oregon on August 31 and September 1, 2007. The event is free and all activities will be held at the White school park and recreation complex in La Pine. A day full of free classes begins at 9:00 am. Classes will include: Getting Started in Dutch Oven Cooking, Baking with Sourdough, Cooking for a Crowd and many more. There will be 42 Dutch oven chefs baking and cooking throughout the day and serving samples of their creations for the public to enjoy. The chefs will be available for culinary questions.

Shredded potato quiche crust

A while back I saw some TV program where they made a quiche crust using shredded potato and precooking it in the pie pan. I thought it was an interesting idea and tucked it away in the back of my mind.

I tried it out today, with just the shredded potato, and it has a lot of potential. The flavor goes a lot better with the eggs and fillings than the standard pie crust, but it could really use something more.

A week of bachelor food

Laurie is off at a conference in Wisconsin this week, so it's time for meat and cheese dishes. Last night it started with Italian sausage sandwiches, and this afternoon, I'm making my latest incarnation of the garlic burger. I think I'll do a Mongolian beef or lamb tonight.

Not that I don't love the food that Laurie and I share when she's around, but sometimes I just need to revert to the old unhealth food.

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