Saturday, October 01, 2016

Making Do in the Cottage Kitchen

The bar: notice no stove, no dishwasher,
precious little counter space
The cottage doesn’t really have a kitchen—it has what we call a bar area. Zoning restrictions say only one kitchen on a property, and that obviously is in the main house. I can have anything I can plug in, and so far, I’ve been getting along with my super induction burner. But I haven’t cooked much. I’ve lived on cottage cheese, yogurt, sandwiches, an occasional lunch out, and what people have brought me.

I decided this weekend I’d cook some interesting meals. Christian is out of town, and Jordan had plans so my interesting meals turned out to be for me. For lunch, I wanted to make an Italian style open-face tuna sandwich—you make a wonderful salsa of parsley, olive oil, lemon zest, anchovies, etc. Put chunks of tuna on a section of baguette, with hard-oiled egg and greens, and top with salsa.

What it turned out I didn’t have and needed: chopper blade to my mini-Cuisinart, garlic press, lemons (I had a drawerful but I think I sacrificed them to happy hour), In the absence of my preferred tools I could have used Balsamic vinegar and my salad bowl with an old-fashioned hand chopper—didn’t have those either. So as best I could with a paring knife and cutting board, I chopped Italian parsley and anchovies, flaked tuna, and sort of invented the rest of the recipe—sans egg, which I didn’t have either. Turned out I had what was literally a chopped salad on a hunk of baguette. The flavors were all there, some really strong with an occasional bite, and it was okay. Took me an hour to fix, and the kitchen floor was a disaster. The minute Jordan walked in, she went for the hand vac.

Tonight I decided on a basic spaghetti with anchovy and olive oil. I had ordered a set of pots for the burner, and they arrived yesterday—but I couldn’t get them out of the box. So I boiled spaghetti in the skillet. Draining was a problem without a colander, but I got it done. I was cooking for one and the recipe was for four. So I guessed and cooked by instinct—the result was good but a little dry (I forgot to save cooking water)/ Tomorrow I’ll heat it with more olive oil and butter for lunch.

My experiments may not have been raving successes, but they were a step in the right direction. I’m beginning to figure out what I can do in this cooking area, mostly seated, and what utensils I need. It bothers me that the things I always had in the house aren’t right there when I think they should be, but I’m sure this will get better.

I did a number on myself again this morning, but this time it was a positive number, giving myself lots of positive messages about a good day. It worked, and I had a fine, productive day, a long nap, and happy hour with Jordan. Tomorrow will be a good day too.

Our big problem: we can’t find the larger shoe I bought for the brace. Of course the one we can’t find is the right one, that the brace goes into. Jordan will check garbage again. I’d hate to have to buy a new pair when I’d just worn those one day.

Baby steps.

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