birch and grasses alone on the snow, grey sky indistinguishable. the flat world falls into the edge of time, lifeless, dull wedge of horizon and soundless ...
26 January 2010
When our white, solid-surface countertop developed massive cracks last year we took our time thinking about what to replace it with. We finally decided on soapstone, and chose a slab after viewing most of the available inventory in the Twin Cities. The installers did a great job and our next tasks were to find new knobs and pulls and to decide on a paint color. The knobs were easy but the right paint color eluded us all through the fall. Last week my wife found the right one and I spent the weekend painting the kitchen. It feels good to be done!
Soapstone is soft but non-porous, and we like its ability to withstand high temperatures. To get a sense of its hardness it’s probably better to think of wood than rock; it scratches easily but the tiny nicks disappear when the surface is oiled, and sometimes as soon as it’s wiped. A tomato, a lemon, a wine spill has no effect on soapstone; anything can rest on soapstone without staining it or penetrating its surface. Our stove isn’t large and I frequently remove the dutch oven or a hot frying pan from a burner and put it on the counter; I like that I don’t have to place it on a trivet.
The kitchen feels comfortable and balanced. The blue-grey on the walls brings out the green undertones in the soapstone, and the maple cabinets look warm in the room’s indirect light. Now that the kitchen is done, I can re-design the gazebo-turned-rabbitry-and-chicken-coop and replace it with a clean, simple structure.