So I love food. That’s obvious. But you’ll be surprised at how little I know about cooking! I currently live at home with my parents, waiting for my condo to finish construction (slated for another year!). Our kitchen is small and most of the time my mother is using it. There’s been phases where I try to time it right, waiting for a day where I’m off for the day and she’s at work, but it seldom happens. Not only that, storage is a big issue in the home, there’s literally no room for another pot in the kitchen unless I start converting my bedroom into one!
When Joe moved out into his own condo, roommate free, my first question was, “So… do you use your kitchen?” I already knew the answer to that. And I already knew what I was going to happen. Temporary kitchen! I’ve been slowly buying everything and stocking his kitchen, cooking the odd times that I’m over there and eating at home. Best arrangement ever because when my condo is all done, I’ll just pack all my stuff and move on over the block!
Joe is a fan of instant noodle packets when I’m not around and it seemed obvious that one of the first dishes I needed to make was wonton noodle soup, a staple in my childhood. I would come home from school and if there wasn’t a broth waiting for me, I’d bust out an instant noodle packet and throw in wontons. I always preferred a broth though to a seasoned packet of spices. My philosophy is to make everything from scratch as much as possible. But it’s not feasible when you have a half equipped kitchen and an hour before dinner is due. So my first meal for Joe was straight up cheating. A can of chicken broth, diluted with water, mixed in with soy sauce, additional salt, and seasoning from the BBQ pork. The noodles are a dry, shrimp flavored variety. The shrimp pork wontons, frozen from a family favorite in Chinatown, and the BBQ pork from a random shop of the same street. If this could impress Joe, I’ve got it easy. And it did. Much like how I enjoyed the dish as a child over instant noodles, I think he did too. Next step: take an afternoon to make wontons. Then after that, make my own chicken broth and store in the freezer. BBQ pork is relatively easy as well, just requires marinating and roasting. Noodles… we’ll leave that for last.
Once in awhile I have to clean up the fridge and because I’m not at Joe’s kitchen every day it can get challenging. One day he had leftover Bratwurst sausages, I had half a container full of beautiful tomatoes, and various vegetables from the City market. Pasta it is! Cook everything off, throw it into a pot, throw pasta in, and eat.
As a result of stocking his kitchen, I frequent HomeSense almost a few times a week now. In the midst of making meals, it’s quite surprising when you look in the drawer and you don’t even have a wooden spoon. One of the most exciting finds was a Paderno Spiralizer. I was already following the Inspiralized blog, so I knew this machine would pay for its $20 self in no time. Zucchini noodles with sun-dried tomato chicken was my first dish with it and it turned out fantastic! The noodles keep for a couple days in the fridge as well, even when cut, which was surprising. Hurray for a pasta alternative! Gotta cram in the veggies somehow!
I’ve experimented with a few more dishes since although they didn’t make the cut. I’m learning it’s pretty hard to whip something up when I’m only there a couple days a week and the fridge isn’t well stocked with ingredients. It’ll take some time to slowly add things but it’ll come! Stay tuned for my cooking adventure at Jody’s kitchen, which is a little more intense than Joe’s. Only a year until I get my own and stop borrowing others people’s kitchens!