Friday, June 17, 2011

Bear with us people... Just a few more days of stalling.

We still haven't finished the finishing touches on the kitchen renovation because I've had an especially chock-full week, but to entertain you in the meantime, I'm including some photographs of our latest venture up at Fox Ridge...

A few months ago, I had casually mentioned to Mummy how fabulous I thought the old-style butcher shop butcher blocks are, and how terrific it would be to add one to our kitchen in Fox Ridge. (Check out the inspirational images down below, courtesy of Apartment Therapy.)

I've come to realize this is dangerous territory-- the casual mention. It is an awesome way to get things you wish you had but can't afford, but it is also an awesome way to end up with things you don't expect and haven't really planned out. (Hopefully Mummy isn't reading this post, or the jig is up!) Needless to say, a few months after this ever so casual hint, I got an excited phone call from Mummy that she'd found a trillion-pound butcher block deep in the belly of an estate sale. Many men later, Mummy and the butcher block made it home, and there it sat, basking in its unholy girth until we could devise a way to get it out of their garage and into Fox Ridge.

It should be said-- I confess- that Mummy and Papa mentioned on numerous occasions how heavy this bleeding thing was, and I politely "Yes, Mummy"-ed and "I know Papa"-ed, while secretly thinking it probably wasn't that heavy...

I am an idiot. 

You know, every once in a while, you encounter something so heavy that literally, you can't budge it. It's such a funny sensation. You can be looking at this thing-- maybe an entire armoire full of encyclopedias for instance, and literally, you can't even scoot it an inch. You might as well be trying to scoot a building...

It turns out that the butcher block is that heavy.

Remarkably, Papa, Mummy, and like half-a-dozen other good samaritans all got together on their end and loaded this mother f---ing butcher block into a rented trailer, and then Papa victoriously drove it in the trailer out to Fox Ridge, and then he, and John, and my brother, and I struggled it out of the trailer. And there it sat in our driveway for a day while we pondered our next move, mowed the lawn, ate some dinner and went to bed.

To be honest, it kind of smelled like beef. Yep, beef. Or bacon. Or maybe beef and bacon. Every time I walked past it, I got a nose-full of slaughter house. I couldn't wait to get it into my kitchen....

Okay, let me take a moment to clarify because I'm probably digging myself into a real sh--hole with The Mother Figure as we speak. This butcher block, in addition to being immensely heavy and (pretty) smelly, was sensational looking. It was in great condition and not all wiggy and warped the way lots of these old butcher blocks tend to be now-a-days, and the size was completely perfect for our kitchen, and I knew, just knew, that once I got it cleaned up (and de-beefed) and into the house, I was going to love it. 

It was just hard to visualize how awesome it was going to be, with the funny smell emanating from it. I kept insisting that people smell it, because I was hoping it was just my imagination. (I think I got Richard's girlfriend to smell it about a dozen times, because she seemed like a woman with a discriminating sense of smell.) Conclusion: it smelled. 

So we scrubbed, and sanded, and poured boiling water on it, and then scraped the many years of fat and gunk off of it, and then sanded it some more, and then, to seal the deal (and the smell, and the finish) Papa bought special Butcher Block Wood Finish, so we painted a couple of coats of that on too. We also added casters to the bottom, so that future movement would be less of an ordeal, and then the four of us crab-walked it into the kitchen through the front door. 

The end results were smashing though, and we are chuffed with the both the aesthetics and function of the thing. And now, it's FDA approved, which isn't half bad either.

A special thanks to Mummy, Papa, the whole trailer loading crew, Richard, Thais, and John for all of your patience, your assistance, and for repeatedly smelling that butcher block at gun-point. 

You guys are the best. 
And I'm kind of an idiot. 


  1. Wow, that butcher block is just gorgeous! It sounds like it was a lot of work to find, transport, and clean up- but sooo worth it. Lovely.

  2. Lovely! I really love your blog. It was so nice running into you guys the other night! I can't believe you remembered that flamingo mirror, that is so sweet of you!

    Let's connect, maybe have some dinner or drinks (with or with out Peter)

    Best -

  3. I meant to add my email!

  4. CONGRATS!!!! ... on finalizing the kitchen reno .. and getting the smell out of the butcher block table (which btw is gorgeous). You have a GREAT team (fam!). :)

  5. Thanks again for all of the zeal folks! This one was a real doozy, but we made it work in the end, and we're all the happier for it now. Hard work really does pay off! : )