Foodie Friday: Chef Judah’s New Kitchen

Whoo hoo!  The internet’s been decent so I was finally able to upload these photos of Judah and Jovelle’s Christmas present, as requested by a couple grandparents, so here you go, Dad and Mom…..  😉  (And by decent I mean that it only took two days instead of four!  😉  )  We have some more pics of the work in progress, but they’re hanging out on our friends’ camera right now, but the pics here give you the general idea, anyway.  (And besides, we know you really want pics of the kids anyway and not pics of us laboring away!)

For Christmas this year (well, technically Three Kings’ Day since we celebrated Christmas in Ireland and weren’t too keen on hauling this over there  😉   ), Judah and Jovelle got a play kitchen that we made for them.  When we were in Lancaster, Pennsylvania during our furlough, we stayed at a little B&B that had an adorable play kitchen set.  I thought, “Oh, we could totally get something like that made in Nigeria!”

That thought, thanks to Pinterest, turned into, “We can do it ourselves!”  You should probably know that neither Chris nor I have much of a handy bone in our bodies, but I DID take a woodshop class in middle school and I used to be quite impressive with a hammer and some nails (except for that one incident where I missed….), so I thought, “No problem.  We can do this ourselves!”  Chris decided early on that that philosophy works much better when there’s a Home Depot around the corner and there are actually places where you can get some of the supplies that we took for granted in the States, but we persevered – and is it too prideful to say that I’m quite proud of the end result?  Granted, we couldn’t have done it without the help of our neighbors (Thanks, Phil and Steph!) and Phil’s mad drilling skills, but it’s kind of cool to see what you can come up with and the improvisations you can make when you don’t have typical tools and resources available.

Before - scavenged goods 🙂

Working away....

And after - Judah and Jovelle's new kitchen

The stove was an old medicine cabinet that I rescued from Chris’s office when they were clearing it out for their office expansion.  The little rack in it is from the office, too – an old fridge shelf that Chris laboriously cut with his pocketknife (and one that I decided should definitely be the rack after I saw the look of horror on his face when I contemplated, “So do you think we should use this shelf or the wooden one that came with it?”  “You mean you may not even USE this?!”  “Oh…. no.  Definitely using it.  Definitely.”).  I still have to spray it silver, but I decided that if I waited for everything to be done the way I wanted it done, Judah and Jovelle would be the only teenagers on the compound with a brand new (but perfect!) play kitchen.

The oven door is some leftover plastic stuff, but I might be upgrading that to something else a bit sturdier – though Judah doesn’t seem to know the difference or care.  I tend to be a bit anal – uh, a realist – and didn’t like that the oven door opened sideways instead of like a REAL oven door, but I got over that when I saw how much the door is opened and closed and how much easier it is for Judah to reach in the “oven” and get his food out.  I’m quite glad now that it opens that way.

The sink is an old little table… cut out a hole for a bowl, added a faucet, a shelf made from scrap wood, plywood behind the sink and on the sides and a curtain made from leftover material from our “real” kitchen curtains.  One of my favorite parts is the little bulletin board.  We made some boards for our house from ceiling tile, and we had some left that was the perfect size for Judah and Jovelle’s kitchen.  I covered it with some more leftover material (It’s a good thing I have no concept of dimensions, otherwise what WOULD we have used for their kitchen??  😉  ), and now they have their own little kitchen board with pictures of Grandpa and Grandma Boo Boo (my parents, named by Judah because my poor mom always seems to have a boo boo) and Grandpa and Grandma Plane (Chris’s parents, named by Judah because we always seem to be flying on a plane to see them or picking them up at an airport).

The sink. The little curtain is from leftover material from the curtains in our (real) kitchen, and they can pull it open to get to the baskets of food and dishes underneath the sink. Although let's be real - they don't REALLY need to pull the curtain open to access anything since all the dishes are usually either on the floor or piled in the sink. Hmm, do you think he got that from me?!

The back of the sink is a chalkboard, thanks to do-it-yourself chalkboard paint recipes on the web. Right now they like the kitchen part too much to bother with the chalkboard, but one of these days!

Since getting the kitchen, Judah has played with it every day, sometimes for more than an hour at a time.  He has recently discovered that he can add water to things as well – as we learned when one day he had quietly gone into the bathroom, filled up his little pitcher in the sink and resumed cooking lemon soup, this time more liquid-y than when he first started.   It’s a good thing our floors are concrete, because it really doesn’t matter how much water spills on it.

My parents brought some play food and pots and pans for us when we were in Ireland, and Judah is having a ball with them, too – and we’re having so much fun seeing how much he enjoys playing with everything and how much his imagination is kicking in.


Judah was SO excited when he unwrapped this (aka "followed the string to where the kitchen set was covered with a sheet")

Even Jovelle likes to get in on the action.....

Of course, you’re welcome to come visit us anytime and enjoy the “fruits” of our labor, as Judah will surely cook you up a feast!


9 thoughts on “Foodie Friday: Chef Judah’s New Kitchen

  1. WOW you guys! It looks great! Better than anything I’ve seen in the states. Can’t wait to try some of the food cooked on the stove. What’s on the menu?

  2. 🙂 Thanks! It even matches our house, so that’s kind of fun, too.

    And the menu will probably be some of Judah’s specialties: lemon soup and hot tea with broccoli. 😉

    Can’t wait to see you guys!

  3. Wow! Good job, and lots of ingenuity. So glad they are happy with it. Kids love to imitate us in EVERYTHING. I wonder sometimes if that’s one of God’s reasons for giving them to us. Keeps us on our toes. Did you get my other email? I hope so. It was great to receive yours.
    Love yoy much,

  4. Nice work!! I’m very impressed! And I have to let you know, that on “Little People” (a show on TLC) they actually have a real oven that opens sideways — which when you think about it is probably easier, and less likely for you to burn yourself on a door that swings down. So, your kids just got a premium oven instead of a standard one. 🙂

  5. You’re right, Amy – I guess I am just so ahead of the times! 😉

    Anita – We did get your message and will be writing back. 🙂 Thanks for the message – it was really good to hear from you. (And yeah – having a little mirror around definitely makes me think about what I say and do more!!!)

    …And thanks, Jennifer! 🙂 (BTW, thought of you the other day because… oh, darn – what was that?! Well, today it was because of Brazil and the cheese and bread snacks, but there was something else I meant to tell you! Oh, I’m useless at remembering these days!)

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