Plainclothes Feast

A weekly peek at one dinner table, in the heart of one home, in the center of the country

Last week’s menu

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Last week, my kitchen was closed for remodeling.  Again.  Remodeling redux.

I don’t know whether you remember what it used to look like.  Heck, barely remember what it used to look like.  Here is a reminder:



Then, back in March, I painted the cabinets.  You can read about that saga here, if you have a lot of time to kill.


This is what it looked like in the middle of the painting process.


And this is what it looked like after the painting was finished.  Not bad, right?

Of course, you can’t see the floors in this picture.  That’s why I included the in-process photo above: so that you could, like everyone who has set foot in our house in the past two years, think What is up with those floors?  The answer is that we painted them.  We didn’t think it was going to look great, but we needed a quick-fix after we learned that the oak flooring lurking under the carpet we had pulled up couldn’t be refinished because it had been ruined however-many-decades-ago by a badly behaved dog (one with a truly impressive bladder capacity, I would add).  The painted floors were supposed to be a temporary fix.  I thought we would replace them last summer…but we didn’t.  And, right now, I’m glad we didn’t do it last summer because my brand new floors are beautiful and dimensional and rich and, well, brand new.  And they go straight through my kitchen.


I used to have ceramic tile in there.  It was unremarkable in every way…except for how badly it had been installed.  The people who did it actually tiled around the kitchen island.  And, when they were finished, they just left a gap.  No molding or bit of trim to disguise it.  Just a gap to catch crumbs…and errant crayons (yes, it was that big) in perpetuity.  There was also a tile missing–just entirely missing–under the cabinets in the corner next to the stove, beneath the lazy susan.  A 2-inch square of subfloor.  You can only imagine what accumulated there.

Now, I have beautiful wood floors through the whole space.  Seamless.  And installed immaculately by my very own hunky carpenter who not only did all of the work but barely complained about the process.

Yes, I got rid of my kitchen island, but that’s a temporary problem.  My hunky husband is planning to build me a new one–customized to my very own specifications!  (Did that last sentence sound as giddy on paper as it did in my head?)  I also have a new pantry cabinet, retrofitted to my needs, to fill in the storage gap in the meantime.


You can see that the baseboards are still not quite 100% finished, but otherwise…Well, wow.  I know it’s almost sacrilegious to say this, and I’m really waiting to be struck dead for even thinking it, but: My kitchen feels almost too roomy!  You could dance in there, for Pete’s sake.  When I’m finished here, as a matter of fact, I think I’ll go do that.

We didn’t eat much last week, though.  When your sofas are jammed up against the refrigerator door, it’s difficult even to drink anything (though we did manage to avoid dehydration, narrowly).  But it was so worth it.



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