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Friday, May 14, 2004

I've recently finished a crazy week of which the highlights were ending a seven and a half year relationship (complete with kitchen remodel) and finding a new place to live.

Some of the lowlights include *looking* for a place to live. While there are many things that go into the "right" home, the kitchen and the food are two big components. Since I was primarily looking to at shared housing situations, how my housemate(s) feel about food, cooking, and dining were also pretty crucial.

I've lived with people who cook meat at home before, and it is something I didn't want to do again. I've never lived with someone who didn't enjoy my cooking, and I don't want to try. There are some areas in which I am flexible, but this is not one of them. I was able to find a great housemate, great house, and so far, the only possible criticism I have of her is that she's "not a chocolate person". Given that she told me this after I handed her a box of jam bars (Deborah Madison's recipe, organic blueberry filling/slivered almonds and oatmeal added to the top layer) and told her "This is not a bribe. It would be sneaky, underhanded and manipulative to try and bribe you, and I'd never do anything like that." She looked in, said yum, and asked if I'd known that she's "not a chocolate person".

She keeps a kosher kitchen, and only cooks dairy and pareve foods in it. This makes me a very happy mostly-vegetarian-- and given that I'm divorcing my annual source of crabmeat, and my semi-annual source of shrimp has died, it will work out fine.

We were talking about shared food, and I mentioned that given that my pantry includes olive oil for cooking, good olive oil for salads, hazelnut oil, toasted walnut oil, canola oil, and rapeseed oil with lemon zest, well, if I had to share the pantry space, my salads would be far less interesting. She was impressed by my only using the expensive olive oil for times I can actually taste it. She's also volunteered some of the organic nastursiums and organic blueberries as salad ingredients.

Yes, there is a gas stove. Good, open-- yet out of dog reach-- pantry shelving. She's going to come visit the house I am moving out of so that we can make good decisions about kitchen implements, utensils and serving pieces. Some of mine will go into storage, but she's all about getting the best combination into our new home.

Not cooking related, but she's delighted to have a dog moving into the house and I'm in love with the redwood trees.

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