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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Sunday, November 03, 2013

Our Vacation Home Kitchen

We are incredibly blessed to own a vacation home in sunny Florida where we try to spend three months a year over three trips.  This past year we also bought a co-op in Aruba, so in essence we have three fully equipped kitchens.  We are very much firm believers of eating healthy, home cooked meals even when on vacation.  The only difference in our eating style on vacation is we tend to eat out more.  While discovering new restaurants and revisiting our favourites is a wonderful culinary experience that we truly enjoy, we also enjoy home cooked meals.
 

vacation home kitchen view from family room
Our vacation home is a two bedroom with den, two bathroom manufactured home (2007).  We bought it in 2010 after it had sat a year and a half empty.    The house is in a 55+ retirement community with a lot of nice amenities.  The club house is very nice, a place to meet up with other members of our community, enjoy a bit of entertainment or a meal.

Our vacation home kitchen is fairly similar in size to our home kitchen with a similar layout except the vacation home kitchen is open to the small family room.  It is an eat-in kitchen.  The patio doors lead to the lanai where we often enjoy morning coffee and meals.  The cabinets are standard white, nothing fancy.  The counter tops are basic formica but the backsplash is ceramic tile.  There is a bit less actual counter workspace  than our home kitchen, not significantly less but enough to be noticeable.  The appliances are Whirlpool with the stove being electric and the next step down from the natural gas Whirlpool Gold range at home.   The sink is a heavy plastic double sink with food disposal.  We replaced the original taps with the set pictured last spring.  The floor is a textured sheet flooring in a tile pattern.

vacation home kitchen second view
The refrigerator wall of the kitchen has a narrow but deep pantry.  A door leading to the small utility/laundry room separates the refrigerator wall from the sink wall.  The refrigerator has an ice maker but other than that is fairly basic especially compared to our home refrigerators.

Our vacation home kitchen is light, bright, quite functional and easy to maintain.  It has the distinct disadvantage of being what you see is what you get.  That is the entire storage available for food, kitchen appliances and kitchenware.  There is no extra storage space in the rest of the home to store extra kitchen equipment or food although larger pots and pans could be stored in the golf cart shed.  In all honesty, longer stays require being a bit more creative but we will never be living there full time and we will likely continue to rent our vacation home out from time to time so the kitchen more than meets both needs.

Our vacation home while considerably smaller than our home still requires interior maintenance, repairs and updating.  This is fairly consistent with any vacation home or cottage.  As mentioned we have already replaced the faucet set as the old one sprung a leak that continued to get worse despite repairs.  We are planning a few upgrades to increase the value of our vacation home while adding more durable, lower maintenance materials that will withstand the intended purpose of our vacation home.  We are planning on replacing existing carpeting with laminate flooring or ceramic tile next spring.   Ceramic tile is likely our best choice so we would end up tiling the entire house at that time.

Now when I note we are at our vacation home or show a meal prepared there, you will have an idea of what the kitchen there looks like.  Our vacation home kitchen is equipped with the basics - blender, slow cooker, toaster, coffee maker (mainly for tenants), Keurig (our use only), can opener and hot air popcorn maker.  I took the stainless steel Lagostina pot and pan set we recently replaced from home to the vacation home so we are set that way.  So, it is fairly well equipped suitable for any of the cooking and baking we will be doing there.  We also have an outdoor grill that just as at home gets a lot of use.  Tenants at most will be there a total of 3 months but that is very rare.  So far, we have had tenants stay a month or two, most commonly one month.  Next week I will share some of our foodie highlights during this portion of our fall vacation.


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