A New Kitchen

If you’re particularly observant, you might start noticing a change in scenery in the photos around here. Although it feels like forever ago, it’s been about a month since I moved out of the house I shared with my husband.
I’m getting acquainted with my new kitchen. I had my doubts at first because of the miniature refrigerator and fewer cabinets. I just didn’t know how to cope with such a tiny fridge — I think I channeled my anxiety into fretting about food storage. But all my stuff fit and the fridge is working out perfectly. Some awesome friends (thanks Stephanie and Doug!) gave me a chest freezer and I have plenty of space for my frozen animal parts, jars of chicken fat, garden excess, and tubs of beef stock.
Of course I focus on the kitchen since that’s where I spend most of my time. I mean, that’s where I used to spend most of my time. I hope that remains true. I didn’t realize that a large part of the enjoyment I get from cooking is from cooking for someone. Part of it is very pragmatic: fewer leftovers to deal with (Last week I learned that I just can’t stomach a pound of chorizo, even if spread over an entire week.); but it’s also about sharing the pleasure of food. In time I’ll learn how to plan meals for one person, and hopefully get just as much satisfaction from feeding only myself.
I ate my first meal at the house among the mess that comes with a move: stacks of cardboard, piles of packing material, half-full abandoned boxes, a trail of chaos. I could feel a cold coming on and I was craving some hot and sour soup, which I picked up at China House on my way to spend another evening unpacking and cleaning. (Doesn’t it suck how during the times you need good food most — times of upheaval or devastation — it’s really difficult to make it a priority?) I scooted up to some precious flat surface and ate the soup. It was so satisfying: the taste; that I had found a spot to sit and eat; the realization that this place would eventually represent normalcy. After I finished the soup, I cracked open the fortune cookie and ate the pieces. I observe few superstitions and rituals, but one is that I have to eat the entire fortune cookie before I read the fortune. I should preface this next part by acknowledging that it’s much more convenient to selectively read “signs” as serendipitous, rather than mere happenstance.
Still, it was with a sigh of relief that I read the cookie’s enclosed message: A thrilling time is in your immediate future.
I typically don’t write about my personal life, and at times I’ve debated whether I should reveal such things since I’ve tried to keep my subject matter pretty narrow. But now I’m faced with this situation of my choosing. One that has already affected how I cook, what I cook, and who I am feeding, not to mention the change in scenery.

4 thoughts on “A New Kitchen

  1. Best wishes on this transition, Tricia. I expect that you’ll have some thrilling times in that kitchen soon, once the unpacking and finding of a place for everything is completed! I was just thinking: My junior year of college, I got a single room and my friend (who saw it first) reported that it was “a broom closet.” I was pretty concerned about the size of the room, but you know, it ended up being my favorite place to live during my college years! It barely fit a twin bed and a desk, but it had two really great windows. It’s funny what we think we need and what actually ends up being satisfying in the end.

  2. I love you and am proud of you! Cooking for just yourself can be a joy. It can be a nice thing to do to tell yourself “yes! I’m worth feeding a nice dinner!” All my love to you from across the ocean.

    Let me know if you ever want to talk xoxo

  3. Maybe this is an opportunity to cook without compromises. Food the way YOU like it. It could be a bold adventure, a healing ritual, an chance to see what you are truly hungry for. This humble reader would greatly appreciate a seat at your imaginary dinner table; present to consume whatever you choose to share.

  4. Tricia,
    You always are terrific! Remember those words forever.

    Your new place reminded me of the movie, “Julie and Julia” because of the move and your love for cooking. With your energy and love for the craft of food, you should consider writing a cookbook for the single serving. I bet there are a lot of people who would enjoy direction/menus/love for the single person. It is difficult to cook for one, but with freezers and leftovers it all can come together. Plus, you have wonderful ways of expression the reader knows you and enjoys the read. Keep up the good work.

    The next few chapters of life are unchartered waters. Pay attention to your gut. Listen to the real inner woman. She is there. The peace you seek will again be in your soul. It has been lost for a while and is in the midst of adjusting to find the calm. Keep making the lemonade girl. love ya, Mary

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