As the weeks passed, other pieces began falling into place. Next to our wood-fired oven we installed a brick built-in unit for a six-burner griddle-top Viking range. A large central island, lined by stools on one side, would house a hand-hammered copper farmhouse sink as well as a Viking dishwasher and a Beverage-Air bottle cooler. We put in a butcher block for slicing and chopping and a granite board for pastry, and we had cabinets made from wood salvaged from our demolition. Along one wall we added a low-ceilinged second-story gallery, accessed by an iron spiral staircase, for our cookbooks. The countertops came last, as they do in any kitchen—at the moment when you feel you've been hemorrhaging money for longer than you can stand. We settled on stained concrete, but the "stain" was just superthick red enamel paint. It began peeling instantly, and Bess hated the color, but we decided to live with it.