A dream kitchen adds to the experience in Costa Rica...


The end of the island with the sinks has a stepped down counter top with a shorter barstool.  This spot is ideal for sitting and chopping and dicing or sitting for a quick meal.
"Sighting from the Veranda in Costa Rica"
Two more birds perished from hitting the glass wall in the veranda.  It's heartbreaking to witness these while sitting right here.

These two pigeons flew into the glass at precisely the same moment and died immediately from what we could tell.  Ulysses, the groundskeepers removed them to prevent the vultures flying overhead from stopping by.  There are Audubon Society approved stickers on the glass but they don't seem to deter the birds entirely.  Although our friends/property owners, Bev and Sam, stated the stickers have helped considerably.  Three crashes and two deaths since we arrived.
Today, we're rushing a bit.  At 11:00 am I have a phone conference with our accountant in Nevada and shortly after, we're heading to the popular local Farmers Market in Atenas that occurs every Friday.
This "Caterer's or Baker's" extra kitchen includes a newer model dishwasher, coffee maker, toaster oven, toaster, microwave and number varying sizes of plastic containers with lids.  Plenty of kitchen towels and supplies are in drawers and cabinets below.  Tom rinses the dishes here and then fills the dishwasher.
Up and out of bed by 5:30, I did our laundry (the cleaner does the bedding when she comes tomorrow), made the bed and tidied up the house (as we do each morning).  Tom emptied the dishwasher which we run every other day to save on power. 
The over-sized oven is perfect for us as well as the double door refrigerators with water and ice dispenser on the door.  What a treat!
I continued to find household tasks to accomplish while Tom happily watched last night's Minnesota Vikings pre-season football game using the GamePass app and the HDMI cord for the 80" TV screen while drinking his morning coffee.  (I've yet to have coffee when we haven't been able to find real whole cream.  I wonder what Costa Ricans use to make whipped cream desserts). 

We've noticed a ton of readers reading our site in Costa Rica.  Can anyone near Atenas suggest where we can purchase real full-fat cream (whipping cream, unsweetened), the real deal, not Cremora or a powdered chemical laden alternative?  Gosh, I'd love a cup of Joe.
This island includes a new model four burner self-igniting gas range, wine cooler at left end, bucket with kitchen utensil and Chicago Cutlery knife block.  Both islands have granite counter tops.
It's hard to believe we have both a dishwasher and a clothes dryer, luxuries we've lived without most of this past almost five years.  In our old lives, we took such conveniences for granted.  Now, we almost use them hesitantly after all this time of managing without them.

There's no doubt, they both save considerable time although I never minded hanging the clothes outdoors and Tom never complained about washing the dishes by hand. 
There's every sized bowl, plate, and glass we could possibly need or want.  Check out the huge pot on the top shelf.  That's been sorely lacking in most vacation homes.
Over these past 11 days since arriving in Atenas, we've come to appreciate the many fine features in this property while accepting the reality that many of these are truly luxuries that we won't have available to us in the future, at least not quite in the same way.  We'd better not become spoiled!

Today's photos include not only those for the main kitchen but also the additional cleanup kitchen aka, Baker's or Caterer's Kitchen, now found in many higher end houses as well as in some old kitchens of decades past, often referred to as a "pantry kitchen." 
There are actually two center islands in the kitchen.  This island includes three barstools and a double sink with instant cold/hot water dispenser.

See this article below I spotted in an online magazine:

A Second Kitchen for Dirty Dishes



First, it was two ovens, then two dishwashers, we knew it wouldn’t be long before a high-end home genius somewhere said, why not two kitchens? From Long Island to LA, the two-kitchen trend—called a Bakers’ or Caterer’s Kitchen—is creeping into high-dollar homes to contain the cooking chaos. For as little as $15,000, homeowners can add additional “closed” kitchen space to their “open kitchen.” Some are pantry-sized with minimal appliances, like the secondary draft kitchen in one North Dallas home created to vent while cooking Indian cuisine. Others are larger than the main kitchen itself, decked out with granite slabs, custom cabinetry, and top-of-the-line appliances.
“The main kitchen has become co-mingled with the family room,” says Tatum Brown Custom Home’s Mark Danuser. Kitchens today are equipped with televisions, fireplaces, stools, and sofas. The room is sometimes overcrowded and it’s almost impossible to, well, cook in. Tatum Brown has built three Dallas custom homes with what Danuser calls “hybrid kitchens”—second kitchens that do double duty as the craft room or caterer’s kitchen. His high-end buyers love them.    
























Yes, we do love this extra kitchen which is larger than many of the galley-type kitchens we've had all over the world.  I particularly recall the tiniest of them all, the kitchen in Diani Beach, Kenya.  Click here for the link to the house photos which includes two photos of that tiny kitchen which is much smaller than the "Caterer's Kitchen" in this villa in Costa Rica.

In many kitchens that were larger than in Kenya, many were lacking in equipment such as in the first house in Fiji which we discovered had no oven at all.  The owner, Mario, went out and purchased a counter top oven for our use during the three months. 
We squealed with delight when we noticed the whisk, the garlic press and the stainless steel measuring spoons in upper left corner.  There's even a meat thermometer!
We can't imagine functioning well without an oven for a three month period when many of our meals and side dishes require some baking or broiling.  Not everything can be cooked in a peeling Teflon pan (yuck) and at times, we've asked for a better quality pan or even purchased one ourselves which ultimately, we left behind.

Another area of concern in most vacation homes is the lack of mixing bowls.  Oh my goodness, we've had kitchens that didn't have a large enough bowl to toss dressing for a salad for two.  We often tossed salads in tin foil pans we'd purchased to use for baking when no baking pans were available either.

As for knives...yikes...I've cut myself more times than I can count using dull and unpredictable knives when each day I usually spent most of my cooking prep time in chopping and dicing, a by-product of making lots of fresh produce and unprocessed foods. 
We were so excited when we saw this egg slicer, the first we've had to use in years! There is even a peeler and micro plane.  We've been carrying around a peeler, measuring cup and turner all these years.

But, dear readers...not here in La Perla!  This kitchen practically has every imaginable kitchen tool, knife, bowl, pan, gadget and major appliance.  There's even a wine cooler built into the kitchen cabinets! 

And, of course, there's the second kitchen where Tom can be busy loading the dishwasher contained therein, while I scrubbing down the sink and counters with hot soapy water every night after we eat. 

A few nights ago I got distracted for a short while and hadn't yet wiped up the granite counter tops and the sink.  Around 7:00 pm when I finally wandered into the main kitchen to do my part of the cleanup, three giant bugs jumped up out of the sink aiming for me. 

Oh, good grief.  I didn't scream.  I'm preparing myself for Africa once again...no shrieking, no screaming.  Instead, I grabbed a paper towel and scooped them  out of the sink and squeezed the paper towel until I was sure they were "gone."  Then, I threw them into the trash and scrubbed my hands in hot soapy water. 
Wine cooler in the kitchen at the end of one of the two center islands.
Sorry, bug lovers, I can't quite get a fix on the type of insects although I'm much more compassionate about most of Mother Nature's creepy crawlers.  We often scoop up insects we find indoors with a broom and dustpan and send them outdoors where they belong.

Anyway, back to La Perla's kitchen...need I say?  It's divine and I'm finding cooking our daily meals easier and more delightful than its been in years.  Thanks to Bev and Sam for their creative ideas, tasteful design and well-stocked kitchen which these travelers are appreciating more than most (since we cook much more than tourists who typically stay a week or two).

Soon we're off to the Farmers Market and we'll be back with more new photos tomorrow.  Also, more La Perla photos will continue in days to come.

Have a happy weekend!


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Photo from one year ago today, August 11, 2016:
No disrespect intended here when Tom wanted to illustrate the size of this statue while also making me laugh at his copycat antics.  For more photos from Phuket Thailand, please click here.

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