Hello from the winning side of the of a cross country move. Even though I had completely deluded myself into believing it would turn out otherwise, things got pretty bonkers there at the end. We didn’t have the time or energy for a lot of extravagant “last _______ in NYC” escapades. The last thing I ate was double dark chocolate talenti straight from the container on the floor of our old apartment and the last thing I drank was overpriced bourbon at the airport, which both ended up being pretty perfect. I didn’t have many NYC hurrahs left in me.
We’re still operating with a bare-bones cupboard situation at our new place and the cat is hiding under the bed for hours at a time. He’s adjusting. The big news is that I cooked dinner here for the first time this week. Now it’s real. Of course the only box I STILL can’t find yet is the one containing my silverware, chefs knife, fine mesh strainer, and other essentials, so I’m currently competing in my own private Cutthroat Kitchen.
I have an inexplicably horrible memory, but I remember that the first thing I cooked in our old apartment in Queens was pasta. It was a pre-shopping trip meal, cobbled together with pantry ingredients that I’m sure I insisted on schlepping along. Pasta, a can of crushed tomatoes cooked down, and I think I threw in a can of white beans. Simple food for exhausted people. On Tuesday, sore and dirty from a day of unpacking, I made the least fancy beans and rice ever. I opened a can of black beans and cooked plain white rice on the stovetop, making it boil over no three less than times BECAUSE ELECTRIC STOVES.
It wasn’t until I sat down to eat it that I realized what I had done: made one of the things that I loved to eat and always requested growing up. The least fancy rice and beans were my Mom’s jam. She cooked her rice (shout out Minute Rice) in the microwave in a saran wrap covered bowl and it boiled over sometimes too, so I guess I’m doing alright. I really love otherwise unremarkable meals like this that are so elevated by their context—such a solid way to anoint this new place that I am so excited to cook in.
Until then, happy weekend!