I’m pretty good at keeping secrets. However, this one was hard to hold in. But now… finally… I can make the announcement: after months of looking at properties, Eric and I have purchased a house. Our home.
Since the fall, our weekends have been spent going from open house to open house looking at places, many of which were out of our price range or in a bad location or in complete disrepair. Eventually, we got pretty good at going through these quickly, but it took a lot of time and energy and left us feeling like there wasn’t much on the market.
A couple of weeks ago, we were sent a listing from our agent that looked promising. The location was great and the pictures presented it well enough (though you can never tell how a place is until you’ve seen it in person… photos can be deceptive). As soon as we saw the house, though, we knew it was the right one for us and immediately got an offer in. That weekend was a roller-coaster of emotions; the excitement of waiting to hear if our offer had been accepted, the let down when we heard that we’d been outbid. By the time Sunday came around, we were totally exhausted and spent the afternoon distracting ourselves from thinking about houses for a bit. We ran errands and got makings for a nice dinner. That evening we cozied up on the couch with Maki and zoned out on some TV. And that’s when we got the call informing us that the initial offer had fallen through. Were we still interested in the house? Yes… yes we were.
Everything since then has gone smoothly. The report from the inspection presented exactly what we’d expected. The house was in wonderful condition and was obviously well loved.
We now begin the process of packing and figuring out what we take with us and what’s left behind. Until now, I’ve just been relishing in the excitement of purchasing a home, planning exactly how we’ll decorate each room (Eric’s been a sport and has gone along with most of my ideas). But there’s lots of work to do and the time between now and the closing will be here before we know it.
Amidst all the house activity and photo projects, I spent a little time digging into some recipe development. While we’ve been seeing a lot of root vegetables and citrus, there have also been substantial amounts of greens in our CSA box. Now, if you’ve never had dandelion greens, you should know that they’re bitter. Like, really bitter. Which I don’t have a problem with, but I just wanted to prepare you. I’ve seen a lot of recipes that call for sautéing them, and while that’s fine, I really had my heart set on a salad. I found that by dressing the greens and letting them sit for a little bit, it cures them and removes some of that bitterness. The dressing is sweet as well and, once the whole salad is topped with bright citrus, you almost enjoy the bite from the greens.
Maki looked up at me with her dark brown eyes. I know this look well. It’s the one telling me she desperately wants a nibble, a lick… anything. She came over to me as soon as I’d taken the mackerel out of their paper. ”No. It’s not for you.” I told her sternly.
Blank stare. Licks lips.
“No. Now, go away.”
Cocked head. Blink, blink. Licks lips.
As I stuffed the mackerel with fresh herbs and lemon, my pal sat patiently beside me. Shortly after I placed them in the oven, the whole house began to fill with a soothing aroma that only roasted dishes can provide. It’s the comfort one feels when they smell wood burning from a fireplace on a crisp winter night. It was all I could do from sticking my head in there.
The wait was worth it. By the end, the fish was sizzling. I let it cool for a minute and then carefully pulled back the skin to reveal the meat. I went in with my fingers, not caring if I burned them. The first bite reminded me that fish prepared simply is often the best; that uncomplicated meals can be the most flavorful. A small, but important, revelation.
Ten years. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long since I first moved to Boston. The night my father and I drove through town, the car packed so tight we couldn’t see out the back window, I remember how struck I was by this city; how beautiful it was, despite the frigid wind and piles of snow. As we made our way down Commonwealth Avenue, which looked majestic decorated with white lights, I knew this was a place I could call home.
There are a number of moments that have had an impact on my life, but it’s hard to think of anything more profound than my move to Boston. This city has challenged me and embraced me. Without it, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I know, I’m sounding totally sentimental. And if only you could see me now, holding a tissue, dabbing tears from my eyes.
I haven’t worn a jacket at all this week. Or a scarf. Or mittens. Despite the rain, I’m close to pulling out my shorts and flip flops, but I know that as soon as I do we’ll get nailed with a blizzard.
Y’all might be wondering how I can handle 40 or 50 degree weather without a coat. Well, let me tell you, I’m kind of weird. Unlike other Bostonians who bundle up in enormous puffy jackets fit for a trip to Antarctica, I have been sporting a five year old smoker’s jacket from H+M. I like to think that it makes me a stronger person, someone who can handle anything… the freakin’ Polar Vortex. But the jacket is barely a jacket anymore. There are holes all over… and I know it’d probably be a good idea to upgrade to something more substantial. I’m just hoping it’ll last until spring.
This breakfast skillet came about an in attempt to use up some root vegetables from our CSA (It didn’t quite work… we still have a few bags of potatoes). There have been a few alterations that I’ve made since the first time I tried it a couple weeks ago, but overall the concept has remained the same: a ton of sautéed veggies, a couple of eggs cracked on top, and then loaded with avocado and fresh herbs. I decided to include some (very slightly) pickled jalapeños on top, but, of course, those could be left off. Or you can just douse it with hot sauce if you don’t feel like going to the trouble of cutting up jalapeños.