When we bought our house it was very dated. When I say dated, I mean VERY, the flooring was not wood, or carpet, or tiles, or even lino, it was.....wait for it..... cork tiles!!
To be honest, it didn't get much better than that, the kitchen was a tiny, filthy, had asbestos and I wouldn't even say it had cupboards, as the doors to them were all off their hinges! The floor had lino tiles, somewhere underneath the ground in grime from cooking spillages, mud, dirt and general rubbish. What can I say about the cooker? it was the original one from the 60's or 70's, you know the one that had the toaster grill at the top of the cooker, where we used to make toast before toasters were commonplace? Yup, my kitchen was horrendous.
When we first bought the house, I refused to even go into the kitchen without shoes on, I wouldn't touch anything until it had been completely cleaned. We couldn't afford to get the kitchen redone for quite some time, until we had saved up some money to do it. I was desperate for a kitchen which wouldn't be a palace for all kinds of creepy crawlies and bugs. We saved for quite a while, but still had to use the kitchen as it was until that time.
This was really hard for me to cope with as I was (and still am) a stickler for good, home cooked food for the kids and the family. I also loved to bake for the family. I cringed every time I had to use the cooker. The children loved my baking, but to be honest, I couldn't face baking for them in the kitchen. I really didn't think it would pass health and safety test (well my health and safety tests!)
When the builders eventually came they found out that the lean-to area next to the kitchen also had asbestos, which we had to dispose of. While the builders were busy making walls, installing sky lights and demolishing the old kitchen, my sister-in-law surprised me by asking me to make her wedding cakes and cupcakes! (OMG!) for her forthcoming wedding in May.
This wedding was a big deal in our family. She (and we) had been waiting for over 20 years for this momentous occasion. She and her (now) husband had been together for over 20 years, had a lovely home and a beautiful 18 year old daughter AND they had only just hit 40. So, after all this time together they decided that it was the right time to finally get married, after being engaged for about 8 years. They had decided on having a big wedding, approx. 300 people, a proper dance fest from start to finish.
I didn't hesitate to say 'yes' when she asked me, I was so pleased and excited. The next day, it hit me. The enormity of the whole task and the pressure. I wanted to do it all by myself, so if it's a failure, it will be my fault (ever the optimist!).
I finally had a kitchen worth smiling about and one I could use, just in time to make my sister-in-laws wedding cakes and cupcakes. I had never made a wedding cake before, or even more than 30 cupcakes before, so planning was crucial.
I started preparing things early, like the food colouring, the cupcake cases etc. There was lots to do. I had a mixture of emotions, happiness, nervousness, elation, pride and lack of confidence! It was a rollercoaster of emotions, I had never made wedding cakes before, especially for family, who would be within ear shot of me when cutting the cake and tasting it. Pressure!!!
On the weekend of the wedding, I set about make and mixing. The wedding was on bank holiday Monday, so the Friday before I made all the buttercream for decorations. Saturday and Sunday I would be making and baking the two main cakes and the cupcakes. Sunday I had allocated decorating and the Monday morning was just the finishing touches (glitter sprinkles etc).
This was the plan. I was glad I had my new kitchen and not my grime-fest old kitchen to work in!
And, I was totally amazed that it all worked out. Not one hitch in my meticulous planning!
My kitchen had turned into a well oiled processing unit. Baking in the oven, cooling in one area, icing in another, decorating in another. It was pretty amazing! Cleaning up was so easy too, as I had a brand new dishwasher installed. This is a crucial part of our daily cleaning routine as I hate to have watermarks on my black granite worktops. So, by using Finish Platinum in the dishwasher not only speeds up the cleaning process but means I stop getting watermarks on my granite.! Double win!
I love my kitchen, I love my space and I totally love how clean it is!
Here are a few pictures of my kitchen....enjoy!
And here are the cakes and cupcakes I did. I'm still amazed I did this! (Red velvet cakes and cupcakes with white chocolate buttercream).
Here's a little poem telling My Kitchen Tale:
My kitchen was in such a horrible state
It wasn't fit for spoon, fork or plate.
I wanted a place that was clean and nice
But they mostly came at a costly price.
It took us a long time to save up the money
To have a clean kitchen to store the kids honey.
After the builders demolished the old health trap
We picked our new kitchen with sparkling cupboards, worktops and taps.
Just as our kitchen had been completed
My sister-in-law made a request which was treated,
with shock, surprise and utter amazement
to make her wedding cupcake and wedding cake arrangement.
I was thrilled to be doing it but also in shock
I'm surprised I didn't have a metal block.
My new kitchen saved me and came at just the right time
As I made 250 cupcakes and 2 wedding cakes, combined.
I love my new kitchen for that extra confidence it gave me
To create the wedding cakes for my sister-in-law and family.
Disclaimer: This post is an entry for the “My Kitchen Story” Linky Challenge, sponsored by Fairy Platinum”