8.29.2011

Farewell Tour of the Old Kitchen

I've officially got wifi in the new place!  Jeff just hooked it up.  We are still in the "can't find anything because a) I can't remember where I put it or b) it is still in a box" faze.  Soon I'll give you all a grand tour of the new kitchen.  First let's look back at our wonderful tiny kitchen in Valparaiso, Indiana. 

It was nice and cozy - just enough room for me to really get cooking.  We packed our cupboards full and used every square inch. 

The window faced west which was great except for those four minutes when the sun would angle in just right and blind whoever was at the sink.  For some reason I managed to do dishes at just that time. 

I love the tile floor with a marble type pattern.  It hides drips and spills and there's only 20 square feet to clean! 

I loved the gas range.  If I could have taken it with me I would have.  The cat adored it too.

The oak cabinets were awesome.  There was not just one, but three drawers!  Now this may not seem like a lot to most of you out there, but for a girl who has rented all of her cooking life, three drawers is a luxury.  My first couple of apartments each had one and in Panama we had none.  Plus the lazy-Susan in the corner was such a good use of awkward space.  In lesser apartments they would have just put in a narrow cabinet door that would lead to a cavern of completely unusable space unless one wanted to hide a body. And really how often does one do that in their kitchen?

Right off the kitchen was the living room area.  This apartment is one of four in an old Victorian home.  This house had four bay windows!  Ours faced west.  The kitten's favorite perch was on the table where he could mew at the passers-by.  Our new place has even more windows.  He can't decide which window to sit in. 


The hardwood floor was my favorite feature of that apartment.  The reflected light made the 550 square feet look larger.  We had many delicious meals at that table.  In fact most of the pictures of food on this blog are done on that table. 

Luckily the table came with us.  Unluckily I spilled fingernail polish remover on it and now it was a weird oblong dark mark on it.  Perhaps it is time to look for a new kitchen table.  Our current kitchen has room to expand. 

Can't wait to show you around the new place!

P.S.  My hand is recovering.  Moving all my worldly possessions with five stitches in the skin between forefinger and thumb was not the best situation.  I eventually taped my thumb and forefinger together because I still had to move boxes and the wound wasn’t sealing shut even with the stitches.  It’s been about three weeks and the gash is now healed closed and the dead skin is starting to peel off on the edges.  It’s still a little tender inside, but I am sure I will be fully functioning in another week.  I'll even get a scar out of the deal. 

8.15.2011

Roasted Garlic on Bread Recipe - Plus How I Cut My Hand

 

I’m throwing a pity party for myself. It involves a baguette, roasted garlic and a beer.

Here’s the back story: Last week was good. My husband got offered a job; not just any job, a career job. The job he wanted to do when set off to get his masters, way before we were married, before Peace Corps, before I got my job at Taltree. He’s going to be a professor of art! From the time he went to do the onsite interview until he got the offer, I refused to think about it. There were just too many things that would be affected. Our life would change if he got the offer. Then he did get the offer! In rapid succession he signed the contract, we found an apartment and I gave my two weeks.

There are so many good things that will come from this move that I haven’t let myself dwell on the bad. However, today I am going to think about them.

I love my job. I believe in the arboretum. This was my dream job.

Jeff and I talked it over and even though we are only moving two hours away, it doesn’t make sense to commute. I’d leave before six in the morning and come home after six at night.

Every day at work I have to say good-bye to someone else. I said good-bye to my Sunday Afternoon Garden Club today. They are a great group of volunteers. I’m going to miss them.

Okay, all that is not fun, but I know this is a step forward for us as a family so I see it as necessary. That’s not why I’m roasting garlic. This is why: on Thursday I drove my husband to the airport in Chicago. (He’d booked a flight to visit his brothers on the west coast before he got the job.) I hate driving to Chicago. When I got home all I wanted was a nice thick slice of garlic bread. Instead I stuck a paring knife in my hand - not on purpose. I was trying to cut butter. The butter was frozen if that makes it any better. I had never had stitches. Now I have five.

So today I am having a pity party. I can’t make bread because I can’t knead dough one handed. So I splurged and bought fancy baguette bread. I decided to roast some garlic and eat it on that baguette with olive oil. It will make me feel better.

It’s real easy to roast garlic, but that doesn’t make it any less decedent. And when you are having a pity party for one you don’t have to worry about impressing anyone or having bad breath. Luckily I just got some fresh from the garden garlic.  All you do is cut the top half inch or so off a whole head of garlic. Drizzle a teaspoon or so of olive oil into it, sprinkle some salt and pepper, wrap it in tin foil and then bake for 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees until tender.


Roasted garlic bread and beer is my comfort food. My whole apartment smells Italian. I think I am starting to feel better.