By Josette Keelor
Bobbie Omps Harper said the kitchen in her Winchester home on Ballygar Drive isn't real fancy, but she loves it for its storage and for the space it provides for her collections.
A rooster theme dresses up the room's granite counter tops, and Buyers Choice figurines with chefs' hats serve up a quirkiness that will greet visitors for this year's Kitchen Kapers tour on Sept. 15.
"I like to cook for a crowd, and we do entertain quite a bit," Mrs. Harper said. Kitchen Kapers is for a good cause, and she said she and her husband Kenny are looking forward to inviting the community into their home for the day.
Organized by the Quota Club of Winchester each year, this year's Kitchen Kapers will benefit Healthy Families of Northern Shenandoah Valley.
Kitchen Kapers committee chair, Linda Vickers, said the tour, now in its 13th year, is one of the club's major projects, and that the five homes along the tour and beneficiaries are decided by the committee.
The five homes, which feature beautifully designed kitchens, will be catered by area chefs -- Bonnie Blue Bakery at the Grahams' 914 Armistead St. home, Espresso Bar & Café and Sunflower Cottage at the Bauders' 208 Butterscotch Court home, Castiglia's Italian Eatery at the Clawsers' 4790 Senseny Road house in Berryville, and Poblanos Southwest Grill & Bar at the Harpers' 241 Ballygar Drive home. Westminster-Canterbury will cater its own cottage along Westminster-Canterbury Drive.
Five local florists will provide arrangements for the homeowners, Vickers said, and each family will prove a favorite recipe for the tour program.
But what's really different this year is the eight-car garage space at the Harpers' home and the three antique cars in Kenny Harper's collection. His 1959 Ford Skyliner and '57 Ford Thunderbird will be on display for the tour, and he said his neighbor's '58 Thunderbird might be there, too.
Harper just acquired the turquoise and colonial white '59 Skyliner four months ago after searching online and at Mecum Auction in Florida before he found it through the website oldrides.com. Then he needed to get a passport to go see the car in Canada.
His wife said the two garages -- one attached to the house and the other offering four more parking spots across the driveway -- are part of what sold the couple on the house two years ago.
"He needed garage space," she said. The couple, married 17 years, moved from Great Falls two years ago to the 11,000-square-foot home on nearly three acres.
Inside, storage space is hidden in unexpected places, like in the kitchen where spice racks disguised by Wellborn cherry cabinets with pewter hardware pull out from either side of a stove, backed by an off-white quilted tile backsplash.
"There's a large work area, so we like that, or I like that," Mrs. Harper said.
But what visitors also will notice are the M.I. Hummel figurines in the sunroom and family room, the couple's P. Buckley Moss prints and the hint of Christmas that spices up the home year-round.
Mrs. Harper said she will wait until Columbus Day is over, but then the real holiday decorating will begin. This year she expects to have five Christmas trees.
"In Great Falls I put up seven trees, but [here] I don't have the wall space," she said.
"[Christmas] was a big deal at our house growing up, so I guess I just sort of carried the tradition."
The Kitchen Kapers tour will take place on Sept. 15. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Healthy Families of the Northern Shenandoah Valley. Tickets, $20 each in advance and $25 at the door, are available at the Daily Grind at Abrams Crossing on Jubal Early Drive or from any Quota Club member. The homes are at 241 Ballygar Drive, a cottage marked along Westminster-Canterbury Drive, the Grahams at 914 Armistead St.; the Bouders at 208 Butterscotch Court; and the Clowsers at 4790 Senseny Road, Berryville. For more information visit http://quotaofwinchester.org.
Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or email@example.com