February – In My Second Kitchen

In the kitchen of my second home (hopefully to eventually be our retirement and first home) is impatience. The remodel has been delayed by a month or more due to…due to what? Our contractor not being finished with the job before ours (due to rain), the kitchen cabinets not being finished, and (truth be told) a million details too prolific to mention here. If you have ever been through a remodel you will know what I am talking about. There is way too much to do when you are also holding down a full time job. It will get done, it always does. Take a breath. Lots has already been done. We have flooring, appliances, cabinets (in process), counter tops, tile, plans, and permits. Still to be decided is the tile for a backsplash, and exact paint colors for the kitchen cabinets (we have decided on blue for the island, and a soft grey for the opposite wall cabinets and open shelving). Still to be purchased is a hood for the range and the fixtures. My problem is that I have disconnected emotionally from the current kitchen and house. Has that happened to you? We are standing at the precipice of demolition.

From the big sliding doors off the kitchen I see a sunny deck and a Meyer lemon tree in a big wine barrel.

Meyer Lemon Tree

Meyer Lemon Tree

They are not supposed to do well here as it is colder and wetter than the bay area. But this one is situated next to a plexi-glass wind break which gets a lot of sun, and it is doing well.

All the lemons on my tree in the bay area disappeared overnight last fall, it was a great mystery until we discovered a mother possum with her brood under a piece of scrap lumber near by. Thankfully the tree is full of lemons again and the possum family has moved on.

Meyer Lemons

Meyer Lemons

Even more surprising is this lime tree in a similar wine barrel (we are, after all, in the middle of the Anderson Valley wine growing region).

Lime Tree

Lime Tree

It has one lone lime this year but I have hopes. The banana slugs were out in force and did some damage to the flowers this past summer before I could get them under control. Have you ever heard of banana slugs? Think of them as slugs on steroids! They are the mascot at University of California in Santa Cruz and can grow to 6 inches or more in length. Believe me they can do serious damage!

Banana Slug

Banana Slug

It’s best not pick them up with your bare hands because they have the most awful sticky slime which is difficult to wash off. I use a paper towel and toss them into the meadow for the ravens. I think there are multiple research projects trying to find uses for the slime, good luck!

In my kitchen I have boxes, ready to pack once we are finally given a demolition start date.

In my kitchen I have trout, we baked these on the gas BBQ with parsley, onion and a few slices of Meyer Lemon aigre-doux. 400 degrees for 15 minutes and they were done. There are some advantages to a gas grill.

Brook Trout

Brook Trout

In my kitchen I have this wonderful glass vessel sink for the new bathroom, the color doesn’t come through very well but it is a deep dark blue. It came from our dear friend at John Lewis Glass, John has a “seconds” sale each year just before the holidays.

Glass Vessel Sink

Glass Vessel Sink

There hasn’t been a great deal of cooking going on in either of my kitchens…the holidays took their toll and it’s been a slow process of getting back into it.

This post is part of a regular series “In My Kitchen” now hosted by Maureen from the Orgasmic Chef. Visit the site for links to read about adventures in kitchens around the world.

14 thoughts on “February – In My Second Kitchen

  1. As one who’s done a build, there are a million reasons for delays and each one can be frustrating if you let it be. I look forward to hearing about your progress! That lemon tree sounds wonderful but the banana slugs, not so much. I love the blue sink bowl!

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  2. This time two years ago we were starting the remodelling project of our kitchen…I remember all of those delays and excuses VERY well!!!! It was all worth it in the end but became an extremely frustrating 6 months (that should have been 3 of course!)

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  3. It’s wonderful to get such a prolific crop of lemons from a tree in a tub, you’ll obviously provided it with perfect conditions. Good luck with the reno, I look forward to seeing progress once the workmen finally get moving

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    • I know, I was amazed as well. The first year the lemons were small and mostly rind (it didn’t get watered as often as it should have). But they made wonderful preserved lemons. This year I made sure it was well watered at least once a week and it has been full of flowers and lemons.

      I will definitely be chronicling the progress once they start.

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