I met someone special at Purim this past year. It wasn’t love at first sight, not at all (after all, I was wearing a mask when we met). And it took some persistent and clever wooing on his part, but I am now very smitten.
It’s been a few months now, but my heart still races whenever I see him. I get this big goofy grin on my face when I am with him. He makes me want to be a better person. In the past I’ve described myself as a conscientious omnivore, but he really challenges me (in good ways) to think about my food choices. Needless to say things were going quite well. We had gotten to the point in our relationship where he offered me some space in his apartment to keep some of my personal items, like a toothbrush and some clothes, stuff like that.
And that was just around the same time my lease in my apartment was up – so I moved. Downsized along with the economy. But what had been an hour-long commute between our separate boroughs, now became a 10-minute walk (shorter by bike). And in my new place I would have a garden for the first time – all good things that somewhat made up for the fact that the apartment I was moving into was significantly smaller than my last one. Whereas over the last two years I’ve been able to host 30-person sit-down dinners, Passover seders and other fun foodie events, the new place did not offer such accommodations.
But I didn’t despair since my new roommates appeared accommodating and understanding that I had lots of kitchen stuff and welcomed me to put it to good use in our dollhouse-like space. That was until my stuff arrived crammed into my tiny U-Haul and seeing box after box fill this tiny new apartment brought dread to the dollhouse residents.
Storage seemed like the only plausible solution, but not having access to my kitchen tools seemed like an unfortunate punishment. After talking to my boyfriend and his roommates, they offered me space in their comparably palatial kitchen. I, in turn offered to cook for them to express my gratitude. I seemed like a good deal, until I began to move myself in.
I hired Revolution Rickshaws, a pedal-powered transport system. Helen showed up at my apartment, punctual despite the rain. She brought the larger bike and despite my original estimate – the move took two trips. Between the two trips was when I got the call, “Uh, hi. Um, how much stuff are you planning on moving over here?”
Okay, it was a totally fair question. And as the boxes began piling up in my boyfriend’s apartment he started getting very nervous. Wasn’t it just some kitchen stuff? The truth was, I had a lot of kitchen stuff – a lot more than I had thought. Sure I had packed poorly, trying to keep the boxes light, but it looked like I was taking over his kitchen. I won’t bore you with the details of the rest of that tense rainy afternoon, but after everything got unpacked and tucked away into his kitchen I began to regret my choice in apartments.
Where was I going to cook? I loved cooking. I love cooking for other people – which was a good thing because my boyfriend had the room for me to have dinner parties. But it is not my apartment and his roommates did not agree to a fourth person living with them. And as I settled into my new place with its limited kitchen, I realized how important cooking space is.
So I’m looking for suggestions for my disjointed culinary life that preserves my relationship with my boyfriend, my roommates, his roommates and my desire to cook.