So we moved into a house farther away from a grocery store than our previous apartment was (and that was a very close 3.5 blocks). I know, life is so rough. But it is. Because it’s winter. The kind where it snows. Or gets down to “feels like” -15 degrees. Or both.
And we’re without a car. ZipCar doesn’t count.
And we don’t have a kitchen.
Yet. You know, in case you thought “no kitchen” was just part of the Grand Plan.
Normally, most people would be like “Sweet! Delivery and takeout. All the time!” But I actually like cooking. I even like going to the grocery store – except, not the ones in Boston, the ones in Texas, which are all sparkly clean, big, brand-new, and full of things that only sat on the truck half-way across the country from California or Mexico, not all the way. Tangent: even my friend from Colorado, while living in MA, commented on the “poor quality” produce here in Boston. I am a west coast produce snob.
So, I have no kitchen and no easy way to get to the store and it’s snowing and cold and even if I do get to the store, it’s beige and dimly lit and WHERE ARE YOU, CENTRAL MARKET???
In fact, as I type this Lou is about to order pizza, it’s snowing-soon-to-be-sleeting and I’m drinking wine from a coffee mug because the wine glass (the only one we’ve fished out of the kitchen boxes) is up on the third floor bathroom sink drying.
Yes, I do kind of love it. But only because there’s an end in sort-of sight. Until then, we have a microwave. And, better yet, a crock pot. And we eat anything, so it’s not like food around here goes to waste, even if it’s weird or boring or the same thing we’ve had ten times in a row (peanut butter and honey sandwich, anyone?). So over the weekend I got adventurous and made some minimal ingredient dishes in the crock pot.
Now, before we moved, I made many meals in the ol’ crock, but they were fancy, involved sautéing things first, and a lot more counter space for chopping and mixing and, frankly, dishwashing, than the round walnut table offers. So, 8-hour tikka masala, while you are delicious, you are on hold. Crock pots are meant to be easy, not fancy. And I’m not the first to just throw two ingredients in, but…we are still glamping, in case you forgot. Because this is our kitchen right now, and most all utensils, dishware and spices are still in boxes. I mean, why unpack to just have them sit on the floor under the Jesus bust? No need.
First, spinach lasagna.
If I hadn’t been lazy and had absorbed more water from the frozen spinach as the recipe stated, and added the sausage and a lot more salt and a better sauce than just boring marinara, it would have been EXCELLENT. But i didn’t, and it was fine. The second day, it was actually really good (with more salt). You’re like, “Um, it’s vegetable lasagna, how good could it be?” We have to balance out the take-out and pizza, ok?
Next, BBQ chicken sammies.
I bought the expensive, local pickles for these babies. And the onion and white bread to go with it. And the can of Bush’s baked beans, to make it feel like a real BBQ. This was a winner, and far easier than the lasagna.
I’ll be having more non-kitchen crock pot adventures. But first I have to go buy some ingredients. And to do that, it has to stop snowing.