Monday, September 20, 2010

getting busy in the kitchen!

I seriously feel like September has knocked me out!  Between school starting, and then a four day weekend, then a 3 day weekend and oh, just for fun, one more 3 day weekend-I am on the verge of exhaustion.  But, the days are still warm, the nights are cool and there's a lot going on in my kitchen-both of the cooking variety and the renovation.

First, the renovating:

The countertop was relatively easy to sand, stain and seal-thanks to much internet searching and reading the blogs of others who have successfully put in butcherblock. 

We decided on a stain (minwax provincial) which looked like this when we tested it:
I did one area with the wood conditioner and one without-just to see the difference.  Honestly, there wasn't much difference in the color, but when I removed the tape, I noticed that the stain had bled underneath on the part without the conditioner.  The section I conditioned seemed to take the stain better.  That was just my mini-science experiment to see what the conditioner does to the wood.

Then, I impatiently (because really what other way is there?) got to the business of staining and sealing the piece of countertop.  It didn't take long at all except for the incredibly long drying times between coats.  It was some of the longest 8 hour spans of my life and I have been in labor twice-just saying. 

This is the final result.  I am in serious love with the finish on the counter and I *think* we have come up with the colors for the cabinets, though I know I will have paint remorse for a while after they are done. 

Yesterday, we made the trek to IKEA (okay it's only like 40 minutes, but still) and got THE SINK.  Yes, the double bowl, domsjo sink from IKEA!!!  Of course, it is still in the box in my living room, but at least it's here.  We also got the rest of the countertops and they are keeping the sink company in the living room. 

Soooo.... while we make our plan of attack for painting the cabinets and installing the counters and the sink, I thought "why not give my new counters a try?"  I mean, for the last week, I have babied the countertop, but if I am committing to having butcherblock in my entire kitchen, they better be ready to take a beating. 

Enter-pumpkin scones-the famed starbucks recipe from  After tracking down some elusive canned pumpkin and convincing myself that it's okay to mess up my new counter, I got down to baking. 

It actually caused me a little harm to make my new counter this messy, but I forged ahead, thinking that if it can't stand up to a little flour and sticky scone dough, I better not have this in the rest of my kitchen.  Thankfully, just a little dish soap on a towel and it was good as new. 

Now, I am on to filling the freezer with as much bulk cooking as I can stand.  Today, 6lb of ground beef's worth of chili:

Now, the weather can get cooler-because I am ready! 

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