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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation

04.09.2001

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food for thought : 
m
e in my kitchen  
at
6pm, monday 
a personal essay |
1 2 3

Itís six p.m. according to my kitchen clock, the old analog clock attached to the stoveís timer that gets knocked back five, ten, fifteen minutes every time I set the ringer, so who knows, maybe itís actually later. Itís been another busy Monday Ė my own fault for flaking off the Friday before Ė and my contacts feel too tight in my eyes from having spent the entirety of the day fixated on my computer screen. Itís a sad, sad comment on my state of existence to note that taking that walk from the desk in my home office to the fridge at the far end of my kitchen is the most physical activity this body has experienced all day.

Itís time to deal with tonightís dinner. Most days I love cooking Ė love puttering about in my big kitchen, chopping veggies on a thick wooden butcherís block, listening to the sizzle of a sautť mingle with a gurgling pot of water. Iím a good cook Ė not as good as my mother, true, who in an hour and a half, can and usually does throw together a banquetís worth of dishes for an ordinary weekday family meal, but with enough culinary skills that my food tastes much better than your average available takeout alternative. Which is why I feel guilty when, on nights like tonight, Iím just plain uninspired to cook.

I open the fridge door and stand there for a good long while, letting the cool air wander out while I ponder the contents. Ash, of course, would not approve of my wasting energy thus, but fortunately, heís not home yet to give me the lecture. There are two limp carrots, half a red pepper, and a handful of onions in the crisper. Smushy red grapes on the road to raisin-dom occupying space in the fruit bin. A container of leftover rice, plus four small tupperware boxes containing various remnants from meals that were far more exciting the first time around. Besides, thereís too little of each to yield enough for a whole dinner, and somehow, a medley of ma po tofu, refried beans, puttanesca sauce and thai green curry, just doesnít strike me as even approaching the semblance of an edible concoction. I donít do fusion.

I rummage further into the depths of the big white box, behind the chipotle paste and chili bean sauce, around an infinite assortment of mysterious condiments Ė pickled ginger, where did you come from? Ė that have only been used once in the history of my kitchen, proof that, see!, on better days, I am a serious and adventurous amateur cook. Right now, however, Iím looking for a no-effort solution to my hunger problem. Naturally that tastes good, because even at my most ravenous, I find the notion of food as mere fuel for the bodyís requirements to be something akin to blasphemy. 

keep walking there's more!

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