Goodbye Kitchen!


After 3 years of planning, designing, re-designing and procrastinating, we’ve finally started our kitchen remodel. I’ve been both looking forward to and dreading the start date – three weeks without a kitchen is traumatic. Well, I should say estimated three weeks. Which probably means closer to 3 months in home remodel timeline.

I spent all weekend cleaning out the cabinets and boxing/trashing the contents. Those sneaky cabinets and pantry can certainly hold a lot of secrets. Like 6 year old jar of plum sauce. A can of Spam that has no expiration date (7 years ago, I had a hankering for Spam Fried Rice) and all the tops to plastic containers that I thought I had lost.

In the juggle of emptying out my spice and sauce cabinet, and sorting through keep/not keep (I have 5 bottles of soy sauce!), I accidentally knocked over the worst possible thing to knock over in the kitchen.


What’s the rule of fish sauce???


Because if the bottle breaks, your house will reek of rotted sardines for weeks.

Luckily, the fish sauce’s fall was caught by the dog bowl. Wow. Good save.


Side note – We were at Food Blog Forum Asheville last week (I’ll recap with photos soon, but in meantime, come read Diane/Todd’s recap) and asked Diane what her favorite fish sauce was. Red Boat was her answer.

My stores only carry Squid brand (too salty) and Three Crabs (love it), so I ordered from Amazon (yay Amazon!) Haven’t had a chance to try it yet, though if that dog bowl wasn’t there, I could have told you exactly what it smelled like.


Scott spent all day yesterday removing the appliances, counters and cabinets. The appliances went to a friend who desperately needed a new set.

The cabinets were really nice, made of solid wood and still was very good condition. I posted on Craigslist a photo of the cabinets and offered it for free if anyone wanted to come pick them up.

Within SECONDS of hitting “submit” on Craiglist, I was inundated with offers to take the cabinets. Apparently, people in my town are all in need of a kitchen remodel.

In the end, I gave the cabinets away to a woman whose husband passed away before he could finish the kitchen remodel. They were halfway done, cabinets were removed when he died. She’s been living with a half-kitchen and no cabinets since then.

I forgot to warn her that those cabinets like to hide stuff like lids and Spam.

Oh, and I found out exactly where the dogs like to hide dog food that they don’t like. There’s a brand of kibbles that Lainey, Coco and Rocco don’t particularly care for. I bought it because it was on sale. It rhymes with “urina.”  (With three big dogs, designer dog food gets expensive, so sometimes we just get what’s on sale)

Anyways, when we slid out the dishwasher and the range, we found hundreds of kibbles. Well, no wonder why we thought we heard mice in the kitchen a few weeks ago.

Last night was our first night without a kitchen. I created a makeshift food prep station in our dining room, lit the outdoor BBQ grill and pulled out a bottle of fancy wine to celebrate Day 1.

Problem was….somewhere in this mess:


was my wine opener and wine glasses.


Ah, what was I thinking, packing the essentials to life????

All these methods to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew?  Too dangerous or too fussy. I mean, really. a bicycle pump? Or smacking a wine bottle against the wall with a book in between?

My Herradura tequila requires no corkscrew.

So here’s the kitchen as of last night. Today, Scott is working on tearing down the soffets that are hanging off the wall and down from ceiling. Then the tile gets taken up.


susanserraThe lovely Susan Serra is designing the kitchen for us, complete with KitchenAid appliances, KraftMaid cabinets, Dekton counters and a ‘family entertaining’ style that makes the kitchen more like an extension of our family room.

We haven’t picked out flooring or wall color yet. I’m toying with Susan’s idea of faint photo mural on one wall of bamboo. I think it would look neat. I could see how awesome that would look in the kitchen. Susan used Customized Walls to turn a photo she took at Martha’s Vineyard into a photographic wall mural – click through to the last couple of photos of this kitchen she designed.

What do you think? I’m not sure I even have a photograph of bamboo forest – but I was thinking something green, lush and peaceful, like this.


Did not load Widget Area 5

Comments 29

  1. FrannyS.

    Congratulations on remodel. In your very first picture of your post, the containers for you flour and other dry goods, where did your find yours. I have see them other places and in homes but can not find them. If you can point me in the right direction or just give me a name, I would greatly appreciate it.

  2. Connie

    Oh, I can’t wait to see how it all turns out! KraftMaid cabinets are lovely. How will you deal with meals during the remodel? We had the toaster oven and microwave. There was a lot of eating out, cold meals of sandwiches and salads and convenience foods (blech!). Best wishes on your remodeling process!!

    1. SteamyKitchen

      Hi Connie – Oh I have no idea how we’ll deal with meals. I’m hoping that a magical food truck will appear at my home every night.


  3. Carrie from Everything Fabric

    My husband is going to read this. I want him to see the part about 5 bottles of Soy! He thinks I’m the only one multiples happen too! I would go bananas without a kitchen…but hang on, does that mean we would get to eat out and no cooking for me! Can’t wait to see the end result!!

  4. Jill

    Jaden, Wow what an undertaking! I love your blog, when you write, you are real & I feel like I’m sitting having a conversation with you. I can relate to the doggie thing too. I’m very happy that you shared what was useable of your old kitchen with others, nothing irks me more on the designer shows breaking & destroying things, someone else would be able to use and be glad to have. KUDOS to you & your family. The designer you chose seems to have a real passion for what she does & love the Martha Vineyard Kitchen she designed. I would of never thought of something styled like that, I thought I was more a traditionalist, but love her kitchen & know your new space will be wonderful!!

  5. Sophie Lau

    Huge congrats on the new kitchen to come! Itching to see it and looking forward to the new tasty creations from it. When’s the new cookbook coming out? Your last two are have fallen apart from constant use 😊

  6. Gam Kau

    Good luck with the renovation – it’ll be worth it! LOVE the idea of a photographic wall mural. Brings a bit of nature inside and easy to remove should you tire of it. 🙂

  7. Jenni

    I can’t wait to see it finished! What an undertaking but it will be so worth it in the end. Let me know if you need to borrow my wine opener and glasses. We will celebrate! Miss you!!

  8. Dee

    Oh how exciting and scary! LOL.

    Do you guys have your own “must have” list for the new kitchen?

    Good luck to you, your family, and the crew; hope everyone survive the experience. Can’t wait to see your new masterpiece!

  9. Kelli Culpepper

    Hi Jaden, it’s such a small internet world. We bought a lovely OLD house downtown and have just started in the renov process. I think a few walls might come down tomorrow but it IS college football day so it’s iffy and it’s very hot here so might just have to wait…

    Susan has been my favorite kitchen designer since 2007 – I remember the day like it was yesterday – BHG – don’t remember the month, guessing fall. Anyway, I still adore that kitchen and weave in and out of her website often.

    I’ve lit up Houzz and Pinterest like no tomorrow and I’m pretty certain we’re going to end up with a working wall: fridge, ovens, steam oven, and microwave which I must have done a search for and your blog popped up. I was going through my saved pictures yesterday and I saw your pic again. I love the working wall Susan designed for you, especially the open shelves.

    Good luck with no kitchen for awhile. We bought a 3 burner camp grill for tailgating which I figure will be a lifesaver – that and the BGE when our time comes – won’t be for awhile. I want to do the rest of the house first then the kitchen. I know hubby will never deny me the kitchen of my dreams but he certainly will deny everything else, LOL, so we’ll just do everything else first.

    So eager to see how your kitchen turns out. I do love the design. Best of luck!! Kelli

    1. SteamyKitchen

      Ah, great idea to get a 3 burner camp grill! Will head to sports store to find it this weekend.

      Our BGE has found a new home! I traded my brother our BGE for his BMW – we drove our station wagon loaded with the BGE, met halfway with my brother who lives in Kansas. We swapped cars. Don’t tell him, but I think I’m ahead on this deal LOL.

  10. Kentucky Lady 717

    Congrats on getting a new kitchen…already love your Fridge…..can’t wait to see it all put together……love your flour, etc containers too…..

  11. Kentucky Lady 717

    Or was that your old fridge ? Anyways I’m sure it will look lovely and who wouldn’t love a brand new kitchen with all new appliances…..and all KITCHEN-AID too ?

  12. Barbara

    I’m so lost with texting shorthand. I guess that is what it is, LOL! What is a BGE? What is BHG besides Better Homes and Gardens?

  13. Barbara

    I’m so lost with texting shorthand. I guess that is what it is, LOL! What is a BGE? What is BHG besides Better Homes and Gardens?

  14. Angie | Big Bear's Wife

    I have loved watching Scott’s photos on Facebook of the kitchen remodel! can’t wait to see it when it’s all done! Ohhh so glad that the dog bowl caught that fish sauce! Yikes, that would have been rough!

  15. Lisa

    By experience if the kibble was behind the dishwasher it wasn’t the dogs! Exciting times! A large electric roaster makes a great heated wash basin! And you can cook bread and pizza on the gas bbq!! Along with everything else! It was the 3 days of no refrigerator that almost finished us off! Good luck, and looking forward to seeing how it all turns out! But no more than you are I imagine!

  16. dotti cahill

    We once broke a whole bottle of Red Boat fish sauce on a marble floor in France. We thought it was under control until one of our guests dropped his red wine on the same spot and it(red boat) came back to life… was unpleasant to say the least..

  17. Susan Serra

    How did I just see this now?? It’s been a real privilege and a lot of fun collaborating with you on your kitchen. But, I REALLY hope by now you have found the wine opener and your wine glasses!!

  18. Andrea Hunter

    I have survived two kitchen remodels, the first with a high-end designer (fabulous kitchen, used as a model in a design show before I got it), and the second time as my own contractor. Both were wonderful, and well worth the weeks of living with a microwave and toaster oven in the den. When can we see an update on yours?

  19. Sheri

    Hi Jaden! I keep hoping to see you post pictures of your finished kitchen. We started our kitchen renovation at almost the exact same time. I hope you love yours as much as we love ours.

    1. Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *