Mike Egan, a lifelong Kings Park resident, and his family are among the top five finalist for the DIY Network's contest "Worst Kitchen In America." They've submitted a video "Save Our Family" for online voting, hoping they'll win a full kitchen makeover on the show's season finale.
"If my wife has to cook one more meal, for a family of 6, in a toaster I don't know what will happen," Egan said.
The Egan family's kitchen hit its first major snag when Mike's wife, Jen, attempted to use the self-clean feature of their 1960s oven before his daughter's holy community party in May 2012. They haven't been able to get the door open since then, according to Egan.
"I’ve hit the thing with a sledgehammer to try and open it, and it didn’t open," Egan said. "The kids essentially do pull ups on the oven's handle bar in the kitchen."
Without a working oven, the Egan family began relying on their microwave to help cooking dinner until it went up in flames twice. Mike said unfortunately due to a tight budget, the family has been unable to replace it.
"Dinner is either cooked outside on the barbecue or on the toaster oven," he said.
Other problems in the Egan family's kitchen include a broken dishwasher that won't fully close and aging cabinets that are starting to fall of their hinges. Mike said his children have started hiding out inside the kitchen's "cabinet fort."
"If I can’t find one of my children, I look inside the kitchen cabinets," he said.
The lack of basic kitchen equipment has forced the family to be creative. For a friend's recent birthday party, the Egan children cooked cupcakes in the toaster oven - six at a time - until there was enough to feed all the guests.
From an aesthetic side, Mike said the kitchen's linoleum tile floor dates to the 1960s and the wall paper is peeling.
Lacking the funds to fully replace or re-do their own kitchen, the Egan family is hoping to win enough Internet votes to be selected to win a full kitchen makeover to help improve their quality of life.
"For a family of six, the kitchen is the command center and heartbeat of the house. When it's not functioning, it has an effect on daily operations in the family," Mike said. "It would mean a tremendous improvement in our daily lives."
Kings Park residents, family and friends can help the Egans win the "Worst Kitchen in America" contest by visiting the DIY network's website, and voting for their submission video titled "Save our Family" by Oct. 8. Any individual can vote as many times as wanted through Oct. 8.