Kitchen Update – Phase 1

Before

I’m pretty sure the moment I opened a crowbar for Christmas and Captain Graybeard, Esquire saw the look in my eyes he knew what was coming next: the kitchen cupboards were coming down. I believe it was the first thing I said when I saw the kitchen and something I complained about every time I had to cook anything (so, daily). Aside from being ugly and outdated, the cupboards sat far too low to the counter effectively rendering the back portion of the counter useless. It was also impossible to set anything under the cupboards due to the height and there may or may not have been a incident where an entire Vitamix-worth of green smoothie was spilled down someone’s suit because the opening a cupboard door knocked it over. Also not entirely irrelevant, but I’ve been dreaming of open shelving in my someday kitchen for years now. So, after some overly dramatic stories about whether I would or would not die if the cupboards didn’t come down immediately, we celebrated Boxing Day with some light demolition. Continue reading

Heavy Rotation: 2014

Several years ago Graybeard and I started a tradition of building a new playlist each year on Grooveshark or Spotify or whatever streaming service is currently having its moment. With a few exceptions for songs that were released late in the prior year that we couldn’t stop listening to, the only thing added to this list are songs we come across during the year. For the most what we add are new releases, but here and there we discover songs or artists that slipped our radar. In no particular order, here are some tracks that we spent a considerable amount of time with in 2014:

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Chowdah

When we lived in the rental house our neighbor – the most generous man on earth – would occasionally bring us things. It started off fairly small, some homemade tortillas here, some smoked salmon from his fishing buddies there. And eventually it progressed to 20lbs of fresh, wild caught Alaskan cod. Figuring this was the time to explore fish recipes, I set out to find something new while Graybeard begged repeatedly for beer-battered fish sticks (which were ultimately delicious and a quick way to make room in the freezer). I had a grand plan to do a whole series of posts on fish recipes, but about two weeks in we discovered a recipe for New England Fish Chowder and never looked back. We’ve made this enough over the last few months that I no longer need to look at the recipe and never forget to pick up seafood stock when I’m at Whole Foods (which is apparently the only place that sells seafood stock in this city). So, here it is. My one and only fish recipe to share:

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Home Sweet New Home

We own this! Actually, the bank owns pretty much all of this.

A few months ago Captain Graybeard, Esquire and I decided it was time to pull the trigger and jump into the housing market. With about two weeks between our initial conversation and being under contract to purchase a home, and another two-ish weeks between closing and hosting our 3rd annual chili cook-off (a rousing success, except the part where Graybeard won), describing the last several months as a whirlwind is a total understatement. After losing the first house we were interested in to an all cash, above-asking, 7 day closing offer, we thought we were going to be in the searching phase for the long haul. But a same-day offer on a house that needed me to channel every ounce of my “see the potential” willpower and we were done.

In a completely uncorroborated story from our neighbor, our house is one of the original farm houses located in the Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle. The surrounding area was supposedly orchards, which may be true given that the street was originally named Orchard Street and we have one sad, poorly-pruned and sort-of dying apple tree in our yard. According to property records, the neighborhood was platted in 1889, and our house built in 1900. From what I can tell from an old photo that has since disappeared from the county website, the house has had the same footprint for a very long time which is interesting considering its size and open layout compared to other homes from the time period.

The Solarium: Hot in the summer. Cold in the winter. Ugly year-round.

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, at some point what was probably a cool old farmhouse went through a very, very rough period. The ’60s, the ’70s, the’80s, no one can be sure. But the result was a house stripped of everything that resembled character and charm. And in its place: wood paneling, wall-to-wall carpet, popcorn ceilings, and solarium with stained glass and Astro Turf. Like I said, it took every ounce of my “see the potential” willpower.

 

 

 

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