Boxes, Boxes Everywhere

And so, it is like this, you see.

In two weeks, we are moving. And before we move, we have to do stuff like pack, distasteful though it is. And we have to do about eighty-eleven other things, like order our new sofa and chairs for the living room (the current couch is too large to fit in any of the rooms of the new house) and see if we can find enough boxes to pack our bazillions of books in, and clean up our continual messes, and go out and get enough cat carriers for all of our critters.

While, of course, keeping food on the table and not going insane.

We’re doing great with the food on the table–Zak has been baking bread (and has finally taken up keeping notes on what he does with each loaf so he can remember and replicate the process–I am quite proud of him) and I have, as you know, making pot after pot of nurturing soups.

As for not going insane, this blog helps with that. I get naturally twitchy if I have to cook in a jumbled, chaotic kitchen day after day. I always was naturally a reasonably orderly cook, but having the mantra of mise en place beaten into my head in culinary school has made me even more neurotically inclined toward a clealiness in the kitchen than before. And our kitchen, right now, is not anything resembling orderly.

Most of my pots and pans are packed away. My baking things, too. It is coming onto time to start thinking of packing my huge cabinet of spices away, leaving only a skeleton crew behind–chiles, Sichuan peppercorns, black pepper, salt, thyme, rosemary and sage. I think, I hope, I can pack the rest. Well, maybe not. What about the holy trinity of Indian food: cumin, coriander and cardamom?

And the rice. I should pack it all away except for the jasmine. And maybe the basmati.

All of my cookbooks are in boxes, now, though my last box of Chinese cookbooks is left open. I have a couple of them which I am not finished reading yet. For Zak, I have out two bread baking books, and I found a dessert recipe book hiding downstairs last night, and I have some tomes of food and women’s history that are lying about because I am still reading them, snatching free time from the jaws of the box monster.

My cookbooks are my friends. They are comforting, lined up neatly in their shelves, and sometimes, I am apt to just pull one out to read a few pages. I do that especially with Julia Child; her voice comes through her writing and is extremely comforting. Madeline Kamman’s books do that to me, too. “And now, we will have a reading from the gospel of Saint Julia, 1:21–“Never apologize.”

However, Saint Julia is stuck in a box somewhere in the vicinity of my living room, taped up in the dark with her compatriots, and her voice is silenced, except in memory.

At any rate, if my updates cease to be as regular at some point in the next few weeks, which is likely, you will know why.

I am living in land of boxes. Boxes, boxes, everywhere, and no vodka to drink.

Until I have to stop writing, though, I do have a few good entries lined up.

Stay tuned.


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  1. Barbara – I posted a comment beneath yours at Chez Pim, but I didn’t know if you would see it – do you live near Lynd Fruit Farm? My family lives just down the road, and I rode the bus to high school with the Lynd boys. I live in Florida now, and really miss the fresh apples in the fall, and the pumpkins and the corn. Florida is not so good for apples – I can’t stand the sad little wax-covered mushballs at the groceries here…

    Anyway, when I saw your comment I thought gee – small world.

    Comment by faith — March 14, 2005 #

  2. Yes, Faith–we live very close to Lynd’s, in Pataskala. What a small world!

    We are moving back to Athens in two weeks, though.

    We’ll still travel to Lynd’s for thier fruit and especially their cider, though.

    We took apples with us to visit Zak’s parents in Florida last year, because the apples they get in Miami are so awful.

    Comment by Barbara Fisher — March 15, 2005 #

  3. Hi Barbara,
    Take care and enjoy your move. Will still check in whenever I can. Shirley

    Comment by Anonymous — March 15, 2005 #

  4. Have a good move Barbara – and when you get there to the new place, cook up more storms 😉

    Comment by stef — March 15, 2005 #

  5. Thanks, Shirley and Stef!

    As you see, I couldn’t resist posting the recipe I cooked last night. Oh, well.

    Now that I have done that, I am back to the boxes!

    Comment by Barbara Fisher — March 15, 2005 #

  6. As the fox kits to the den,
    Let things go to their right box.
    Carry them safe along then,
    Without loss, without shocks.

    As the dove to the roost,
    Let all bits be in place.
    Let no single one be loosed,
    Bring them safe to their new place.

    Let it be so, Goddess.

    GoodWishing to moving, Judith

    Comment by wwjudith — March 16, 2005 #

  7. That was lovely, Judith.

    I wonder if you knew that foxes were special to me, and doves to Zak?

    Hrm. Interesting. The Psychic Friend’s Network on the case, perhaps?

    Thank you for the blessing!

    Comment by Barbara Fisher — March 16, 2005 #

  8. No, I didn’t know—but it does often work out that way 😉

    Comment by wwjudith — March 16, 2005 #

  9. Good luck on your move, Barbara. That’s wonderful you’re moving to Athens – I imagine it’s a much nicer place than Pataskala to live these days. I don’t like the way Pataskala is developing, unfortunately – I don’t think they’re being very smart about it. 15 years ago, when my parents moved there it was in the middle of No-Where. Now it looks like one more class-B suburb.

    But it’s still very pretty in spots – coming up over the rise on 310 just north of Broad, on my way home, always feels like I’ve left the city behind for good…

    Again, good luck – enjoy the Rome apples in fall. I really like your blog, btw. The Indian recipes are going to all be tried out in my kitchen…

    Comment by faith — March 17, 2005 #

  10. Thank you, Faith.

    We lived in Athens for about six years before I went to culinary school, so it is like going home.

    I really love our house in Pataskala, and the land that it is on. We have eight acres of woods, which surround three sides of the house, and we are lucky in that two of our neighbors own significant amounts of woodland around ours which they have no intention of selling because they ride horses on it.

    But, within five miles of our house in any direction, there is a total of somewhere between eight and twelve huge developments going in. I can hear the equipment tearing down the trees from our woods, and it is breaking my heart. Our woods are home to foxes, hawks, deer, rabbit, skunk, turkey, raccoon, possum, a huge number and variety of songbirds, lots of woodpeckers, falcons, kestrels, snakes, frogs and toads, even coyote. Two years ago in the snow, I saw bobcat tracks.

    All I can think of is where these animals are going to go. It makes me terribly sad–living beside and among these creatures was a gift to us, but now–I don’t know if I can watch all of this greed and destruction.

    As for Lynd’s–we buy the apples in succession. McIntosh first, then Jonathan, then Rome and finally, Winesap. And of course, we get peaches and cherries in the summer, and squash and pumpkings in the fall. Last summer I got some of the best blackberries ever there, though I usually just went out and picked wild ones from our woods.

    Speaking of which, I will have to go into the woods and see if the ramps are coming up….

    Comment by Barbara Fisher — March 17, 2005 #

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