Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cooking Up Something Good In The Kitchen - or - Kids Do The Darndest Things!

I am bursting at the seams with motherly pride and words fail me . . . well, almost.

Last night, I opened an email from Grant, my one and only kid, and what I saw brought a tear to my eye. I was shocked . . . stunned . . . amazed . . . in complete and total awe!

Perhaps I should back up just a little and set the stage. Grant and Kristen were married last May at a lovely wedding out in our yard. Then in July they bought a house -- a great house, but a real fixer-upper in many respects. They lucked into an incredible deal, in the exact community they thought they would never be able to afford.

The house is in an older neighborhood - well, I say older, but actually the houses are considered "Mid-Century" in age and style - not unlike me! The location is close to both of their jobs and everything else they need or want. They are probably the youngest homeowners in their neighborhood, by about twenty years, but consider themselves very fortunate to have so much going for them in their "starter" home. So do we!

Just one hitch. There's always a hitch, isn't there? The house needs a little - oh heck, a lot of work. The previous owners, the couple who also own the store where Grant is a manager, had moved out of the house a few years earlier and were in the process of remodeling it. But, when they heard Grant and Kristen were looking for a house in that very town, they offered them an excellent price, "as-is". That suited G & K quite nicely, so they jumped at the opportunity. Ah, the optimism and energy of youth!

Now you know, and I know, that remodeling = $$$$ + work. Grant, who has an indomitable can-do spirit and Kristen who has an impeccable fashion sense and eye for color, got involved right away designing a true gut-it-and-start-over kitchen. Grant did it on the computer, and it was beautiful - very impressive. The mother in me could not help but suggest Grant might want to start his own kitchen design business - it was that good!

But, as we also know, if you want to gut a kitchen, you need nerves of steel, a good marriage and a pot full of $$$$! Without that pot full of money, you gotta go with the first two and throw yourselves into your own "renewal" project, while you wait to save up for the whole "gut-the-kitchen" remodel project.

Old Mid-Century BEFORE kitchen, complete with orange Formica counter tops!

New Twenty-First-Century kitchen AFTER homeowner sweat-equity + some paint, some hardware, some appliances, and some hard work. WOW! What a difference!

And if you happen to have some mid-twenty kids of your own, you'll appreciate the best part of the newlyweds-buy-move-renew project - the parents have not had to lift a finger to help! Unless you want to count all the years spent of cleaning up Lego buliding blocks by the thousands for a budding kitchen designer.

We are so proud! Now where's my dinner invitation? I want to see what they can cook in that enviable kitchen chock-full of Williams-Sonoma wedding gifts.

Do you remember your first kitchen as newlyweds? What were you cooking then? How soon before you invited your parents to dinner at your house?


Anonymous said...

Wow! The new kitchen is beautiful, and they will love it all the more because they did the work themselves. Now, what wonderful kitchen-warming present will you bring them?

Becky said...

The kitchen is just beautiful and I LOVE the whole story. Good for them!

When we first got married we moved into an apartment Mike had already rented. Had the tiniest kitchen I have ever seen. Ten feet long. Everything was lined up on one wall. Tiny fridge, counter, sink, counter, stove. There was a 3 foot wide walkway and you entered the kitchen through a doorway looking at the stove. The end walls and the long wall I used for storage. Kept putting up nails and hanging things. He was only 3 months into the lease when I moved in. I hadn't thought about that in years. We lived 250 miles away from our parents. I'm not sure my in-laws ever visited us there, but I think my parents came over a couple of months later.

I know you are so proud! Let us know about the dinner invitation and what they serve. :-)

Karen said...

They did a great job - the all white kitchen looks so clean!

Remember the Alamode said...

what transformation! I think the kitchen looks wonderful and will inspire your son and his wife to cook great meals. Our first kitchen was pretty humble-we rented a small one bedroom apartment in college town usa. We had an austere life style--our food budget was so small. I remember once making a dish from an old bake off competition cookbook. The dish was called "Hot Ziggitys" It's hot dogs that are minced up fine and then mixed with relish and mustard and ketchup. This was the filling for individual little savory pies. Talk about spreading an already cheap food even further. We still joke about this culinary experience!

Cora said...

Thanks for your kind sentiments about Grant and Kristen's kitchen. He called just last night to share details of a recipe he created for marinated pork chops that turned out to be delicious. He said, "Kristen even liked them and she doesn't really like when I cook pork chops." The highest praise sought by home cooks! LOL They're making memories!

Maris said...

They must be so talented to have designed and built that on their own - really amazing!