For two months the kitchen was a pile of stones, concrete, and dismantled doors and windows. Dusty and noisy, emptied of everything that could be moved, the space looked destitute, as if it could never be a welcoming kitchen again.
At times I questioned my strong impulse to knock down the staircase, expand and completely renew the room. Patience is not one of my qualities, and I wanted the work to finish as soon as possible. Wanting to speed up the entire process I went a bit far, taking the measurements and ordering the granite surfaces before installing the kitchen cabinets; the suspense was killing me for weeks – would the fit be correct? — until the shiny dark brown slabs arrived, and were a perfect fit!
The bougainvillea was sacrificed, although when we first drew the plans we had the romantic idea of building around it, but it couldn’t be done. Costas spent the sunny New Year’s Day painting the outside walls, while I was frantically moving pots and pans, plates, glasses bowls and jars from the packed guestrooms and the storage room back to the brand new, clean, and shiny kitchen.
Although I successfully slow-roasted a whole ham in the bottom part of our new double oven, I have yet to familiarize myself with its tricks and new functions. I have an aversion to ceramic hobs with touch buttons, which now seem to be the norm, and had to search the sites of all the European manufacturers to finally find the only available stainless steel stove.
We also got a full size dishwasher that we hope will make life after lunch and dinner a lot easier, especially with all our guests. What I enjoy most in the newly created kitchen, though, is not the wonderful working surfaces, the appliances, or the much-needed additional space, but the extra window over the large, comfortable sink. It overlooks the northern backyard with our thriving oak tree, the old dry stone fence, and our neighbor’s goats on the rocky slope beyond…