The zesty kitchen, harvesting and the garden

It has been very difficult to work in the house with the heat but work on my much loved bijou summer kitchen is now complete and whilst I still haven’t been able to access all my kitchen accessories to dress it it is done.  I am actually going to put before and after pictures because Terry has almost performed a kitchen miracle!  He has worked on it in 40 degrees heat and never once complained.  So here is our tiny 2.5 metre squared summer kitchen in all it’s glory from unloved and ramshackle to restored, functioning and much loved funky room of food creations

Summerkitchen withtreasuresSummer kitchen wallpostscraping

The walls were crumbling and the only thing salvageable in the whole kitchen was the old granite sink.  We made the decision to leave it in situ as we are hoping to keep a traditional/modern feel to the house.  The bread oven will also stay and we are still waiting for our neighbour Ilia to begin restoring the outside

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I have never been a “green” person but the inspiration for the kitchen was the garden so green seemed such a salient choice.  It was Walkyrys who came up with the phrase zesty and it stuck!

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We had to lay a full 10m of concrete on the floor, or as Terry says “a slab” to achieve any kind of evenness.  It is fortunate they neither of us are tall really!

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Now if the floor wasn’t even the walls were murders.  We had to measure each and every baton and plane them accordingly.  The cement in-between the old bricks was simply sand.  The expletives resonating around that small room would have caused a navvy to blench!

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This tiny little hot was boiler hit the back room within minutes when we found it’s capacity to produce warm water only extended to a brief hand wash.  I cook with olive oil so hot water and lashings of it are required.  We later installed Mk II.


One of the joys of Bulgaria is than no one comes and checks our work.  Terry has wired the house without too many problems and is still alive today to tell the tale.  The kitchen runs on it’s own fusebox because the Bulgarian electric system doesn’t cope well with multiple appliances.


The Mk II hot water appliance actually heats as it runs through the little drum.  German made!20160626_17052320160615_133822

This was the point when you get bored of the mess and you wish it would all be over.  We had set up a temporary kitchen inside the house and cooking there was not only hot and difficult but left everything smelling of food.  And then one day the summer kitchen was finished




We have been cracking on with the garden and Terry has been clearing under the Sliven tree in preparation for a concreted (and later tiled) seating area and also clearing to the far side of the house to build a wood store for the winter.  There was an apple tree in his way and rather than let Terry raze it to the ground we upped and moved it to the wall we’d just cleared of non fruiting trees.  Having achieved some success we then went on to move a purple plum tree too.  That digger is a marvellous bit of kit! Time will tell is we are successful but I do hope so.

Amalia and her lanky self came into her own when we discovered a yellow plum tree.  I got the ladder and she climbed up and harvested the crop!  Terry also had her in the digger – she was much better than me 😦

The garden still looks horribly barren and it is difficult to see our progress but this morning as I sit crossed legged on the bed, the two dogs next to me and Terry sanding next door I look out the window.  All I can see is green, the birdsong is deafening and the leaves are shimmering in the much needed breeze.  There is so much time to plant the garden and time to learn the seasons.

5 thoughts on “The zesty kitchen, harvesting and the garden

  1. I let out a tiny squeal when I saw the kitchen. It looks so nice! And the zesty lime green is kinda refreshing to look at (if that makes sense). Terry did a stunning job, kudos to him seriously.

    Almost got the name right ALMOST haha : P


  2. Your kitchen looks great! Just wanted to say how much we have enjoyed reading your blog – we really do look forward to the next installment. We have a house in the same village as you and are coming over for just under a month this Summer – maybe our paths will cross?


    1. Hi Keith and Caz

      thanks for reading the blog and commenting. I think we might be in different Garadishte’s. We’ve uncovered three so far. We are in the one about 5 minutes from Levski. How about you?


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