The First Meal in a New Place

by autumn on July 11, 2014

rice-beans

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!

About 

Autumn Giles is the creator of Autumn Makes & Does and the co-host of the Alphabet Soup Podcast.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nicole July 11, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Congrats on this milestone and making it to your new place! The first of many meals and memories to come.

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2 autumn July 17, 2014 at 11:07 pm

Thank you, Nicole! <3

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3 Elizabeth July 11, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Yes! Making it out there is such a huge accomplishment. And a simple meal to celebrate? Perfect. I am really looking forward to seeing all the new things from that side of the country. Until then, remember that un-packing is kind of hard too. I recommend whiskey.

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4 autumn July 17, 2014 at 11:08 pm

Haha! No joke. Not going to lie we bought a giant bottle of knob creek at costco this week…

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5 Billy July 11, 2014 at 7:13 pm

yes to a move win! and also yes to pasta with a jar of sauce for pretty much every first meal in every new apartment I’ve had.

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6 autumn July 17, 2014 at 11:10 pm

YES!

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7 Kate @ ¡Hola! Jalapeño July 12, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Congrats on the move! We always seem to order in food on our first nights in a new place, inevitably picking THE WORST take out place. Good luck with your new home and may you immediately find good take out.

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8 Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough July 12, 2014 at 7:47 pm

I love this post. And hurrah for a successful move!

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9 autumn July 17, 2014 at 11:11 pm

Thank you, Steph! <3

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10 Courtney July 14, 2014 at 6:47 pm

Hooray for being in the new place! Moving is no joke, especially when you move across the country like you guys did. I can’t wait to hear about all of your new adventures.

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11 Zainab July 15, 2014 at 4:34 am

Yay!! First meals in a new apartment are the best. Hope you are settling in :)

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12 kaela July 18, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Yay! I feel like I’ve been out of the loop forever, so seeing your name pop up on FB made my day. Hope you’re all enjoying the new digs (and that the cat has finally come out from under the bed!) :)

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