I have moved off campus, into a lovely little house north of the university.
It was sort of a last-minute fluke. The subject of where we wanted to live next year came up in conversation after brunch, and a quick perusal of tiger trade and craigslist later, we found ourselves touring the one house in the area currently for rent that fit our price range, size, and location constraints.
(A six-bedroom mansion with a pool, hot tub, and tennis courts was tempting, but in order to make the rent we'd probably have to house the entire graduate school, so that was, sadly, out.)
It was perfect, so after a little scramble for housemates, we moved. It's sunny. It's a block from a grocery store and a mile from campus. It has a nice kitchen. It has a big backyard with a barn and a bridge over a little frozen pond.
I imagine a previous owner of the house a plant fanatic, compulsively remodeling the place to add the multiple glassed-in porches, big windows, extended rooms cut out of the original walls, doors everywhere.
Of course, moving wasn't without its adventures. The day we decided to move in also happened to be the day the power company decided to shut off the power, and it took them two days to turn it back on again.
One outlet in the entire place worked. (Wired, we presume, to the separate apartment upstairs.) So we chained extension cords and power strips across the house, lit candles, managed not to blow any fuses. The stove, fortunately, is gas, and so I cooked myself a lovely birthday dinner that we ate over candlelight in our new dining room, bundled up against the cold as the inside temperature crept through uncomfortable towards freezing. I was glad that night to have a real down blanket.
Since then I've been on a sort of cooking rampage, burning through the pent-up urges that built up over a year and a half of dorm food.
I present a partial list of things that have been cooked since moving in last week, along with superfluous macro shots of selected dishes:
blue cheese, apple, and pecan salad
home made boursin
hot cheddar spread
baked goat cheese salad
cream of broccoli and cauliflower soup
chocolate cake "Le Marquis" from Julia Child
chocolate cake "Devil's Food Cockaigne" from the Joy of Cooking
It's been a long time since I lived somewhere with a dishwasher. It's become an almost unimaginable luxury, the ideal of 20th century pushbutton housekeeping. I put dishes into a machine, push a button, and they come out sparkly and pristine. I put my clothes into a machine, push a button, and they emerge warm and fluffy.
(Another hope I had with moving is that the dorm food was contributing to the migraines. We'll see about that one.)