If you have lived through a remodel project, you know the excitement, mess, and memories it creates. Transitioning our home into the new Bee-stro is no different.
As I type this, the 2 bays of the garage that have been converted into the new commercial kitchen space is almost complete. We are just awaiting the hood vent to be delivered and installed and we are awaiting our health department inspection so we can start cooking for you again. With us being at this point in the commercial space, it is time for us to focus on the “show” kitchen, which has been our home kitchen since we built the house in 2003.
It doesn’t feel right to not reflect and give homage to this kitchen that has served our family so well. Cindy Miller helped us come up with the design for the home kitchen. As we were laying it out, our friend, Dave, suggested we have a walkway through the kitchen creating a good flow and essentially 2 islands. It was a genius suggestion! We used that walk way multiple times a day. When we originally hung the drywall on the kitchen ceiling, it was a team of friends who came over one Saturday and hung most of the drywall in that area along with the cathedral ceiling in what will now be the main dining area. I always think of that day and those friends when I pause and look at the ceiling.
As we have been taking out the cabinets, we found an old check from 2007 that was never cashed because it fell between the cabinet and the wall (Luckily, it was only for $20.) We found the birthday table runner my mom, Jo Ann Pell, made for us. It had fallen back behind a cabinet drawer. We found a child’s handwritten note with a heart and the words “I Love You” written on it. We are assuming it was from one of our girls, but the handwriting doesn’t look like either one of theirs unless it was when they were practicing good penmanship. (That little note may get framed.)
There’s lots of items that needed to find new homes. For instance, lots of Pampered Chef from the time I sold Pampered Chef prior to Sophie being born. It made me feel good that our girls wanted the Pampered Chef stoneware. It’s always nice when your offspring wants something that carries some sentiment for you. Both girls wanted some of our flatware. We had enough flatware for 24 people, and we just didn’t need that much in our new personal kitchenette in the residence. Because we like a nice hefty utensil when eating, our flatware, although simple and cheap (we purchased it by the piece at an Oneida outlet store), it is heavy. The girls each wanted a set for their own homes. That made me happy.
I have no idea how many meals I cooked in this family kitchen or how many folks sat at our table with us. We have had dignitaries including many State officials and those who were without homes. We have had folks who have tried to sell us something, and we have had folks to whom we were giving. We have had robust conversations talking about the oft forbid topics of politics and religion. We have worked countless puzzles on our table including one that took over 2 weeks, 14 people, and a lamp with a magnifying glass to complete. We have done schoolwork and art projects at this table. We have had folks that shaped us in more ways than we can fathom many of them have since passed on, but their imprint remains.
My Dad was one who would grace our table on a regular basis. He always told me I never had anything less than a 5-gallon pan to cook in because I always cooked too much food. If you ate at our table, you almost always took home some food for later. Usually, when we would have folks over for dinner, they would insist on helping with the dishes. I have fond memories of my aunts working together washing and drying the dishes and having me or the girls put them away because we knew where they went. Our current Lt. Governor, Suzanne Crouch, and former U.S. Congressman, Marlin Stutzman, have even washed dishes at our sink after sharing a meal at our table.
Kitchens have a funny way of bringing folks together and making memories. We’re looking forward to the new memories that will be made in this newly remodeled space and the folks with whom we will get to share a meal, our home, and time. We promise, you won’t need to do the dishes.