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June 1, 2004

Heart of Home

Everyone associates something different with “home.” For me, it is the kitchen, for better or for worse. While in my life I have boasted a love/hate relationship with this area of the house, it will always remain symbolic to me as the heart of my family—the gathering place, the most aesthetically pleasing core of the living facility where my parents have spent the bulk of their time together for the past 32 years. Some of my warmest memories of childhood center around watching my parents cook a weekend dinner, NPR playing on my mother’s old radio atop of the refrigerator, and consuming it together in our dining room.

VT Trancho Dining Room

The kitchen/dining room was the very first area to be renovated in my parents’ new home. They went all out, aiming to build the kitchen that they’d always wanted. It’s beautiful. In many ways, the new kitchen is symbolic of my parents’ new life together.

Dinner mountain view

I could go on and on about the intricacies of the kitchen-Corie-parent triad, but let’s get down to the meat of things—

My parents’ kitchen makes me drool. Those that know me understand my attraction to a nice kitchen. While I don’t cook nearly as much as I should, I share my parents’ love for the practice…and all of the stainless steel, Le Creuset, All Clad, and granite counter top that come with it. Plainly stated, once again my tastes exceed my pocketbook.

It’s time for some minor kitchen renovation in the Park Slope Trancho household, and I am in agony over what exactly should be done and how. While visiting my parents’ house this weekend I was overwrought with anxiety. What had seemed simple three weeks ago suddenly felt far more complex. Do I build an island? Should it be attached to the wall or free standing? How many cabinets should it have? Given my large amount of cabinet space (most of which I can’t reach) already, should I use the space to install rollout garbage cans? What about a bookcase? Should it be built into the end of the island or into the wall beside it? Because it would be a travesty if my cookbooks had nowhere to go.

Of course, all of this costs money—money that I don’t necessarily have at the moment but can certainly be paid back in installments over the next few months. Do I wait until the money is sitting in the bank? Do I wait a year and build something better, reface the ugly white cabinets and perhaps put in a new countertop? What if, between now and a year from now, my old oven dies? Hmm…new oven.

This morning I took a deep breath and decided to have the island built, regardless of anxiety level. My contractor, a.k.a. Papa Trancho, is available for in-person consultation next week, which may wind up being the date for the installation, as well. Between now and then, I need to figure out exactly what needs to be done. I’ve selected the base cabinets and bookcase and am now waiting for the Father Contractor to get pricing on a stainless steel countertop.

In the meantime, I’m working on a personal contract to cook more…and perhaps cajole more friends into visiting Brooklyn for a homemade dinner. In the meantime, enjoy photographs of a typical Trancho dinner (above)…and of course, my father’s birthday cheesecake (below). And a cat or two. We didn’t eat them, though.

Dad's Birthday Cheesecake

Muriel, aka Mew Mew

Queen Callie Cat

Posted by callalillie at June 1, 2004 9:15 AM | Introspect , La Familia


ahhh, kitchen fun! how expensive! fun, fun, fun! i think the best part is picking stuff out. the buying, paying, construction...not really all that fun.

Posted by: tien at June 1, 2004 9:46 AM

Luckily (or not) the construction and cost is minor. If I really had my way and the funds to do it, I'd rip out my current cabinets and countertop and replace them with quality cabinetry...then get a new stove that doesn't have a dead bug stuck in the clock (from a prior tenant's residency...and I can't figure out how to get it out. It's gross).

Posted by: corie at June 1, 2004 10:09 AM

i dream of having space for an island. drool....

Posted by: dahl at June 1, 2004 10:54 AM

It will be a very small island...actually, maybe it's an inlet, as it will be attached to the wall and jutting out...

Posted by: corie at June 1, 2004 11:02 AM

a veritable peninsula

Posted by: bobtrancho at June 1, 2004 4:34 PM

an inlet it may be, but one could probably classify my whole kitchen as an inlet. tien can vouch for that one.

Posted by: dahl at June 2, 2004 8:42 AM

I know the type-- oddly, all of the apartments that I've had have always had a fairly reasonable kitchen...even if the kitchen was all there was to the apartment!

Posted by: corie at June 2, 2004 8:44 AM

what's smaller, an inlet or a cove? whichever it is, dahlia's got it. one might also call it the area that a door swings into. but it seems to work though.

Posted by: tien at June 2, 2004 11:17 AM

Hey, if you're a cook, it seldom makes a difference on your bounty-- Quinn's kitchen is evidence of that.

Posted by: corie at June 2, 2004 11:19 AM

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