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Kitchens and Cookbooks Come Together in Belle Haven

Last month, participants in the 2002 Belle Haven Kitchen Tour were invited to go behind the doors of seven exquisitely decorated kitchens in Belle Haven homes.

"Behind These Doors" is also the name of the new Belle Haven Cookbook, put together by several members of the Belle Haven Women's Club. A handsomely bound book with more than 300 pages, this is not your typical women's club cookbook. It is filled with recipes for beverages, appetizers, soups, salads, brunches, breads, vegetables, pastas, casseroles, meat and poultry, seafood and desserts.

One of the Kitchen Tour hostesses, Kate Goelz, said, "It's the curry garlic dip that I love."

The cost of the book is only $15, or three for $25. It can be ordered by calling 703-329-2280. Reprinted copies of the 1959 and 1969 cookbooks, which are bundled for $12, can also be purchased.

Emily Jones coordinated the cookbook effort and said that they've already sold 400 copies. She had suggested last year that they do a new cookbook because it had been a while.

"We asked everybody to send in recipes that they use a lot or that are crowd pleasers," she said. They began last September and finished this spring. Photographs of Belle Haven entrances were used to begin each chapter.

Kim Gallagher said that they would use the proceeds from both the cookbook and the tour to beautify the two circles in Belle Haven — the Fort Williard Circle and the one that everyone calls the "flag circle."

It is here, said Gallagher, where everyone gathered after Sept. 11, and it is here where weddings and births are celebrated and deaths are observed.

FROM SIMPLE TO SUBLIME, all the kitchens on the tour have touches that could translate into ideas that could be used effectively in other homes. Like the tiered plant stand and kitchen counter filled with family photos in the Joneses' home, the bowl of lemons and the cobalt blue vase filled with sunflowers in the Micklem home, and the homey yet functional feel in the Meyers' home.

One of the homes on the tour was that of the Joneses, who remodeled their kitchen shortly after they purchased their home in 1999.

Hostess Denise Jackson said, "With four children, they decided that they wanted a functional space." With that in mind, Emily Jones created an open space with no walls. A large island used for cooking and prepping stands next to a large pine table that seats up to 12. Next to that is a cozy fireplace. Jones chose pine cabinets by Brookhaven to hide fingerprints and included a 48-inch Sub Zero refrigerator and wine cooler, double Thermador oven and two Bosche dishwashers.

MOST OF THE Belle Haven homes are 50 years or older. They have quite a bit of charm but aren't always practical. In designing these homes, owners often strive to preserve the old. This was the case for Rita and Danny Meyers, when they renovated their kitchen five years ago. They kept the original Mexican tile floor and the stainless steel counter tops in the pantry. The family's pine kitchen table remained as well. "It's professional, but comfortable," said Gallagher.

The Micklem home was featured on the cover of the September/October issue of Better Homes and Gardens Decorating magazine after it was redesigned by designer Dee Thornton and kitchen designer Carol Luke. A built-in banquette surrounds a French provincial table, and touches of yellow and blue pattern are repeated throughout the kitchen.