Barefoot in my kitchen

Cupcakes

I think I’m happiest when baking.

Though I’ve spent plenty of time in the kitchen post-college (when I realized I’d eventually be responsible for feeding myself), homeownership — and our new kitchen — have inspired me to really get serious and creative about meals. On a budget.

When we can get our act together ahead of time, Spencer and I love making big pots of soup in the slow cooker (this one is simmering right now!) for leftovers throughout the week. We have our containers dutifully stacked in the fridge — and I’ve gotten really good about adding fresh fruit and veggies into the mix, too. Our obsession with the farmers’ market continues, and I can often be found at a cutting board slicing cantaloupe or strawberries.

That’s all great, of course . . . and healthy. But my real passion? Baking. The eternal struggle. Last night I was in the kitchen until 8:30 — three whole hours after getting home from work — cutting up steak for the aforementioned soup today, creating another batch of the cucumber dill salad, shucking corn, cleaning counters. And we made dinner before all that, so we had some serious dirty dish action going on.

But it was fine. Good, even. Now that the house is coming together, I’m working on tackling the residual boxes we have hanging around — and that meant finally unloading my “baking” box. Said box is full of my cake mixes, sprinkles, baking soda, powdered sugar. So many cupcake liners for every conceivable occasion it’s insane (side note, me: don’t ever buy them again).

I’m someone who craves organization, and having each room of the house in a state of disarray was definitely not good for my anxiety. You’d think I would have, you know, done more by now, then, but . . . well, I guess I’ve just felt overwhelmed. I know people move and unpack every single day, but they’re apparently stronger of will than I am. I’ve found the whole process scary, but everything seems to be settling down — and settling into place.

So I baked last night. Blueberry muffins. I made birthday cupcakes two weeks ago, so it wasn’t my inaugural baked-good-new-kitchen moment — but it was the first time I had my supplies organized in their own cupboard. The first time I felt calm and totally relaxed in the new place.

I was barefoot — in my own kitchen. White T-shirt, Ingrid Michaelson playing softly, answering the door to a kind neighbor who came by with a beautiful plant for us. Spatula in one hand, eggs in the other. Mixing. Folding. Filling.

The golden sun sank beyond our trees.

And I was . . . home.


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26 thoughts on “Barefoot in my kitchen

  1. Yes! There is nothing more comforting than coming home and chopping an onion. I’m a baker too, but trying not to do too much of it because then I want to eat it! Soothing.

    • Ah, yes — the struggle, Whitney! I’ve gotten pretty good about immediately dividing desserts to allow for the fact that our two-person household doesn’t need 24 cupcakes because . . . yeah. Most go to Spencer’s job or mine! But I always keep a few for myself. :)

  2. This is so very wonderful to hear! These moments are hard to come by at times in the life we live these days. I am so glad you had such a moment and claimed your home and your kitchen properly. Welcome home!

  3. Wonderful post! I’m happiest when baking, too. These cupcakes look delectable! I crave organization, too, and sometimes my baking is a bit of a chaos, the only chaos I enjoy. :)

  4. Very pleasant post; perhaps when cooking things that are hot, runny etc – wear shoes. but keep up the lovely work :)

  5. Oh good for you. I love to read about people who feel at home in the kitchen. I do not. I have to be there everyday of course– but it’s not my favorite place. :) In any case, I unpack like you too… doing as much as I can at a time until I feel I am done… but it’s nice to have a place sweetly organized- especially, as it sounds like, one of your favorites.

  6. It takes awhile to settle in after a move, even if you have all of the boxes unpacked and everything in place. You’ll get there, slowly but surely. I personally find having boxes and clutter lying around really difficult when settling, so I do try to pack and unpack as soon as I can. But that doesn’t work for everyone. I’m so glad to hear you are feeling better :)

  7. So glad to hear you’re settling into your new home :) Finding comfort + a routine in a new home can be challenging, but then suddenly the moment is there — just as you were stirring and folding. Here’s to many more happy moments in your new home!

    PS – Three cheers for Ingrid Michaelson + friendly neighbors!

  8. There is definitely something magical and very special about the kitchen. I had been so busy for the first year in our hours that I barely spent any time in the kitchen. This summer I find myself spending a lot more dedicated time in there to making smoothies, planning meals, and yes, cooking and baking. I made banana bread last week and thoroughly enjoyed myself so much that I’m eagerly trying to find some healthy things to bake to fill that little niche in my life. I’m thinking of venturing into crusty breads sometime in the near future!

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