I am a lover of routines. I like, yes, to have things occasionally go off the map, but I like to come back to schedules, to planning, to knowing what's coming next. It can make me a bit of a control freak, but...it's who I am. It's what I do.
It's what's been making me crazy since the move.
My routines have been OFF. All off. No pilates, no biking, no regularly-scheduled phone calls with friends and family, no salad-for-lunch-potato-for-dinner.
Let me allow that to sink in. NO COOKING.
I have lived here for just over a month now, and not once had I lit the stove. Yes, I'd made salads and cold things, but top-of-the-stove cooking? Nope. None of that had taken place. And there's no oven here. For those of you who know my love of bread making, vegetable roasting, and potato baking? Please say a tiny prayer over my broken heart. It's just not something that's common here.
Tonight after work I walked to Holland Village for a cup of tea and a bit of reading (side note: I'm ashamed to admit this, but I just finished my first ever full-length Hemingway (A Farewell to Arms) - loved it). I sat in The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for a couple of hours, reading the last of the novel, savoring the decaf iced tea, and thinking about things I need to do. Find a pilates studio. Get a bike. Revise some dissertation chapters. Update my CV.
I found myself thinking about the book Alone in the Kitchen With an Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone, which my friend laflaneuse gave me a while back. I thought of the essays in the book, and what I've cooked alone for myself over the years.
I thought of black beans.
And so I walked to the grocery store. Bought a can of black beans, an onion, garlic, a red pepper (capsicum), tomatoes, cumin. Brought them home on the bus. Chopped up the vegetables with a knife that doesn't deserve the name. Opened up the beans. Made myself a good meal, topped off with some Greek yogurt and Chipotle Tabasco (made in Louisiana and purchased in Chicago).
Gave thanks for the creation of new routines in a new place.