Summer Kitchen

You’ll have to use your imagination here. We’re talking next summer, four or five months from now. Which may be about as soon as people can travel, anyway.

The barns have been talking to me. They are a little jealous of the house. I understand: I’d like to look that good, too. So when I came down here in November, it was with the thought that the potting shed and summer kitchen would be scheduled for completion in 2021.

I’ll tell you about the potting shed later on. For now, let’s stick with this.

See that oven? It doesn’t work. Once upon a time, you lit a fire on the floor, I guess. The heat went all over the place, including what looks to have been a great place to bake bread and all. The smoke went up in front of the oven and out the chimney. To get to the oven you what, held your breath? Wore a gas mask? Came back when the fire died down? I don’t know, but worries about smoke inhalation were enough to make me decide against repairing the chimney. We’ll clean that oven up and thank it for its service.

The wall to the left was to be the home of the barbecue. But, oopsie, we left it sitting on the terrace and 100km/60mph winds blew it right down the steps. Totaled it. But oh, my summer kitchen…. I decided to give myself an Ooni pizza oven for Christmas. The understudy would become the star.

Here is the culprit. Gas fired, so no chimney at all. Cooks your pizza in two minutes. Custom pizzas all around. Little did I know: I was about to fall into the Ooni rabbit hole.
You see, once you get the oven you need the pizza spatula, the pizza cutter, the bbq grill just in case some serious meatarian just won’t eat pizza — the carbs, doncha know. Then there are the flavorings, liquid, solid and fresh, and the leftover bbq tools. Where does all that go? The purpose-built table. Of course.
The table is on its way. I sent Julien a link to a table I found on Youtube, Ooni pizza oven tables being their own Youtube genre. He sent me an eye-watering receipt for materials — better to ask forgiveness than permission, right? — and I think he’s building it at home right now. Or maybe he’s just hiding in the dog house.
Mind you, we haven’t gotten to the actual space, yet. Fortunately for me, Kieron, the guy who personally hand-crafted the house renovation, will probably be available in June. He loves the house, so I’m pretty sure he’ll make a point of it. He and Julien will clean up the walls. I have no plans to paint or repoint or anything. They will pour a slab of colored concrete and stamp it with a roller. According to Kieron and Youtube, it should look pretty nice and have a pattern much like the older, existing floor, which we are keeping.

At this point I have sold the rental and moved from the Paris apartment. I am out of excuses for all that stuff in boxes, some still from the California move. So, on that concrete slab will be a table, sideboard and chairs from the rental house.

Every self-respecting kitchen needs a sink. And the frig? I don”t know. I have one, just don’t have a plug. All in good time.

15 thoughts on “Summer Kitchen

    1. Well, there is no gas on the property. I have a fridge from the rental house and I still need to have some electrical work done. I figure I’ll have the electrician add another outlet or two, while he’s here anyway. Might as well.


  1. Great to see you’re up and running again – doesn’t this all seem a weeny bit déjà vu? I wonder if it will be easier this time round, with all your previous experience … Sounds fun anyway! Looking forward to reading all about it.


    1. Are you talking about the death or the renovation? The last three guys I have been involved with, have died. So yeah, I kind of know the drill: the etiquette, the crazy relatives, all that. In terms of the work, I’m an architect. That’s what I do, when I’m not putting pennies on the eyes of my beloveds. This time the work is relatively simple, plus I know and trust the crew. Yes, I will do a “Summer Kitchen Reveal,” but not until June or so. If you’re in the neighborhood, come on by for a pizza.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lynn

    Wonderful plans! Pizza that cooks that quick! Sounds tasty!

    Perhaps add in a few solar panels and a windmill too to power everything!

    Have a super winter planning for summer – just the way to power through the darker cooler months!


    Apologies for any typographical errors – sent from a small mobile device.



    1. Thank you. If I could finance the solar panels, they would be in. But 20K at this point in my finances, no, it’s not going to happen. If you could reason with either of my banks, sure, let’s solar away.


  3. As soon as I saw the first photo I thought you’d be converting that old fireplace into a wood-fired pizza oven. I could almost smell the pies. The new-fangled (we oldsters use that word a lot) pizza machine looks like it could also turn out a credible pizza and no chimney so there’s that, too. And, no, one can never have too many BBQ accessories. C’est impossible. I used a stamped, stained and texture concrete floor awhile back and was delighted with how it came out and how affordable it was and it solved a similar problem you no doubt face; namely, leveling the area. That sink is what we always call a “dog washing sink” for all the obvious reasons. If you remove it for any purpose, please send to me and Max, although I suppose Jacques will have first claim on it. Perhaps a dog washing station on the other side of the window?


    1. Yes, When I bought the house, that oven was slated for pizza. Then I found out about that venting in front of the oven thing and that was that. A local orchard sells applewood, right about this time of year, too. So disappointed.

      Maybe for my Summer Kitchen Reveal I’ll do a little video. It will actually be quite a setup, with the oven and all the toys. I’m storyboarding it now: the trek to the room, the stretching of the dough, the table with the goodies piling onto the pizza, the 2-minute tour of the room, an evaluation of the actual cooked pizza, then somebody eating it right in front of you without sharing. So mean, so fun.

      But please don’t tell Jacques about the whole dog-washing sink thing. He’ll tear it out and send it to you, himself. That’s all I need.


      1. I looked up the Ooni and now I want one. I have to figure out what I can offer the AJF to get the go ahead for another BBQ/outdoor cooking device. I noticed all the accessories on the Ooni site were sold out so clearly you made a wide purchasing decision. While storyboarding, don’t forget the panel where you send me some pizzas by express carrier. Your Spring plans have again left me feeling inadequate. My big projects are to build a potting bench, install some low voltage garden lights and re-side the hot tub. (With luck and persuasion I will add constructing an Ooni cooking station.)


        1. Come on. Just offer her free pizza. That should totally get her approval. Worst case, throw in a beer.

          Check out the Vito Iacopelli Youtube channel. That man does pizza. Well, and all those Ooni videos.

          I bought in the middle of winter. Also I’m on their mailing list. I think they feature items that are in stock. Wait until you see the condiments bins….

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Projects are my way of dealing with life too 🙂
    There’s something wildly attractive about that sandy colour for floors and walls. We had the stamped concrete stuff in Spain and it looked fantastic. Also incredibly easy maintenance.
    Onwards and upwards!

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    1. I agree. The barn improvements went from “maybe someday” to high priority while I sat with Jean-Yves in the hospital, spinning tales of our fabulous life during his convalescence.

      I do love the stone here. It’s local stone. If you have driven through Brittany in winter you know how their dark gray stone lowers the perceived temperature by at least a couple of degrees. Another plus is that the barns were built with more-or-less coursed stone. When I bought the place I had no idea, but people have told me that outbuildings were often built of rubble. I don’t know how a rubble wall would even stay up.

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