I realized yesterday that I’ve been here now for TWO months (and only have 20 months left of my sentence, j/k) and have cooked only a handful of meals. Why? I’ve determined this is for three reasons:
- Firstly, Raj severely limited the number of cookbooks (ANY books for that matter) that I could bring with me. He scared me into thinking that my books would fall off of a container and into the water, never to be seen again (where is the water he was speaking of?). Back in February when I was struggling with which books to bring, Raj asked, “How would you feel if your signed books were lost, or stolen, or fell off a ship?” (Note: most of my books and cookbooks are signed by the authors and have been collected over years and Raj was playing on my sentimentality.) Can you believe this logic worked on me? (What’s worse, this logic worked for just about every item in the house, which is why there’s so little sense of home here.) I remember thinking that this all sounded logical, as if book bandits would be searching though our containers for autographed Brian Selznick books or Julia Child’s cookbooks. He had me so concerned that I agreed to his mandate, which limited me to TWO boxes, which is NOTHING and I’m realizing that I’m not very fond of many, strike that, ANY of the cookbooks that I’ve brought. (I’m making a case to buy more cookbooks.)
- Secondly, I HATE grocery shopping here! The stores aren’t that far away, but with the few cookbooks that I have, I can’t find the ingredients that I’m looking for. Yeah, I know, the solution is to improvise, explore the local foods, but I don’t feel like it…not now anyway. Further complicating matters right now is that it’s Ramadan for the entire month of August. What does this have to do with anything? Well, since everyone fasts all day, they feast at night and pillage the grocery store shelves leaving little by way of stock.
- Lastly, as I’ve complained all along, my kitchen is not functional. I was making pizza dough last weekend and plugged in my Kitchen Aid to the electrical circuit, which is an extension cord that goes up to the converter box (you know the 1970s contraption that I had to hide from my line of sight?). (FYI, in case you’re worried, pizza night has not suffered. It’s still going strongly, every Friday, despite the cooking downturn.) As I was adjusting the speed, I kept feeling a tingling sensation. It took me a few more adjustments to realize I was getting shocked. Now, in order to use ANY of the small appliances that I brought, I have to disconnect everything in order to plug one thing in at a time. You’re thinking ‘what’s the big deal,’ right? The big deal is that the plugs are ALL above the cabinets so that I don’t have to see them. The issue is that unplugging everything requires me to get out the step-ladder, adjust the cords, re-hide the cords after I’m finished…it’s too much work. Did I mention that I’ve gained weight since I’ve gotten here too? Another reason not to cook!!!