Tuesday, December 3, 2013

One woman show

Growing up in my household, we were prepared to feed a party of 50 at any sunday night dinner, leftovers were packaged and sent to neighbors and friends, and of course there were still remnants left for lunch the next day (and the next day, and the next day). In our family, food is love, and we are a household of lovers. From before I was old enough to peek over the counters, I was sitting in the kitchen watching feasts being prepare, helping to stuff red peppers that stood in lines filling the whole countertop or stir a mixing bowl that would turn into 3 apple cakes.  I can almost still feel the moments where I was taught how to cook by instinct.

Unfortunately for me, these instincts include understanding how to cook for a table of 25.  This has posed problematic for my adult self.  I can't cook for one.  Since I've moved out of my family home into a space of my own, my attempts at learning the skill of cooking for myself has been more difficult than I could have imagined.   Its now been over a year and a half, and my instincts are still off, shopping for groceries is an exercise in restraint and uncertainty. I am buying more than I can cook, cooking more than I can eat, and stocking my freezer like the apocalypse is imminent. But what is a girl to do? My fears have even caused me to sustain for 2 weeks on a dinner of vegetable broth with wilted Kale, healthy and easy portion out and store.  But one cannot live on Kale alone.  So, I've started to do some reading, and internet searching to educate myself on portion appropriate cooking.  (Which is what I've decided to call it in lieu of "cooking for one" which always has seems to have this hidden sad connotation.)  I'm hopeful that I can get my change my instincts, however, let me know if you're free on Sunday, I'll probably have enough food to share.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Just Add Coffee

I love coffee. I love coffee more than I should. I love coffee more than the average person. (I inherited this from my mother, who has an even more intense relationship with coffee than I do.)  I started realizing I had a problem recently, when a group of friends were looking for coffee shops in different neighborhoods in the city, I had several suggestions for every neighborhood they threw at me, local chains, independent shops, coffee shops with food, shops with pastries, shops with just coffee, shops with seating, ones that were just a hole in the wall.  And at the end of the conversation they were sort of dumbfounded, all I could do was laugh and say, I drink a lot of coffee.

Part of this I attribute to commuting into the city for years, I would need to find a spot to sit and read or write and wait for friends, class, happy hour, dinner.  And in my early 20's I much preferred to be a single girl waiting alone in a cafe than a single girl waiting alone in a bar. As such, I became well acquainted with coffee shops, my cafe au lait the price of admission to sit and wait for good things to come.

But I won't blame my relationship with coffee on waiting for friends to arrive, I wake up in the morning, put water to boil, then go brush my teeth.  Coffee is a priority, and so much more than just my routine.  There are some mornings where my body is so craving the bitter-sweet warmth of a cup of joe, that I can actually feel the change after the first sip. Especially if its good coffee, which in my late 20's I have become a snob about.  Its an unhealthy, addictive relationship, which, as I sit here and sip on my sweet and nutty Long Island Coffee Roasters Ethiopian Sidamo blend, I don't think I'll ever want to quit.