Thursday, November 12, 2015

My roommate is working the nightshift tonight, so it's nice to have the apartment to myself in the evening.

Lately, I've been trying to cook more when he's not home. Actually, I should rephrase that. It's been years since I've been cooking regularly, so I've just been trying to cook in general nowadays.

Being single and living in New York City, it's easy to go through extensively long periods without thinking twice about preparing my own food. The concept of grocery shopping turns really more into the question of, "where should I get food from?" And the daily matter of what to make for dinner turns more into, "what should I order?" Since most of my meals are eaten on my own, it always feels more convenient to just get some take-out rather than going through the trouble of cooking and cleaning for myself. Plus, the places to order food from in New York City heavily outweigh places to go grocery shopping. And no matter what type of cuisine I'm craving on any given day, the freedom of not having to think about making it leaves for a lot more extra time in life. Which is always great because wondering about the recipes for a proper beef tartare or Vietnamese pho seems daunting. Besides being single, there's also a lot of other reasons why New Yorkers might not always cook. Perhaps for some, the magic of Seamless is just too amazing to not use. Then there's the fact that a lot of New York City apartments have unusable kitchens for whatever reasons, whether the equipment is super old or terrible ventilation makes the entire place stink afterwards. Or maybe there's the 3 crazy roommates who are always hogging up the stove and never clean up after themselves? And then there's the simple reality that many New Yorkers are straight up too busy.

But I've been trying to be more diligent about cooking for myself recently. Nothing super fancy, but accessible dishes that don't require a million ingredients and laborious prep. I don't like to cook if there are other people around, it's just a thing I have. That's why I take advantage of nights like tonight when my roommate isn't here. I prefer to cook alone with some music or a podcast on, that's it. And spending this time again in the kitchen has definitely been helpful in so many ways. I never realized this, but it's surprising how disconnected one can become from constantly eating food made by other people.

That's why I've come to enjoy this solo time for myself. And I forgot how when it comes to food, the most simplest things can be extremely cathartic. Cleaning and cutting your own vegetables. The feeling of ingredients in your hands. All of the vibrant colors and textures. The marvelous aromas wafting throughout. Pulling out a warm dish from the oven. Knowing exactly what's going into your body. All of it can be so wonderfully grounding.

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