Bon Appetit!

PrintNow that I’m back in the city with lots of time on my hands, I figure I should make the most of it and start cooking more. Isn’t this a city pipe dream–being able to cook your meals instead of folding to the seductive charms of 4 delis, 2 Chinese restaurants and a falafel cart within a block of each other? But now that I’m a little short on disposable income, it’s time to cut back on the breakfast/lunch/dinner buying and start getting more acquainted with my…..heating contraption? What’s it called…o yea, a stove.

It’s not that I’m a bad cook, it’s just that I don’t always have the ingredients on hand to be a good one. When I’m at home in New Jersey, I love cooking. I made chicken pot pie, from scratch! But the biggest difference between cooking at home and cooking at my apartment is ingredients. Specifically, ingredients my mom pays for vs. the ones I do. She’s an avid cook, and has a stocked pantry with all sorts of spices, soups and sauces. But all I have in my cabinet is a large container of pepper-salt and a bottle of canola oil. Where are my culinary aspirations supposed to lead me with that?!

Of course, this could all be solved by making a trip to the grocery store and stocking up my own pantry. Then I could make all the dishes that are in my wheelhouse, like tuna pasta salad and poached chicken. And considering last night’s dinner consisted of freezer-burned green beans and a container of apple sauce, I think it’s time to make that trip! I’m 26 years old, for Pete’s sake. That was barely acceptable in college! So for the sake of saving my mother the postage on shipping me a case of ramen noodles, I’m off to the…food space? Ah yes, grocery store! Off to the grocery store I go!

What’s My Age: 7, when a “gourmet meal” consisted of ravioli and chocolate pudding for dessert. ….Still sounds amazing actually! 

My Hovel, My Home

PrintWhile I was away for the last few months, I decided to sublet my apartment. This was risky on a few levels–I didn’t alert my crazy landlord to this setup and I had exactly one week to find someone. But mostly the risk came from letting some random person that I met for five minutes come into my apartment with all of my stuff and live there for a few months. The day I left, I had a vision of returning to an empty apartment and finding a note on the door that read, “Thanks for letting me take all of your stuff, you have good taste.” But, she paid me in full before she even moved in, so I handed over the keys and said a prayer!

Well, when I got back to my apartment this week, it was not how I had left it–which was, obviously, pristinely clean. Despite giving her a full tour of the single closet that holds all of my cleaning supplies, and mentioning where the vacuum was located, I returned to the disgusting reality of someone who hadn’t touch a mop or sponge in three months! Plus, inexplicably, she took all of my artwork off the walls and put my mantle-place tchotchkes underneath my kitchen sink! I guess she was offended by my collection of carved wooden animals and Turkish pottery I have way too much of after an over-zealous spree at World Market! People are weird….

So not only did I have to scrub the identity of this phantom subletter from my apartment, but I also needed to scrub away her grime and glass rings from my coffee table! At least the coffee table was still there? After many hours of elbow grease and a griping phone call to my parents, my apartment is clean again and feels like the spotless home I know and love! I’d like to take a nap, but I should probably get some air to clear out the cleaning fumes from my system!

What’s My Age: 57, a second-career Merry Maids franchise owner. 

Movin’ Out!

PrintEarlier this week, I moved back to my apartment in the city. Much to my own surprise, I wasn’t really looking forward to it that much! It was so relaxing to be at home, and I think over the span of the entire month, I spent $20. Within the first half-hour of arriving back in the city, I dropped $20 on groceries to fill my empty refrigerator.

Living back at home was not the nightmare I had envisioned it being, much to my (and my parents) relief! And it doesn’t really have anything to do with my family at all–we all get along and always have a good time together. There’s just something about being in my hometown that has my mind whirring: GET OUT OF HERE AFTER 2-3 DAYS OR YOU WILL PROBABLY LIVE HERE FOREVER AND HAVE TO WORK AT THE OASIS DINER! AND THEN YOU’LL HAVE TO BUY A CAR AND THAT DIDN’T GO SO WELL LAST TIME. But coming home was actually the best thing to do after such a volatile few months! I had no responsibilities, no emails to answer…I slept in and went to bed early, drank wine with dinner, and took two-hour walks in the woods. When do I ever do any of those things in New York?

I’m actually heading home again this weekend….you can’t keep me away from there now! I’m finally feeling the state pride that so many of my obnoxious statesmen seem to shove in everyone’s face. Before you know it, my idea of an ideal vacay will be a trip to “da shore.” ….Eh, let’s not get too crazy. Though I could use a spray tan right about now….

What’s My Age: 35, making the move to the burbs with my husband and 2.5 children.

La Di Da

PrintHappy New Year everyone! Yea, I’m a little behind, but I’m living the life of leisure now! With no job and therefore no responsibilities, I’ve been spending my days like a grand dame! (Which is also my dream persona…) Up at 8 am to catch the morning shows; a leisurely breakfast, a stroll with my dog; and then back to bed to read and listen to music. Lunch at noon and an afternoon spent doing crafts, hanging out with my sister, and enjoying the great outdoors. Remind me why I was so focused on working all the time?

Of course, I have the benefit of currently living at home, where my daily expenses clock in at exactly zero dollars, so what’s to worry about anyway! Plus, everyone keeps telling me that this is supposed to be a time to “reset” and “relax”….and for once, I actually am! Gone is the uptight, competitive career woman who spends her days panicking over being successful 20 years from now. Currently, the only thought on my mind is if there are enough ingredients in my mom’s pantry to successfully make homemade foccacia bread.

I like this pared down, mellow me! It’s much more fun and much less exhausting to have my biggest concern be what color I should paint my nails. It’s a refreshing change from the last few years, where I have almost single-handedly been focused on “making it.” All I’ve been made is tired! So enough with the melodrama! 2015 will be the year I embrace a zen persona, where I say things like, “It’ll happen” and “Good vibes.”

Alas, this dream life ends next week, when I move back into the city and am confronted with the cold reality of having to pay for things. Perhaps my career motivations and aspirations will return to me when I cross that bridge. …But maybe those things are better left in 2014.

What’s My Age: 83, the rich ex-wife of an oil-tycoon who has not a care in the world!