Back in the days before air conditioning cooled our homes, some lucky homeowners had "summer kitchens". This meant that in the heat of summer, the main kitchen was located in its own building, separate from the main house, thus keeping the heat of cooking outside.
Today, we still love to cook outside, and many homeowners are bringing back the days of the summer kitchen to Smith Mountain Lake. Modern outdoor cooking, however, is no longer limited to the small charcoal grills of a few years ago that were only big enough to burn, excuse me - cook, a few hamburgers or hot dogs at a time.
Today's summer kitchens are splendid affairs, as beautiful as they are useful. They may be located on a deck or as part of a patio, sometimes with a swimming pool as a centerpiece, and often screened in to keep out marauding bugs or flying leaves. Waterfront homes may even have a deck or pier built out over the water to house their summer kitchen.
The grills of today are far from the wood fires your great-great-grandmother used. Made of stainless steel or incorporated into their stone surroundings, today's outdoor cooking facilities can be used to create meals of several courses or simpler dishes such as steaks or salmon.
They may be fired with real wood, charcoal or natural or bottled gas. While a wood or charcoal fire adds a wonderful smokey flavor to your entrees, gas is instantly ready at a moment's notice and leaves no ashes to clean up later.
Don't forget to include a refrigerator, prep sink and cabinetry into your outdoor summer kitchen plans. Seating for guests can be arranged so that even the cook is part of the activities. Add a wet bar, plants, ceiling fans and special lighting for just the right outdoor ambiance. You'll soon find yourself admiring the view of Smith Mountain Lake while preparing a meal fit for a king!
To learn more about some of the beautiful homes for sale in the Smith Mountain Lake area, contact Jane Sullivan Horne or visit her website. Jane and her staff can also be reached at 540-493-1690 and are ready to help you find your perfect spot at Smith Mountain Lake, whether for year-round living, a seasonal vacation home, or the retirement home of your dreams.
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