Some of you may recall that I’d been struggling with cooking for myself once I moved out on my own (into a house with a roommate). It’s true. And while I have cooked at home, it’s mostly been for other people. I will throw things in the oven and not give a second thought to it. I will wash and chop and prep all manner of things for my Bento for lunches. Somehow though, cooking an actual meal for myself was just not happening.
I’ve been house sitting for my boss the last couple of weeks and it’s been…odd. It’s a big house in a lovely area. It’s put my own class-ism back to the forefront of my mind and I’ve been working through it. I thought I would do things I couldn’t normally do. You know, things like lay out on the lawn in the sun or walk barefoot in the grass or star gaze. I haven’t done any of those things, though mostly because it’s hella spooky here at night. Like, pitch black with mysterious creatures in the bushes, spooky. Not to mention the fluctuation in weather and my various social commitments.
Finally I chose to take action! I had to DO something in this giant house to lift my spirits, connect with friends and get my chi flowing again. So I had the BFFs over for dinner this past Sunday night. I didn’t know what I would cook, but that didn’t stress me out for some reason. I was genuinely excited for them to be coming and to meet my co-workers (they are chickens, ha-ha!) and see the garden and all. I even rented the perfect scary movie for after dinner. I was mega stoked!
That morning I headed to the grocery store to see what I might want to tackle for dinner. I decided to get a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken to start with, figured I could just heat it up before they arrived. Then I grabbed some bread to go with the incredible mushroom soup I’d be picking up from our favorite Polish restaurant that evening. Then I hit the produce section. And can I just say here how valuable a knowledgeable produce person is?! Also, that things are freshly stocked and inventory is clean and tidy. This made me lose it in the produce section! I wanted all the veggies! Ha-ha!
I ended up getting zucchini (which would later be grilled and sandwiched with chevre, fresh basil, lemon zest and salt and pepper), cucumber and red onion. I instantly knew what I’d be making! My favorite salad: cucumber, tomato and onion in a red wine vinaigrette! Woo! I was actually excited about cooking and stuff. Ha-ha!
Dinner was a hit and so was the movie (Cabin in the Woods, which was a fun film). We laughed and ate such tasty things and drank a cocktail I created (melon flavored vodka and lemon lime soda) and listened to Motown. You couldn’t ask for a better evening. I just didn’t realize that I’d broken the seal on my cooking drought that night. It wasn’t until Tuesday night that I went bananas in the kitchen!
Tuesday night I was hungry, but sooooo didn’t want to go to the store or get take out. I was sick of all of that and feeling very hormonal and frazzled. I checked the fridge for left overs, but no dice. I did have some fresh zucchini spears left over and found some angel hair pasta in the pantry. I grabbed two cloves of garlic from the counter and went outside to grab some basil and tomatoes and a lemon from the garden. I chopped everything up pretty tiny and after the pasta was cooked, tossed it in the pan with some olive oil and sauteed for a bit before tossing into the pasta. Delicious!!! I don’t know when I last did something like that for myself but it was AMAZING!
I couldn’t just stop there, though. I poured myself a glass of moscato and pulled out a flour-less chocolate cookie recipe I’d been wanting to try for some time now. I haven’t baked in…damn…a very long time! It was as though part of myself was missing until that first batch came out of the oven. Holy chocolate orgasms, Batman! Whew! SO GOOD! They tasted just like these ones I crave from this cafe I never seem to get to. Now I don’t need to! They were so easy to make, only a few ingredients. They are a bit chewy and very very chocolaty.
When all was said and done, I felt fantastic. I felt as though I’d finally reached an itch that was desperately in need of a good scratch! I don’t know what I’ll do for dinner tonight or tomorrow, but I don’t feel as though I can’t or shouldn’t cook for myself anymore. I’m a bit relieved, I guess. That I hadn’t lost my knack for such things. Baking used to be a sort of meditation for me. Last night it sure felt like that. So lovely!
Thank you to those who have supported and advised and encouraged me along the way. It seemed such a silly and unimportant thing for me to be struggling with, but I see now that it had nothing to do with the act itself, but everything to do with intentions and caring for myself. If you’d like the cookie recipe I used, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org