There are a lot of things I learned moving into a city apartment. Some key takeaways:
- There is A LOT I took for granted at home. For example one day a couple weeks ago I really needed to write something down, when it dawned on me that I had neither pen nor paper. Same goes for band-aids. And extra rolls of toilet paper (my dad restocks every bathroom on Sundays).
- There is A LOT of walking those first couple weeks. Driving a car around the city is both scary and stressful. Plus with all the one ways, it usually takes less time to walk half a mile than drive half a mile. But when you keep on realizing all the things you’ve taken for granted and keep on making mile round-trips, these things add up.
- Lamps don’t look good by themselves. A lamp in an empty space is sort of a weird, ugly piece of furniture that doesn’t come into its own unless surrounded by other things (that, let’s be honest, look equally out of place by themselves).
- It is, in a word, exhausting. Physically, mentally, and also for the credit card. After about the eleventh trip to Crate and Barrel for a silverware drawer, I couldn’t even bring myself to pick one because I’d picked out so many other things… so I walked away without one.
- Not exactly apartment related, but I learned that the green line has a couple different sub-lines and getting on the wrong one leads to a lot more walking.
I recognize these are some serious first world problems, and I’m happy to say that I have most everything settled just in time for law school to begin (orientation tomorrow!). Except for a floor lamp. I still haven’t found one of those. BUT one thing I have really enjoyed is coming home after a day of decision making and letting the stunning natural light in my apartment glow over the dinner making process.
Today was no different. I didn’t want to go to the grocery store this evening (the next couple days are full-on orientation with all the barbecue and mixers to boot), so I had an amazing time playing iron chef, solo edition. I had some ground beef in the freezer, and while that thawed (as per Basically before freezing I patted it into a thin square just the right size for a quart zip-lock, and it thawed in a bowl of water in under an hour) I grated a sad-ish looking carrot, chopped some leftover scallions, minced garlic and ginger and crushed some corn flakes into a powder. I tossed that all together with a splash of coconut aminos, sesame oil and an egg, rolled them into the perfect three bite meatballs and popped them in the fridge while the oven preheated. Also per Basically I waited to salt the meat balls until just before putting them in the oven, as putting salt in the meatballs interferes with their tenderness. 15 minutes later I had the meatballs out of the oven, microwaved leftover sweet potato wedges and pulled out the last of my pickled red onions.
Paired alongside a glass of red wine, it was the perfect meal to close the last chapter of my life and get me fueled (with all the complex carbs, high quality fat, good sources of protein and anti-inflammatory seasonings) to take on the next chapter. And, there are leftovers.
Asian Inspired Meatballs
Serves 3-4, depending on hunger
1/2 cup cornflakes (preferably unsweetened), crushed into a dust (I do this using a ziplock baggie and whacking it with a spoon)
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 inch ginger root, peeled and grated/minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon coconut aminos
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil
1 pound ground beef (any ground meat would do here–use what you have!)
Salt and sesame seeds for topping
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine everything except for the ground beef, salt, and sesame seeds in a big bowl
- Add the ground beef and mix into the egg mixture until fully incorporated. Dollop hefty table-spoon sized portions of the meat mixture onto the parchment lined baking sheet. This recipe made 16 for me. Using your hands roll into uniform balls, and place in refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm.
- Preheat oven to 425 while your meatballs rest. Sprinkle tops with salt and sesame seeds, and bake meatballs for 12-15 minutes, turning your oven to broil mode for the last couple to get a nicely browned top.
- Serve however. As pictured on top of sweet potato wedges, as I will do tomorrow alongside leftover Thai millet salad, over rice, in a sandwich, or dipped into a tahini sauce with nothing but a tooth pick.