My apartment is tiny. Really tiny. How many steps do you think it takes for me to get from the couch in my living room to the bed in my bedroom? It’s a trick question: the “living room” and the “bedroom” are the same room. (And the answer is: about a half a step.) If I stood in the middle of my apartment and spread my arms out, there would be very little space between my fingers and the walls on either side. I had to have my parents bring my small, circular hightop table back home because it took up too much space.
But it’s my apartment. I pay the rent. I pay the bills. I love it.
I love its hardwood floors. I love that it’s 10 blocks from work. I love the neighborhood. I love the sounds of people going in and out of the laundromat below my window. I even love the hissing of the radiator, as it reminds me of waking up on winter mornings in my childhood home.
The one part of my apartment that I’m in more of a love/hate relationship with is the kitchen. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely little area, with new countertops, nice cabinets – even a dishwasher. But I have to walk by it pretty much anywhere I go in my apartment. And it mocks me.
It mocks me because when I first saw the apartment, I was sooo excited about the kitchen. It was brand new! It was clean! I was going to cook for myself every night!
In my excitement, one rather important thing escaped me: I can’t cook.
But it’s not only that. I don’t like to cook. Which is probably why I can’t; I’ve never wanted to learn. And I’ve never really needed to learn.
But that has changed. I’m going to let you in on a little secret: New York City is expensive! Oh, yes it is. Why didn’t anyone tell me that before I moved here?
And while I am working and making a living, I do have to pay rent. And bills. (See above). And I have absolutely no right spending as much as I do on food each week.
Coffee on the way to work? Sure! Have to start the day off right.
Food delivered at lunch? Why not!? Too rushed every morning to pack my own.
Take-out for dinner? Yup! Exhausted after a long workday and besides, who has time to go food shopping?
No. It’s time to give myself some tough love: You are not a baller. You do have time. The money you spend on eating out is absurd and unacceptable – and it has to stop.
But, oh yeah, I can’t cook.
You see, I have a few issues with cooking:
1) Recipes are notorious for requiring ingredients I don’t have. Ingredients I have to make a special trip to the grocery store to buy. And then when I buy them for that one recipe, they just sit in my cabinet or refrigerator, not to be used again, until they go bad and I have to throw them away.
2) Recipes are also notorious for calling for ingredients I’ve never heard of. That’s basically just asking for a recipe to hit the proverbial cutting room floor of my kitchen.
3) I like quick and easy, and many recipes are neither. Heating up a can of soup? That I can do. That is quick and easy. That is not, however, “cooking.”
I become a total idiot in the kitchen. And it’s frustrating how cooking seems to come easy to so many people, including Brian. I love when he cooks for me. It’s one of the reasons I fell for him (more on that in another post). It’s cute how he thinks I’m learning as I watch him. “See? You just throw ingredients together! It’s easy!” he tells me.
It’s not easy. I’ve tried throwing ingredients together. It’s rancid.
But I’m not a quitter. I’m also not going to make it much longer if I continue to drop money like what on eating out. So I’m on the lookout for recipes that are the following:
1) Simple (read: contains ingredients found in any ol’ market)
2) Yummy (read: will not turn out rancid)
3) Idiot-proof (read: I can handle it)
And then maybe I’ll be one of those people who can brag descriptively on Facebook about the delicious meal I just created (rather than being the person who hisses at them).
Because I have to walk by my kitchen no matter where I go in my apartment. In fact, it’s the first thing I see when I walk through the door to my tiny apartment. We may as well try to get along.
Help? Where can I find some simple/yummy/idiot-proof recipes for one? Do you have any to share?