Tomorrow starts our second weekend in a row where we aim to feed as many people as well and lovingly as possible, and one thing has become clear over the past week: my NYC pre-war apartment is woefully unprepared for this.
Before Hurricane Sandy I had cooked maybe once or twice in the past year; this isn’t because I don’t enjoy cooking or am a bad cook, but simply because I learned to cook from my grandmother, Mimi, who taught me that cooking for someone was one of the best ways to show that you cared. So I cook for other people, only. I like many New Yorkers survive off a diet of deli sandwiches, bagels, and restaurant take-out.
So when Hurricane Sandy hit, and I first cooked with Monica in her well-stocked apartment, I realized there were going to be some challenges when I cooked from home. Like forks. We must have a fork gnome since over the last year we have lost all but THREE of our forks. Three, seriously, how does that even happen? Then there is my oven which only had one rack (had to borrow it from a nice neighbor that never cooks). I also had only one chef and one pairing knife, no mixing bowls, no large pasta pot, and two very well used cookie sheets. Luckily I do have my red KitchenAid mixer, which has been my constant companion. Finally, our crowning glory in a NYC apartment was our dishwasher, which of course broke a couple of months ago and still has not been replaced. I have washed more dishes in the past 8 days then the past 8 years.
Then you get to the layout of my apartment, which is seriously all hallways. It’s a three bedroom apartment where at least a third of the square footage is hallways and they are dark. I may have run into the wall a time or two since I have lived here.
Luckily people have been very patient with our limitations and today Carlos went to Ikea and bought new mixing bowls, knives, cookie sheets, and forks (YAY FORKS!). Of course I immediately tested the knives as I cut myself, which led me to find out that I only had two options for bandaids: ones that were literally bigger than my entire finger or a normal sized one that turned out to be purple with stars.
Which leads me to tomorrow, well I guess today. We have a big job and thankfully the donations and volunteers to make food for over a hundred people. I’ll be the one wearing the purple star bandaid.