Last Spring I fell madly in love. With a kitchen island. I blogged about it, daydreamed about it, and knew I couldn't afford it.
On more than one occasion I found myself in Crate & Barrel, doing an elaborate and probably creepy-as-hell pantomime of rolling out dough on its cool marble surface. In the summer I spotted one (moderately dinged up, but persuasively discounted) at the outlet store in Berkeley. I spent an afternoon wracking my brain for legal and illegal ways to bring it home, but it couldn't be done.
Then, on Christmas morning, after opening enough gifts to consider myself terribly spoiled, my parents handed Adam and I a last package. My Mom called it a combined Christmas-Engagement-Adam's-Birthday present. Adam unfolded a picture of the kitchen island, on which my Mom had written (somewhat hilariously, given my above-stated obsession), "if you still want it." Adam was astounded, and I am fairly certain that I teared up and exclaimed something silly like, "this is the best Christmas ever!"
Isn't it just a thing of beauty? It solves several major issues that we've had with our kitchen. First, it's a much more comfortable and functional work space than the existing tiled countertops. I baked a pie this weekend and was able, for the first time, to have every ingredient out at once!
Our corner kitchen was never ideal for our frequent dinner and cocktail parties. It was strange to cook with our backs to the table, and even more awkward when our guests stood at the edges of the room, leaving a huge void in the middle. Floating the island in the center of the room provides a space for people to mingle over drinks and appetizers. It allows our guests to be more involved in dinner preparations, but also keeps them from getting in the way! It's a visual improvement as well. The icky non-matching rental appliances used to be the first thing we'd see from when entering the apartment. Now the island is a beautiful distraction (but the open base prevents the room from feeling cramped).
And then, of course, there's that glossy marble top.
So, thank you again to my generous parents who have recognized our passion for cooking, and have given us a platform on which to do it well! In celebration, I'm baking up a batch of savory shortbread, and I'll share the recipe this week!