Linda Black is a home cook. Raised in Italy, she loves preparing Italian food for her large extended family. And, having two kitchens with a total of four ovens at her 900 Clifton Drive home makes her happy.
The double kitchens — a large gourmet kitchen on the main level plus a smaller kitchen with two ovens and a microwave on the lower level — were a definite draw when Linda, a retired bookkeeper, and her husband, David, a computer security professional, bought the five-bedroom Colonial in 2004. The couple and their children moved to the Fort Hunt neighborhood from Woodley Park in Washington, wanting to get out of the city, but also live in a place with a sense of neighborhood that was in walking distance to shopping.
The house attracted Linda because of its flow, perfect for hosting — and feeding — her friends and many relatives.
“I love that the home has four ovens,” said Linda. “I had my son’s rehearsal dinner here and the caterer used the kitchen downstairs to cook and serve our guests on the decks.” The kitchen accommodations made it easy to serve 100 partygoers.
The 21’ x 11’ main level kitchen is “a dream to work in,” Linda added. “I’ve never had granite countertops before. I don’t need hot plates to put something on the counter.”
Linda said family dinners for 20 are not uncommon, but she has also shared the kitchen with international guests for Thanksgiving dinner. When Linda‘s daughter attended college in England, she missed not being home for Thanksgiving, so her UK friends began a tradition of having a Thanksgiving celebration for her, complete with freshly butchered chicken.
“Since she graduated and came home, my daughter’s friends from the UK have come to the U.S. and cooked Thanksgiving dinner with us in our kitchen,” Linda said. “That’s the wonderful thing about this big kitchen. We can have three cooks at a time in there, and entertain a lot of guests.”
In addition to the double kitchens, the 5,299 square-foot house has other twin features, including two laundry rooms, one on the second floor and the other on the lower level. On the main level, there is not only a living room, but also two family rooms that open to each other. Linda said they use both rooms frequently.
Does that mean two big-screen family room TVs? “We don’t own any televisions,” Linda said. “When we get together as a family, and that’s very often, we read to each other and play cards or games like charades or a Canadian game called Crokinole.” Crokinole has elements of marbles and shuffle board, and is played on a round, tabletop board.
Linda is a volunteer for the American Horticultural Society at River Farm, and that passion can be seen in her gardens. “I like low maintenance and I am not a fan of lawn mowing,” she said. To minimize the space devoted to lawn, she uses a lot of perennials, including banks of day lilies. In areas that are shaded she has planted pachysandra and Heucheras — also called Coral Bells — shade-loving perennial plants which come in a variety of foliage.
The couple has recently decided to downsize and have put the home for sale. It is listed for $1,497,000 through Phyllis Patterson with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.