In which the author tells you how to run your life -- or at least how to make the most of the fun parts of it.

For instance, inside these pages you will learn how to weather a mortar attack in good spirits; how to avoid booking yourself on the Internet into a bed and breakfast full of twee quilts and dusty tchotkes; and how to plan a dinner party that will stun your guests with deliciousness and style and not destroy your will to live with the amount of work you have to do to pull it off.

These are things I know firsthand, and things people who know me often ask me about (though I usually just book them into bed and breakfasts myself -- identifying ruffled death traps is an acquired skill). I am almost always right about everything (food, style and travel-related, anyway, and often many other things) and if everyone would just do as I say, dinner would taste better, cupcakes would not be dry, your parties would be more fun (for you), and mortar attacks... well, they always suck. I can't do anything about them.

*except laundry. I can't manage my own laundry, much less yours.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wanna see my kitchen?

Interesting things to note:

Because I am tall I had my terrible very bad awful human builder lay down 4 X 4s on the floor and then install my Kraftmade cabinets, which I like much more than the builder. I got them delivered unfinished so I could stain them myself. I hate hate hate the shiny plastic finish on cabinets. Why buy wood then cover it in plastic? My house is funky and old, and new cabinets would look totally out of place. So I stained them and gave them a beeswax finish.

The kick plates are extra tall because of the 4X4s, so I put mirrors on them. Its awesome though my cats go crazy. They bounce a lot of light around and they make the cabinets look like standing pieces of furniture. I highly recommend this treatment of your kickplates.

I used pieces so of my wall studs (that I removed to make a doorway) ... 150 years old if they are a day -- to make "legs" for the cabinets.

My dad is the tile and marble king of Florida, so I got to cut my granite counters myself. The ragged edge you see as a backsplash were the trimmings from the original slab. The sink was a total triumph: I designed a granite apron front sink and my dad built it. And then drove the whole mess (with my bro) up to DC from Florida (16 hours) with everything in a van. The sink fit to within 1/16th of an inch (we just shaved the wood base cabinet a bit. The install took 12 hours. I f eel like I've told this story on this blog before...

I know I've told you I hate upper cabinets. They look like buckteeth and I believe I've shared when the cabinets in the law office I was working in as in-house chef pulled from the wall and fell on me on my first day of work. So. No upper cabinets for me. I have a large pantry -- 2 X 8 - in the hallway next door. Not pictured are my fridge (SubZero. I grew up with them, and everything else just doesn't feel like a real fridge to me) and my microwave and wall oven (Kitchen aid). The fridge is next to the pantry.

Anyway, that's my kitchen. It functions pretty well for being 10 X 10.