Wednesday, August 15, 2012

School daze: A repurposed herb stand

These are the bitter days of the kitchen reno as things have been delayed while we wait on the granite counter tops. The first delay came when the fabricator found a crack in one of the slabs and had to send it back. Then his ogee bit broke and he had to send to Dallas for a replacement. Then they sent the wrong size. Morris, the contractor, calls me on the phone each time there's a delay to let me know. It feels like the date for Christmas morning keeps getting moved back.

Without the counter tops, we can't paint. Without the paint, we can't move the appliances in from where they are waiting in the wings...

I'm trying to keep things in perspective, but I'm ready to start making use of my new kitchen. My skills have been stretched by being limited to a gas grill, but living without a good, baked casserole is harder than I would have thought. I may try something using a dutch oven if this goes on much longer.

Ah well. I sit in the unfinished kitchen at night and try to imagine how I'm going to maximize the use of it. One thing I've decided I'm going to do is move some fresh herbs inside. I watch these cooking shows and they've always got a pot of basil or rosemary sitting on the counter, all fresh and bright. I'm suspicious of these, though, and wonder if they've just been potted up for the set. My fresh-from-the-garden herbs have brightened my cooking so much this summer, however, that I can't imagine going a whole winter without them.

There is a bright corner of the kitchen where I think  I could grow them, and I was thinking about putting a corner butler's pantry there. Everything I looked at, however, seemed too flimsy or overly large. Then I remembered an old school desk I bought at an auction on campus some dozen years ago. I dragged it out of the living room, where it was hidden from view under an overgrown potted plant. I took it into the unfinished kitchen and tried it in the corner, where it seemed just right, peaceful and serene in the light from the windows:

I snipped some cuttings from my favorite basil and rosemary plants and put them in a glass of water to see if I could get them to root (I know basil is an annual, but what the hell--it doesn't hurt to dream. Plus, it smells good.):

If the cuttings are successful, I'll put them in yellow and blue pots. I have no idea if this will work, but it gives me something to focus on while I wait.

Today is the last day to enter the drawing for a chance to win a battery powered Troy-Bilt cultivator! Go to this post for more information and leave a comment to get your name in the hat. I'll announce the winner on the blog tomorrow, and leave instructions for getting in touch to arrange delivery of the cultivator.


  1. Professor Susan, I love those old school desks and think it's perfect for you and your kitchen. Seriously, look at the old carvings; the history that's found on them has to be the basis for a good short story! Have you carved your initials on it? gail PS I don't trust most design or garden shows~they are all staged.

    1. I know--don't those sets seem a little too-too? Especially the ones with all white dishes. Where are the gimme mugs? The plastic cereal bowls? The dented forks?

    2. P.S., the two dozen or so fossilized wads of gum that I scraped from underneath probably also had some history on them, but I'm trying not to think about that! :-D

  2. You can use your plant stand as a time out, when your husband is bad, too.

  3. Wish we moved the old school desk to SC with us. Ours wasn't all wooden, but fun no the less. I rooted rosemary very easily. My basil will flower and I let it go to seed as the goldfinches love it...except I harvest some seeds for myself. I plant those seeds in order to have basil over the winter.
    Our kitchen remodel/room addition in VA took 11 months. Patience grasshopper.

    1. 11 months. Yikes. Still, if you count the repair to the exterior that we did before this, plus the work on a stairway that we will be doing after this, I guess that will add up to around eight months of renovation. We're getting to know the crew pretty well! good thing we like them. ;-D


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.