I Love My Kitchen But Hate To Cook

Maddie, Sonja, Russ, me, Mike, Jacob, Lucas, Wil, Jenny, and Mikos

Psalms 37:4 NKJV

Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Ten years ago Mike finally agreed to have our kitchen remodeled. We have been living in the same home for 37 years. This house was built in 1974. It is a solid lath and plaster home, which means that no drywall was used in the original building.

We did a small kitchen remodel shortly after we moved in. I made the worst decorating mistake in the world by installing a white tile floor and white tile counter tops. I became a slave to the floors, having to mop them every time we used the kitchen.

Me, my beautiful Mom, and sister Norma, in the flower kitchen
The puke green walls of the gutted kitchen

To add character to the old kitchen, it went through many metamorphic experiences. It was wallpapered, painted a hideous green, and we had two electric stove tops replaced. When Mike took over the cooking, we switched to gas. Gas made all the difference in our meals and Mike’s meals taste like we hired a personal chef.

I had a great desire in my heart to redesign the kitchen,  I started a campaign by nagging; when that   didn’t work, I prayed. It took a long time before I could convince Mike, but he finally agreed. We had a lot of expenses that took precedence over this huge undertaking. Both Mikos and Sonja were attending private colleges, and I decided that it was time for me to finish my education. So I applied and was accepted to Biola University. Mike was overwhelmed with paying part of three tuitions. After a little breathing room, we seized the opportunity and started the project.

We researched and got several estimates, but I wanted was a dream kitchen. Originally I wanted to expand the kitchen, but that idea quickly ended when the estimates came in at over $90,000.00, and that was without the kitchen remodel or new appliances! I prayed again on how to expand without breaking walls.

Our wonderful designer and friend Jonathan

When we were about to make our decision between two contractors, I received a dream from the Lord. In the dream, two bay windows were added to make room for seating. The following morning Jonathan, one of the designers, called me. Jonathan  shared with me his idea on how to expand the kitchen. He told me that we should add two bay windows for seating. This was exactly what I dreamt! It was a clear confirmation for us to go with his company, Le Gourmet Kitchens. This is how God takes care of those who trust and believe in prayer.

My custom kitchen was a project of love, which took over 3 months to complete. I wanted Jerusalem stone for my countertop, but it was too porous, so I went with Caesar stone, which is also from Jerusalem. It was important for me to have products from the Holy Land. I brought back decorative tile from the Old City in Jerusalem. Jonathan is Jewish, so he really understood what I wanted. He ordered Jerusalem crosses from Israel to complement the tiles that I purchased.

My cabinets were made in Salina, Kansas, because there are too many E.P.A stipulations in California on how wood is treated. Also it does not compare to the quality of the wood from this part of the country. My cabinets have a lifetime guarantee.

Tile from the the Old City in Jerusalem, and gold Jerusalem crosses for each corner
Mint Julep stove

I wanted the stove to make a statement, so we picked a Viking mint julep stove. It was perfect!

If you are wondering why am I writing about my kitchen, it’s because this is where families gather, where bonding takes place, where heartfelt stories are shared. The kitchen is the heart of a home, and it should be  filled with love.

All of my cooking is done without a recipe. If I do use a recipe, for some strange reason it always comes out different. I have accepted that cooking is not my gift, and I’m perfectly fine with that. Sometimes I cook the worst meals; at other times I surprise everyone with a tasty meal. Such is life.

I thought for sure that the beautiful kitchen would improve my cooking, but it didn’t. Once I tried a quinoa recipe and it kept growing so much that I had to change pots twice. Nowhere in the recipe did it warn that it was going to keep expanding. Dinner that night went down as another adventure that finally had us eating at 8:30 p.m. Never take the advice from a well-meaning friend who told me to cook the corned beef in a crock pot. That was a disaster that lasted until the following day, when we were finally able to enjoy the meal.

I am currently creating videos to give cooking tutorials for others who share my dilemma. Just recently I ruined a pot of rice; even the dog turned his nose up at it.

Mornings in my kitchen are my favorite. You can find me sitting in my breakfast nook every day around 7:30 a.m. I eat the same breakfast every day: a cup of coffee with Ezekiel toast. My cat Prudie usually joins me. I use this room to pray; sometimes when I’m overcome with uncertainties and unanswered prayer, I sit and cry in that same spot.

Our granddog Rosie and the Dutch door

When our grandchildren were younger, all ten of us would gather for dinner every Monday night. Now that they are in sports and have their own busy lives, we try to get together at least once or twice a month. The kitchen is my favorite room of our home because this is where the sun greets me every morning after Mass. I look out the Dutch door and thank God for my beautiful bougainvillea that Mike planted.

I thank God for my ten-year-old kitchen, and am grateful that it still brings us together as a family. Happy, sad, mad, we are family, and will always meet in the kitchen for healing and laughter.

1 Corinthians 10:31 New King James Version (NKJV)

31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

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