Packing and Remembering

Tomorrow, it begins.

I have to start packing up parts of my kitchen.

We are moving sometime next month, and that means that we need to seriously start to pack.

In all honesty, I started the process months ago when I put most of our books in boxes.

Not my cookbooks of course. Just the other books. The cookbooks are still all on their shelves, dusted and happy. I couldn’t pack those.

I might need them.

But books about gardening, or novels or literature or folklore or feminist theory or spirituality–we didn’t need those.

Of course, I have already had to dig into a couple of boxes to retrieve something that Zak did indeed inform me that he needed in order to write an essay.


So, anyway, I am eyeing my kitchen, knowing that I should pack away the things I will not be needing anytime in the next month, so I won’t have to stay up for forty-eight hours before the moving van arrives and pack in a frenzy of stressed activity.

I know I should, but I don’t want to.

Choosing what goes into boxes first is hard.

By all rights it should be simple. The fish poacher should go first. Because I have never used it, and I am not likely to poach a whole salmon just for Zak, myself and maybe the cats. Even if the cats hope for this, it is not likely to happen.

But it is so shiny. It doesn’t want to be in a box. Besides, Zak’s dad bought it for me as a gift when I graduated from culinary school.

Or the twenty-something quart stockpot. I am not going to be making beef stock for pho anytime soon. Not with only two people in the house. Nor am I going to be making jambalaya for a crowd–especially since the crowd lives where we will be moving to, not where we live now.

But I hate to do it. I always think about the first time I used the stockpot.

For our wedding feast. I made beef stew with Guinness stout. I catered the reception myself–with the exception of the cake. Never bake and decorate your own wedding cake, even if you are professional. It adds way too much strees to an already stressful event.

I am speaking from experience; I did it once, for my first wedding. Three tiers, frosting roses, festoons of icing. It was the first time I had ever done such a thing.

It is also nearly the last time I have done it.

I don’t do wedding cakes anymore.

Anyway–I look at that stockpot and I think about Zak and I getting married and I don’t want to stick it in a box.

Or Gram’s pots and pans. A large set of copper-bottomed Revereware purchased by her daughters after they got jobs at the phone company in the 1940’s. They gave them to her for Christmas., and she kept them until she went into a nursing home while I was in culinary school, in 1998. When they cleaned out her apartment, my Mom asked if I wanted anything and I asked for her soup pot. My aunt Sis, one of the two who had given it to Gram, said to just give them all to me.

So, when I use them, I think of all the meals Gram cooked and served in those, for her kids and grandkids. And when I think of putting them in a box, I get reluctant. They are full of love, and a lot of good cooking karma. They should be enshrined, not stuck in a box.

And her Fiestaware is in my cupboard, too. And the wooden spoon that was Grandma’s and the antique tea set that Zak’s grandfather brought from Japan, and the mooncake mold I bought from the Wok Shop in San Francisco on our honeymoon….

And I cannot do it. I hate to do it. I don’t want to do it.

But it is too bad. The boxes go into the kitchen empty tomorrow.

And they will come out filled.

I swear it.

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