Take-home food and early preparation

Kitchen-less living is annoying, but the finished product is definitely worth it

In 2010 our family moved from Ohio to Milwaukee because Cleveland winters just weren’t cold enough. Kidding aside, my husband’s job flew us in for a visit on a cold February weekend to start house hunting.

We won a bidding war on a “partially flipped” house in Bayside and learned that “partially flipped” meant a fresh coat of paint on the walls and cabinets and a new refrigerator. But the dishwasher, tiny oven and electric cooktop had all seen better days.

Despite the downfalls, I knew could tolerate the kitchen for at least a few years.

Too many cooks

A few years turned into 12. In 2019 our youngest son left for college and we officially became empty nesters, temporarily. In 2020, our nest re-filled and like most moms of young adults, I hated the reason the kids were home, but relished family dinners.

We all cook, but when more than one hangry Kazan tried to use the kitchen at the same time, things got tense.

The kitchen before.

Too much stuff

Don’t get me started on storage. Costco is my happy place, and I struggled to find room in a tiny pantry with its black hole of unusually deep shelves. The solution? A backstock of non-perishables lined the shelves of our downstairs bathroom closet. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked.

I was motivated to find practical solutions for these problems, and aesthetics were secondary. But loose doors and peeling paint plagued the cabinets and cracked tiles made even a freshly mopped floor look dirty.