It's around this time of the year that I start to get antsy about winter. The snow outside is dirty, days are longer but still cold, friends are either nursing colds or away on holidays and likely a good six more weeks of this lies ahead. Time to liven things up.
No, I don't mean a vacation. We have opted to renovate our kitchen instead of escaping south. Two years ago we renovated our bathrooms, an experience not to ever be forgotten. The less said about that project, the better. I still cringe whenever I remember the look on hubby's face when our newly-tiled shower wall popped after only a couple of uses. We swore then that we would never again use an independent contractor, not even one recommended by friends. Since then, we have learned a thing or two by watching Mike Holmes, the 'make it right' guy, so we now feel we're as ready as we will ever be to tackle one last mega project. February seems like a good time to turn our lives upside down and yes, we've checked all three references.
To prepare for next week when the demolition starts, we are trying to empty the freezer. Who knew we had three whole pork loins in there?! I also have thirteen very shrivelled and rotten bananas for the cake I never get around to making and two containers with ice cream that is more cyrstals than cream. Shall I ditch them or shall I hang on to the optimism that makes me believe that I will make a banana cake soon? After more than twenty years of always having black fruit in the freezer I would have to give up the idea that I am still a nurturing (baking!) mother, ready to provide comfort for all sorts of ailments with a slice of delicious cake. The kids are long gone and neither my husband nor I want/need the extra pounds so why do I still cling to these frozen bananas??!
I will also have to empty out the cupboard where we put all those things that don't have a natural home of their own. Like the rubber bands that are wrapped around the newspaper every morning, or the plastic clips from loaves of bread that my husband can't seem to help but place in the right hand corner of the cutlery drawer. Ditto the collection of chop sticks and the wine corks. Mind you, the latter may soon be a collector's item.
There are so many things in our kitchen that never get used anymore, from sushi rolling mats to cookie cutters. We have a different view of how to spend time in the kitchen now than we did back when we were raising our kids. Back then the kitchen was the hub of the house, a place from where I ran the entire family operation while supervising homework, folding laundry and dispensing advice while also preparing dinner. Nowadays, I am more likely to be sitting at the counter writing on my laptop while hubby quickly tosses up a stir-fry.
So next week end, in preparation for what is likely going to be our last big reno job, I will throw out all the remnants of my former role as an active mother and embrace, instead, the idea that this new kitchen will be an oasis just for my husband and I. The kids know they can come for a meal any time. Maybe I should hang on to a couple of bananas just in case I need to quickly bake them a cake.