For the foreseeable future, I will not have the pleasure of cooking in my own kitchen. For at least eight months, if all goes well. When you’re contemplating a house renovation in France, tiny details (like schedule) do not apply. First of all, nothing happens in August. Sometimes, the weather doesn’t cooperate and the masons are running three months late. Other times, the woodworker has a back injury and can’t work on your staircase for a while. Merde happens.
Rick and I were organizing the house before the movers came in and it dawned on me this would be the last dinner I would make in my own house, right here, in California. So many good meals started in that kitchen. So many fun parties spilled into the patio, the dining room, and the living room. They all originated between this familiar stove, fridge, sink, and countertops. Last Saturday, there was no time to celebrate “the big move” with a big memorable meal. Just the two of us, dusty and sweaty after a long day of work. It ended up being pork chops and sautéed zucchini. Simple, pleasurable but not Instagram worthy.
Sunday: don’t even ask. It was a Burger King night.
I thought we were done but Monday night snuck up on us. We worked all day with the great crew that was packing our container. Still so much to do before they would come back the next day. I was exhausted and it was late but fast food two days in a row was not an option for me. I knew there was a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer, a box of orzo pasta in the pantry, a plastic bottle of lemon juice (bought by Rick because I always use fresh lemons,) half a head of garlic in the terra-cotta pot, and a few sorry springs of parsley from last year’s plant in the herb garden. Oh, and some Pinot Grigio from the wine-in-a-box I use for everyday cooking/drinking. With these few simple ingredients, I whipped up a quick satisfactory dish but still not deserving a mention on Facebook. It was definitely the last meal I would be cooking in the place I called home for twenty-seven years. I can’t even begin to tell you how emotional this realization was.
Instead of posting pedestrian pictures of my last two meals in my current home, I decided to share with you a photo of the “real” Last Supper as I captured it in 1998. My friend Raegan and I were in Munich for a trade show. On a whim, she thought we should ride the train to Milan instead of returning to Paris. It was a memorable trip for several reasons, one of them being that it was Fashion Week and we had no hotel reservation… Before trying to tackle that minor issue, we hailed a cab and headed out to the Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie where curators were in the middle of restoring the original colors of Leonardo’s famous fresco: only the right half was cleaned up to reveal the brightness of the original colors.
That Last Supper was definitely more compelling than mine.