Archive for May, 2009

Making the old new again.

May 31, 2009

There are a lot of restoration sites out there.  And a lot of baking blogs.  But I haven’t found one that combines both my passions- historical houses and historical recipes.

My husband and I bought our first (and hopefully, only) home- a 142 year-old Gothic Revival parsonage in August of 2008.  Since then, we have devoted hours and hours, and thousands and thousands, to making it look as though it was truly built in 1866- not 1986.  It is a charming house but it was (and still is, to some extent) hidden beneath a sea of acid green shag carpeting, green palm-tree wallpaper, busy harvest-color vinyl flooring, fake wood paneling, and pepto-bismol pink paint.

Our biggest project to date, which we are currently undertaking, is our kitchen.  As a home baker, the kitchen was of extreme importance to me.  The previous kitchen design included red and blue vinyl flooring, vinyl-fronted particle board cabinets in a lovely shade of beige with (again) vinyl wood grain panels, laminate wood countertops, an atrocious vinyl (!) and particle board ceiling fan with big baubles, and a paint/wallpaper scheme of country blue and beige.  As for appliances, we were outfitted with a decades-old GE oven, which worked surprisingly well and came with a free (relatively speaking, since we bought everything in the house) casserole pan inside.  The fridge, a Kenmore, was the kind of fridge the husband and I had grown accustomed to in our renting years- nothing special, but it worked. The dishwasher, on the other hand, was more hassle than it was worth- it was a rolling model that hooked to the sink (kind of, since the seal was pretty loose).

We knew, when we bought the house, that the kitchen couldn’t really be much uglier.  But it was functional.  It had a lot of storage (although the drawers had long since gone off their tracks, and all of the upper cabinets could only be accessed with a ladder), and the room is actually quite large.  The size of the kitchen, along with the cistern and old stove in the basement, lead us to believe that the kitchen as we know it was likely not a kitchen at all in the early days of our house.

Since the husband I are not about to trek down to the scary basement to do our cooking and baking these days, we decided to renovate the kitchen to make a functional space with modern amenities that looks appropriate in our old house.

This is where the Victorian Kitchen begins- by making the old new again.

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