Tell Me How Much You Love It
by N. Michelle AuBuchon
Your friends own an apartment in Park Slope a few blocks from your house. It’s modern and homey: plants on a terrace that faces a quiet street, all the pots and pans, a nice stove, and proper wine glasses.
They ask you to house sit for a week—water the plants, feed the cats. You live in a nice apartment with two other roommates, but it has never been a home. You are a cook, and you never cook there. The kitchen does not feel like yours. Your knives and cast iron gather dust. Your cookbooks sit on the shelf above the microwave—a reminder of your former life—when you knew how to prepare meals, take care of yourself, boil an egg, bake a cake, and roast a chicken every now and then. When you lived in Astoria, you taught yourself to cook. You read cookbooks and scoured every market in the neighborhood to make new recipes every night. Your favorites were the recipes that had ingredients you’d never tasted before—the whole experience a kind of adventure—a thrill.