Saturday, December 27, 2008

"Leftover Turkey Soup" Recipe

So after dinner was consumed and the ("Everyday!") dishes were in the dishwasher ("Thanks, Sharon!"), it was time to stow the leftovers...

I didn't have much energy at that point ("Thanks, Tryptophan!"), so I pretty much dumped all the side dishes back into their plastic containers, wrapped Mr. Turkey up in miles of aluminum foil, and shoved everything into the fridge...

That actually turned out to be a good idea since it's easier to strip the meat from a cold bird, than a warm slippery one...

"Yeah, I meant to do that!!!"
There wasn't much breast left over, but we did get a couple of extra meals out of it. Plenty of dark meat, as well as the wings and legs. I stripped off all of the usable meat and stuck it in a zip-lock baggie.

There was still plenty of not-so-usable meat on the carcass so I figured I'd make us a batch o' Turkey Soup.

Here's how I did it (And I gotta tellya - it was deeeeeeeee-lish! One of my best efforts to date!).

Unfortunately, I wouldn't make a very good "Recipe Writer" b/c I'm not good at keeping track of quantities/measurements, as a rule. Especially when it comes to homemade soup! I pretty much employ the "Dump it in and Taste It" approach. So you'll have to adapt it, accordingly!

Leftover Turkey Soup

Put the turkey carcass and skin in a big Dutch Oven (I really have no idea how big mine is - but it wasn't quite big enough! I had to break up the body to fit it in the pot!). Cover with water. Put it on the stove and let it heat to a light, rolling boil. Then turn it down to simmer.

In the meantime, hop on your computer and Google "Leftover Turkey Soup" to get an idea of what sort of ingredients you'll want to use. I found TONS of hits and the general jist is: Throw in every damned thing you can find!!!

For the initial boiling/stock creation I threw in:

Half a large red onion, coarsely chopped
Two large cloves of garlic - also coarsely chopped
Appx 3 Tablespoons fresh parsley leaves (shredded w/scissors)
Appx 1 Tbs fresh thyme (shredded)
Handful of baby carrots
2 Bay leaves
4-5 Chicken bouillon cubes
1 tsp celery salt
Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
Several shakes of Poultry Seasoning (I used Bell's Turkey Seasoning. The kind that comes in a little yellow box)

Let the whole thing simmer for 2-3 hours. You're supposed to cover it - but the liquid was too close to the top of the pot, in my case!

Cook it 'til all of the meat has fallen off the carcass. Then start scooping the bones out with a slotted spoon.

I set a couple of plates off to the side and started piling the turkey bits and bones on one plate - until I got the liquid down low enough that I could actually pour it into a different pot. Use a strainer to pour the liquid from one pot to another. Then dump the contents of the strainer onto the side plate.

Sit down and have a cocktail while you wait for the turkey bones and bits to cool off...

Next comes the messy part (which is why you'll be glad you had the cocktail!). Start separating bones from bits. Bones, fat, skin and bay leaf go to the trash... Bits go to the second plate. Bits include smidges of turkey meat and mushy-smushy veggies - basically anything edible!

Since I started this fairly late in the evening, I decided to stop after this. I poured the turkey stock into several plastic storage containers. I threw the turkey/veggie bits into the last half-container of stock and put everything into the fridge overnight...

Again - this was a Good Idea because after they were refrigerated, all the fat rose to the top and it was easy to scoop most of it off with a spoon and discard it...

"Yeah, I meant to do that!!!"

The rest of the stock was kinda gelatinous at this point - but that goes away once it gets re-heated...

I threw all of the stock (except for the half-container w/turkey-bits) back into the dutch oven and let it start heating up.

As for the 'bits,' I added a large fresh clove of garlic and I ran 'em through the blender/chopper to puree them before dumping them in with the broth. That was a very good idea and added a lot of "Oomph" to the flavor!

I let this simmer for awhile (maybe half an hour) and then started adding every-damned-thing I could find to the soup :-D

Chopped up some leftover turkey into spoon-sized pieces and threw it in
Added some more chopped onion (not so coarse, this time)
Threw in some more baby carrots
Chopped up some celery
Added more fresh parsley and thyme
Added about 1/2 cup of the spinach/artichoke dip
And a cup or so of gravy
Even threw in about 1/3 cup of the sweet potato casserole and mixed it in (that was an EXCELLENT addition - but I did need to add more salt to offset the sweetness).
Then a bag of frozen mixed veggies (peas, carrots, corn, beans)

Let it simmer away...

Hmmm... Now what?

I didn't have any rice - but I DID have Pasta Roni!!! I grabbed a box of Angel Hair Pasta w/Herbs. Broke up the pasta into thirds and tossed it in. I even threw in the "Herb Seasoning" packet.

At this point, the soup was starting to get a bit thick, so I added a couple of cans of Chicken Broth (one was Chicken w/Garlic - the other was just plain Chicken). Naturally I was taste-testing the flavor of the broth the whole way through...

Toward the end of cooking - probably about half-an-hour before I would declare it "Done" - I added about a cup of sliced, fresh, brown mushrooms and let them simmer in as well.

I gotta tellya - this was a DAMNED GOOD SOUP!

I can't tell you how many servings - but I can tell you it's a LOT! If we don't manage to polish it off tomorrow, I swear I'm gonna freeze the leftovers 'cuz it would be a crime to throw this away!

(BTW - I'm not normally one to "rave" about my own cooking! But I'll make an exception in this case!)

I think the main things that Made The Difference were:

1-Pureeing the turkey/veggie bits and adding 'em back in
2-Adding some leftover gravy
3-And the pureed sweet potatoes - Oh my Gawd! Deee-lish! One doesn't expect a hint of sweetness in soup (at least *I* don't!) - but that added just enough of a "zing" to make me go "WOW!"

So if you've got a turkey carcass sitting in your fridge right now - I suggest you make yourself a batch of Leftover Turkey Soup! You'll be glad you did!!!


Lessons Learned

Yeah, so the Bahston Mahket Heat 'N Eat Meal-Deal sounded like a totally cool idea, right?

(And I'm not complaining... I'm merely "Sharing my Observations!")

(Okay, maybe I AM complaining!!)


Turkey Banquet for 12 includes:
Spinach/Artichoke Dip + Crackers
11 lb Whole Turkey
Mashed Taters 'n Gravy
Veggie Stuffing
Cranberry Walnut Relish (tho I don't recall seeing any walnuts in it - come to think of it!)
Apple and Pumpkin Pie

I also added a couple of Sweet Potato Casseroles on the side (and BOY were they sweet!). They were kinda like mashed/pureed sweet potatoes with lots of brown sugar mixed in. Then they had mini-marshmallows and streudel-crumblies to sprinkle on top. Yes - *very* sweet! (But also *very* tasty!)

Total bill was appx $100 (after $10.00 off coupon) so, honestly, a pretty economical approach to take. Although I don't really think it would feed 12 (unless 6 were small children!). I'd say it would feed about 8-10 adults...

(BTW - They also had options for a Spiral Sliced Ham Banquet for 12 - or a Boneless Turkey Breast Banquet for 6)

So on Thanksgiving day, I'd perused their website and read thru the cooking instructions. They indicate that you should allow about 2 hours for heating/prep. Okay...

Price is right...

Work sounds minimal...

What the hell - Go for it!

So I order the meal online... Key in my credit card... Place Order.. M'kayFine...

I'm all set for our Low-Drag/Time-Saving Christmas Holiday Feast!

Well, except for the Time-Saving part... Ummm... I think not..!

First there's the 45 minute wait (standing in line, paying w/my credit card [again?!], then waiting-waiting-waiting) to pick-up the meal... When I placed the order online, I was prompted to "select" a pick-up time (1:45-2:00pm, Christmas eve was practically the ONLY time-slot that was open!). I arrived at 1:50pm - but didn't get out 'til after 2:30pm! To be fair, there were LOTS of ppl with the same idea and the kids at Boston Market were juggling just as fast as they could (And they even helped carry the stuff out to my truck)!

Then there's the realization that everything (except the turkey) is in plastic (yes, nuke-able) containers - which is fine, except that some of the stuff really needed to be oven-cooked. Or at least "finished" in the oven (gotta have a little crispy-ness to the stuffing and of course the marshmallows on the sweet p'taters need to be browned!)

Yeah, I s'pose I coulda dragged out some of my bakeware - but that went against the whole "Low-Drag" Concept!

So, "Oh boy!" A trip to the grocery store to pick up aluminum/disposable baking pans! On Christmas Eve!!! I can't even begin to describe THAT experience!!! (Hint: Wear protective gear!)

(The irony of THAT was - just a few weeks earlier - I'd gotten RID of a buttload of disposable aluminum baking pans during the Kitchen Purge!!!) (:::sigh:::)

* * * * *
I spent Christmas morning setting up the tables and whatnot.

So I asked Cindy to call me when they left the house - that'd give me 45-60 minutes' lead-time.

According to the destructions, the turkey should take 90 minutes to heat in a 350° oven - and heat it to an internal temp of 140° (140°??? Double-check that. Yup, 140°) Well, the turkey's in a roasting bag, and it's already browned, so I'm figuring we must be just re-heating it - rather than "cooking" it.

Okay... I stick a thermometer in the thigh just the same - and wait for the oven to pre-heat...

I put the turkey (which came in a grossly undersized aluminum roasting pan!) on a cookie sheet and put him in the oven. Then set out the hors d'oeuvres (veggie tray, cheese/crackers, spinach dip...). Then I sat down and try to figure out the logistics of getting everything heated and ready to serve at the same time while I waited for everyone to arrive

One oven. One nuker. Multiple side-dishes with different cooking times/requirements. Do I nuke the spuds first and hope they hold the heat? Can I squeeze the stuffing and sweet potatoes in the oven on the rack under the turkey? (Answer: "No!") Which saucepan should I use for the gravy and should I heat up both tubs o' gravy, or only one?

Basically, at this point, it was kinda like actually-cooking a complete Turkey Meal!!!

And what's that beeping? (about 35 minutes into it). It's the digital thermometer. Evidently the turkey is already at 140°! Huh?!! What?!! It was supposed to roast for 90 minutes!!

So now I'm scrambling like a madman! Take the turkey out of the oven and set him on a cutting board to "rest." Start nuking the sweet potatoes and stuffing (in their plastic containers), so they'll get warm then transfer 'em to metal containers so I can get the crispy-toasty part taken care of. Throw the spuds in the nuker and dump a tub of gravy in a saucepan. Sprout a few extra arms and dance on one leg while somehow managing to get EVERYTHING ready to serve at once!

("Ohhhh yeah... THIS is the suckiest part of cooking! It's not the prep-work! It's the juggling to get it all done at the same time!!! Duuuuhhhhh!!!!")

Okay, everything's *just* about ready, and the turkey should be well-rested... I open the bag and get ready to transfer him to the serving platter. When I reach in to remove the bird from the bag, I notice the turkey really isn't all that hot.


And when I lift the bird out of the bag, I notice a rather unpleasant pinkish tinge in the drippings...


Stick the thermometer back in his thigh and find that he's barely 100°.

"Ohhhh sh*****t!!!"

Thankfully, I hadn't announced that dinner was ready. And everybody was off socializing in the den, so they were pretty-much oblivious to the antics in the kitchen. Everyone except Sharon, of course. She was sitting at the kitchen table looking incredulous and opined "I guess this isn't so simple after all - is it?"

Well, long story short: I backed up a few steps and put the bird back in the oven for another hour - and re-set the thermometer alarm to go off at 160° (THAT worked much better!). Slapped some foil on top of the side-dishes and set 'em on top of the stove to keep warm.

After about a half an hour, Rog starts circling around the kitchen (rather vulture-like, in retrospect! ;-) and announcing "I'm hungry. When's all of this supposed to be ready?" I caught Sharon smiling as I resisted the urge to strangle him. Instead, I gently guided him over to the Appetizer Trays......

* * * * *
All Told: It took almost as long as cooking a full-blown turkey dinner would have taken! But it *was* very delicious.

It definitely did taste home-made - as opposed to tasting like it came from Boston Market (Not that Boston Market food tastes "bad" - it just has a "Boston Market" flavor to it). So the turkey tasted home-made and was quite delicious. There was PLENTY of food to go around and yes, we do have leftovers. But not an excessive amount.

I actually am very pleased with how everything came out so, truly, this isn't a B*tch-Fest. I just wanted to "Share my Experience" and "Opinion" that "Heat 'N Serve" Holiday Banquet Meals are NOT as simple as they sound!!!

Would I do it again? Yeah, probably.

Won't be so bad next time - since I know what to expect! :-)

Friday, December 26, 2008

'Twas a Merry One...

Had the whole Famn Damily over - and it was good...

Sharon even made an appearance - so that was even better!

But it occurred to me that we really only have "seating" for 4. Maybe 5 can squeeze around our table but 6?! No way!
Well, I was inspired by the "12 Days of Redneck Christmas" that we'd watched the previous night on CMT. I did the only sensible thing - I dragged lawn furniture into the living room, threw a linen tablecloth on it and called it "Done!"

With the fancy chargers and candles and crystal - it looked just fine (well, except there was no disguising the fact that we were sitting on plastic lawn chairs!). Nah - the Family got to sit at the "nice" table and Rog and I (still sniffling a bit from last week's cold) took the "kids table!"

Dinner was delicious - TONS of food! And a Grand Time Was Had By All...

As for the Time-Saving Aspects of the Boston Market "Heat 'N Serve" Meal... Welllll... Let's just say there were Lessons Learned - and I'll share them at another time! :-)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

When I grow up...

I wanna be *just* like Helen!

Yep, I wanna be a Cantankerous Old Biddy! Can't wait!!!

I stumbled onto her blog (link, from a link, from a link of one of my "Regular Blogs").

Check-it-out: If the shoe fits

Funny... Yet insightful and aptly serious at the same time. Seems this blog is the Latest Sensation that's Sweeping the Nation.

I've read quite a few posts and I love it enough that I'm going to feature it on the list of "Blogs I Like."

I *wish* I could write like Helen. Actually, I can, but I tend to play it a lot more "Tame" than that in the blogosphere (Don't ask me why!!!). I guess I just prefer to save my Political Rants for hurling invectives at the TeeVee whenever Bushie-Boy's Smarmy Face appears on the news... (Well, except for the shoe-throwing incident. I damn near snorted margarita out my nose from laughter when we caught THAT on the news!)

* * * * *
But, reading her stuff makes me think that I really *do* have to work on my Story-Telling Skills (which, incidentally, I *do* possess!) and maybe kick this thing up a notch...

We'll see..............................

Sunday, December 14, 2008

...Still putting it back together

But it's slow-going...

The slider basket shelf thingies (for the narrow cabinet) didn't arrive, as expected - so I'm still "down" one cabinet. And Rog doesn't want to install the under-sink sliders 'til after Christmas (so technically I'm down TWO cabinets - but the under-sink cabinet was never very useful in the first place!).

I've ordered some Rubbermaid Drawer Organizers and a Plastic Baggie/Foil Rack thingie that mounts to the back of a cabinet door (Another item for the "Honey-Do" List!).

And I'm still waiting for the new Toaster-Oven...

So things are still a bit of a shambles. The kitchen looks great - but the garage is still pretty treacherous! (Although I did manage to clear off the Manly Workbench and Not-So-Manly Washer/Drier)

(Now if the Laundry-Faeries would just make an appearance!!!).

I made a Storage Locker run on Friday and offloaded a fair amount of sh*t (Boy is THAT getting disorganized! That's another project all by itself - and NOT one that I'm looking forward to!!!). And I'm starting a new Goodwill Pile.

Good thing about tackling this whole Kitchen Re-shuffle at this time of year is that there are tons of "Food Drives" going on. They had some big barrels set-up at the office for donations so I took advantage of 'em. That worked out well b/c I found tons of stuff that we're NEVER gonna eat (and no, it wasn't "expired" - the expired stuff got tossed!). So I got rid of lots of canned and dry goods.

(Hmmm... Maybe I can let go of some Pasta-Roni and BBQ Sauce, too???)

* * * * *
In Other News: The Living Room got cleared this past week, so I was able to shift the furniture and make room for a Christmas Tree (Yay!). Tree is "up!" (Just finished that, mere moments ago). We went for a smaller tree than usual this year (6' Douglas Fir). It actually works out better to have a smaller tree - but I've got waaaaay more ornaments than the tree can support! So I've stuck with a mostly-tropical theme this year. Goes well with the new Living Room :-)

Yard decorations went up a couple of weeks ago - we stuck with Blow-Up "Santa-on-a-Harley" out front (Last year, it was "Tropical Santa" - but my poor mini-palapa kept blowing into the neighbor's yard!).

I think, pretty-much, we are READY for the Holly-Daze!

Life is still Good...................

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Putting it all back together!

Okay, I'm starting to reclaim my living room so that - maybe, just maybe - we can put up a Christmas Tree!

Putting stuff back is proving to be even *more* challenging than I'd originally anticipated. I'm finding it's a lot like when you dig a hole in the yard: You can NEVER fit ALL the dirt back in it!!!

HA! That's probably not a very good analogy, is it?!!

When I first started putting stuff away, I started by tackling the spices /flavorings/baking-materials (flour, sugar, baking powder, yada-yada). I emptied one box and got it all loaded back into the designated cabinet. I stood back and admired my handiwork and thought to myself "Wow! Painting the insides of the cabinets was a GREAT idea! It looks like I've got TONS of space!!! It doesn't look 'crammed' at all!!!"

Well, it turned out I still had one more FULL box of spices/flavorings/baking/cooking-materials to stuff back in there! (And I *do* mean "stuff!") :::sigh:::


Actually, I think we "netted" slightly less storage space, than before. The Lazy Susans - while EXTREMELY convenient - definitely do not offer as much "space" as the plain ol' shelves did. So all of my bakeware (that required a complete purge of the lower cabinets, and crawling into the far back corner - on my hands-and-knees - in order to access it!), needed to find a new home...

"Prioritize By Need!"

I really don't "bake" all that often - to tellya the truth. But I *do* bake often enough that I do want the stuff "here" - not boxed-up in storage. So the Roaster-stuff and Baking Pans and whatnot now live over the fridge. Yeah, it'll be a PITA to get to 'em - but no worse than purging and crawling (Boy, that sounds downright NASTY doesn't it?!). And the oven is still acting as "auxiliary storage" for the cookie sheet, a pie pan, and my wok. That's actually not too bad...

I still need to re-jigger things a bit, but at least the majority of stuff *is* put away...

Unfortunately, we'll still be relying heavily on the "pantry" in the garage (which is now a complete SHAMBLES!!! AAACK!!!).

One thing that I definitely DO like is the pull-out drawer thingie inside the lower cabinet - next to the stove. It's on full-glides - that pull out ALL the way - and it's pretty heavy-duty. I was able to store ALL of my "frequently-used electrics" on that. Crock-pot, immersion blender, hand-mixer, coffee-grinder, contact-grill... I was even able to stash some mixing bowls in there. Freaking Awesome!!! LOVE IT!

And I ordered some pull-out baskets that will go under the sink. Unfortunately, it looks like the "trap" hangs a little low in there, so we may have to dremel the "back-wall" of the slider-basket so it's short enough to clear it. But it'll be nice to have fairly easy-access to all the cleaning crap (Rog gets to install that this weekend).

We're still waiting for the chrome slider-pull-outs for the narrow cabinet next to the sink (hopefully they'll be here Friday?). So all the plastic bags, foil, wax-paper stuff is still waiting for a home...

Oh, and I ordered a new "Space-Saver" under-cabinet-mount Toaster-Oven. So that should be arriving soon, as well.........

Yep - it's all coming together now! Yayyyy!

So next weekend, we'll get the tree set-up and I think we're Good-To-Go for the Holly-Daze! Christmas Dinner (à la Bah-ston Mah-ket!) will be here this year!
Life Is Gooooood!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Day #5: No More Brady-Bunch Kitchen!!!!

I present to you our "New and Improved" Kitchen!!!

The Sink Area - "Before and After:"
I just *had* to throw in the "Before and After Shot!" Ya gotta have the "Drama!" Check out my earlier blog post for more "Befores."

Sink and Stove Area:
Stove and Fridge Zone:
And detail-shot of new Crown Molding:

The molding actually *does* match the cabinets. I think it's just the angle of the shot that makes the molding look darker. I *really* like the molding! "It's Clee-Assy!"

(And yes, I know the ceiling needs to be repainted - that's an old stain from before we replaced our leaky roof! ;-)

* * * * *

All told, the job took a bit longer than anticipated (five business days - as opposed to three). But then again, it *was* three weeks' ahead of schedule! (Okay, maybe it ended up being two weeks)
("Under-commit and Over-deliver" is a tactic I use, myself, at work!) (It's served me well!)

Anyway - it's all done except for one of the under-cabinet-pull-out thingies. We'd wanted to replace the narrow lower-cabinet (next to the sink) with one that would pull straight-out with built-in-shelves. Turned out that wouldn't work, so we're getting baskets on sliders instead. They should be installed on Friday

All-told. I'm very satisfied with the work. So - if you're in the SanFran Bay Area - I definitely *would* highly recommend Kitchen Tune-Up in Fremont (No, I get NOTHING for the recommendation! I'm just a legitimately happy customer!).

They didn't try to up-sell a bunch of crap we didn't need/didn't want/couldn't afford; No "High-Pressure Sales BS" ("Sign TODAY for the Yaya Bonus"); They answered questions honestly and in a timely manner; They sold us What-We-Wanted for a Price-We-Could-Afford; They cleaned up, every day - and minimized the chaos in the house (Most of the chaos was self-induced!!!).

BTW - They would have "re-faced" without requiring a complete "purge" of the cabinets. But I wanted the interiors painted white (something I would highly recommend if you have soul-sucking dark cabinets like we did!), so the "purge" was necessary (and ultimately a Good Thing - when you consider how much "expired" stuff I found - and had to dispose of!!!)

What was amazing was: I'd planned on taking half-vacation-days through "the ordeal" (and I'd blocked three "No-Meeting" days for the scheduled duration), but it turned out I didn't have to! I was still able to work on my work-stuff alongside the workers who were refacing the kitchen. Most of the work was pretty quiet (Okay, there were a couple of days where the pneumatic nailer got to be a bit much!). But they were also very flexible. When their work ran-over (into Monday-Tuesday of this week), there were several times where I had Client Conference Calls scheduled... I simply asked them if they could avoid using the nail-gun for those specified hours - and they worked with me on it! All-told, it was about as painless as it could be!!!

My final "plug" for Kitchen Tune-Up Fremont: They Did What They Said They'd Do - When They Said They'd Do It! (Gee, what a concept!). And Isaac, the owner, is just an All-Around Nice Guy!

It seems almost weird that what should be considered "Basic Common Sense in Business" strikes me as being such a rarity these days!!! (It really does - particularly after all the pure bullsh*t I went through while I was gathering bids!!!).

Bottom Line: I am a Happy Camper!

Now, if somehow all of this crap would find it's way back into the cupboards.................


(There's just no pleasing me!!!)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Day #3 - Not *quite* done yet!

...But definitely getting there!

It occured to me that my "Living Room" shot from the other day didn't truly capture the Pure Pandemonium we are enduring right now. So let's try that again, shall we?

Honestly, it's getting to where *I'm* feeling frazzled - and I am normally pretty "flexible" where this kinda stuff is concerned! I am READY for this to be done already!!!

But, alas, it's not!

WorkBee-V showed up again bright-n-early this morning, and immediately got started with ripping out the bottom of the under-sink cabinet. It looked pretty nasty down there, but it wasn't wet or rotted (but it definitely HAD been extremely wet at some point!). Anyway, we now have a shiny new base down there (and yes, they're going to paint the rest of the interior white).

Here's a "during the destruction" shot:

By the end of the day, WorkerBee-V had "faced" everything. The doors and drawer-fronts aren't up yet, and they need to paint the "inside edges" of the cabinets (I took a door to Home Depot and got a quart of "color-match" paint). They'll also paint the undersides of the cabinets to match...

Here are some more pics of "End-Of-The-Day."

Upper-Near-The-Sink Cabinets:

Lower-Near-The-Sink Cabinet (and pretty white base!):

One more shot "most of the kitchen" at the end of the day.

It's already about a bazillion times brighter in here!!!

I was hoping I could spend the weekend re-stocking the cabinets and reclaiming my living room. But since I've got shelf liners I want to put down (NOT contact paper! Rubbery-Grip stuff), and since there's more painting to be done (and I don't want the liners painted!), I think it's best that I just buck-up and deal with the mess for a few more days....... :::sigh:::

Monday, they come back and finish the job - Yayyy!!! (I am sooooo ready!)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Day #2 - Not much has changed...

Not even worthy of add'l pics, I'm afraid!

WorkerBee "V" showed up today and put a second coat of paint on the cabinet interiors - so they're much brighter now! (Of course, photographically, they'd look about the same as yesterday's pics!)

He also installed the drawers (no drawer-fronts - yet). They're on FULL glides so they open ALL the way and you don't have to wrestle with 'em!!!

The actual re-facing materials were on a truck, all-day, en-route to San Ho-zay. They finally arrived around 4:30 this afternoon, but that was long-after WorkerBee-V had departed.

He should be here bright-and-early tomorrow morning and I have a sneaking suspicion that the job will be COMPLETE before he leaves - Yayyyy!!!

Better still - all of my "stuff" should arrive tomorrow, as well. So I can put the "grippy" (but non-sticky) shelf-liners down and start re-filling the cupboards this weekend! I also received my Mini-Lazy-Susans (for the "back" of the upper cabinets). I think I'll also receive my "under-sink" shelves that I'll have Rog install (after WBV replaces the Sink-Cabinet Base).

So far, I gotta say, I'm very pleased with my decision to go with Kitchen Tune-Up Fremont. The whole ordeal has been surprisingly painless! And amazingly non-disruptive. I didn't even have to move my "office" into Rog's territory (:::whew::: No Masking Tape Needed!) and I've been been able to keep working "full" days (although I do dash outside to the backyard whenever my work-cell rings).

I definitely plan to send 'em an unsolicited Letter-Of-Recommendation to top it all off!

Yep - I'm a very Happy Camper, so far................

Stay tuned! Hopefully, tomorrow, I can post some Bona-Fide "AFTER" shots!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Day #1 - So far, So Good!

So Worker-Bee "V" showed up promptly @ 9:00am! That's a *very* good sign, IMHO!

Here are some random shots of "progress" taken throughout the day...

Doors removed most speedily:

Cabinet base interior painted:

Old Water-Damage under the sink (Bottom will be replaced and interior will be painted):

And 'lest you think this was all a "Walk-In-The-Park" - here's a shot of my Living Room AFTER the "Final" kitchen purge!!!
Here is our new Lazy Susan:

And more End-Of-Day Shots:

And another:

So far, I'm *very* pleased with the progress!!! Yes, there's still more painting to be done and No, we still haven't received the Cabinet Material - but it's still progressing quite nicely!!!
More to come... Film At Eleven..! =-)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tomorrow's the Big Day!

The Kitchen Refacers are supposed to arrive, tomorrow morning, to start painting the cabinet interiors... And - better still - IF the "materials" have arrived - they'll start the whole re-facing job as well!


All cabinets are all 100% completely EMPTY!

Can't say the same for the living room and garage, however! (Can you say "War Zone?!!").

Yeah, I heard a fair amt of b*tching from the spousal-unit this weekend when he couldn't find stuff... I'd pretty much emptied EVERYTHING - but reserved a couple of coffee-mugs, 4 drinking glasses, a buttload of paper-plates and plastic-cups, and the "most-used" items (couple of pans, crock-pot, couple cans of soup, plastic baggies/twist-ties, and pancake syrup) and shoved them all into two cabinets (one upper and one lower - next to the sink)...

"Do we have any cereal?"

"Nope. There was one box with 1/4" of crumbs in the bottom. I tossed it!"

GrumbleGrumbleGrumble - as he opens the freezer and pulls out some Eggo waffles...

"Where's the toaster oven?"

"In the living room, next to the piano." (Where else WOULD it be?!!) (J/K!)

He grabs the toaster oven, brings it to the counter and plugs it in...

"Where's the syrup?"

"In the upper cabinet, next to the sink."

He proceeds to open EVERY cabinet *except* the upper-one, next to the sink...

"I can't find a #$%& thing!!!"


He found it.

"Where's the butter?!!"

:::rolling eyes:::

"In the fridge." (Mind you, I haven't touched the fridge - other than my normal weekly ritual of "eradicating the science projects.")

Engineers HATE disarray!!!

I'm not overly fond of it - but I can adapt....

Then again, Roger's never been what you'd call much-of-a "Morning Person" so I s'pose this is to be expected! Best not to f**k with his morning routine (I learned THAT early-on!!! And yes, COFFEE is still readily accessible!)

Anyway - he's out of town right now - so he doesn't have to deal with the Final Stages of the "Kitchen-Purge Project!"

Unfortunately, he'll be home tomorrow - AFTER the work has begun (and certainly WELL-before it'll be complete!).

I can hardly WAIT for his reaction! (Methinks it'll be a "Take-Out" week!!!)

Add-to-that: The fact that I'll be working half-days from home - while all of this is going on (I'm taking half-vacation days) - and "My Office" is Smack-Dab in the middle of the kitchen! He did leave me his Extra-Long Network cable - which is *just* long enough to reach, ummm, HIS desk in the bedroom! This means that I'll be moving the work laptop into *his* territory!!! And yes, this means I'll probably have to :::gasp::: MOVE some of his stuff in order to be able to work.

This is gonna be interesting!!!

I think, maybe, I'll put masking tape down on his desk to outline his "stuff" before I move it - so I can make absolutely CERTAIN that I return it to it's original spot (I wish I was kidding about this! I'm NOT!!!) (He freaks out every time Aida, our maid, comes - b/c she MOVES his mouse and keyboard! I sh*t you not!!!) (Love him dearly - but he's definitely got his "quirks!") (and Gawd-Knows, I *don't!!!*).

The good news - particularly since I'm only working half-days - is that I'll be able to "clear-out" of his space well-before he comes home!

The more I think about it - the more I like the masking-tape idea... Must dash to the garage and make sure we've got a roll!



Back! Whew! Found it!!!

Okay, so I'll outline his monitor-base, keyboard, and mouse-location and HOPE I can make enough space for my laptop. Thankfully, his printer is identical to mine so it's conceivable that I'll even be able to print stuff...

Anyhoooo... Pandemonium OFFICIALLY begins tomorrow. I've got quite a few "Before" pictures. Hell, I oughtta post 'em now (kindly excuse the mess - I had a bunch of crap piled on the countertops when I took 'em!).

I now present to you our indescribably UGLY, Vintage-1973 kitchen... Cue the 1970's porno music, please (Right-click and "Open in New Window" so as not to navigate away from my blog).

...BTW - I'm partial to the "Debbie Does Dallas" theme (but choose whatever best-suits *your* vision of the '70s Vibe)!

(And no, there's no real porn there - just music!)

...Take your time - I'll wait!!

Okay, now where were we? Oh yeah, Our Kitchen! About the only thing missing is Avocado-Green Appliances!

Kinda blurry shot of the dishwasher/sink area:
To the right of the sink... The new(er) range and hood:
And lastly, to the right of the range, the Fridge Zone:
My desk is in the foreground, on the right. And yes, it is a FEMA-Certified Disaster Area (but *I* know where everything is!!!).

Anyhoooo... Those are the "Before" shots. Tomorrow, I'll start snapping some "Durings" and - with any luck - by Friday I'll be able to post some "Afters!"

I'm pretty damned excited!!!

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