26. Unmoved Mushroom Soup

I pulsed the food processor to turn shitake mushrooms into dust when the buzzer went off.  I thought for sure it was the mail carrier, except that I wasn’t expecting any packages. A little scared about who it might be, rather than using the intercom, I went downstairs to see who was at my door…

25. Crumbling Cookies

Isabella picked me up thirty minutes later than she said she would. She was disheveled, but cleverly dressed the way art students always are. Though I’m pathologically punctual, I didn’t mind. She was a free spirit and, despite our fifteen year age difference, we got along very well. Isabella was very smart and we both…

24. Degenerative Desserts

I got up at seven o’clock the next morning, made coffee and listened to the radio. There was a cute piece on NPR about The Science Behind Santa’s Christmas Eve Journey. It was about how Rudolph’s red nose was ideal to guide Santa’s sleigh through the night sky because it radiates light, rather than reflecting…

23. Kitchen Scraps

The only appropriate way I could think of to try to forget about Noah was to go out with someone else. I called Eamon. I had been dodging his emails and texts, but now was the time to go out with him. He happened to be free for the afternoon so we made plans to…

22. Crestfallen Queso

I was whisking a roux for my Wednesday Alfredo sauce when I received an distressingly long text from Noah. “I went to the dermatologist today because I had a rash on my back and thighs that I was concerned about. I have insurance, so I don’t take any chances. Anyway, the doctor doesn’t know what it…

21. Self-Conscious Sauce

Winter break was set to begin Thursday so we scrambled to use up all the produce we had left in the refrigerator. Tomatoes were on my hit list for the day and I planned to make my special pasta sauce. I didn’t normally make it because it could only be done with fresh tomatoes, and…

20. Plastered Pierogies

I left Noah at his door while he waited for a cab to take him to the bus station. I walked home quickly, frustrated that I was drunk and still had to make pierogies by six o’clock even though I’d never made pierogis before. It was difficult. I mixed the flour, egg and sour cream together,…

19. Precarious Pizza

The work week began again and, with the second job and spending boozy late nights with Noah, I was not well-rested. But I couldn’t resist the invitations to go out with him — even on school nights. I finished work in the early afternoon. By the time Noah was done with work, I was already…

18. Uncertain Soda Bread

I arrived at work at six o’clock, per usual. After a night spent at Noah’s, I had not yet had my coffee; I was predictably tired. Lasagna was on the menu which made for a stressful hour and a half — my boss never kept in mind delivery schedules when dictating a menu and my lasagna…

17. Sloppy Soup

On Monday Noah invited me over to eat dinner at his house and hang out. It was exciting to have someone I liked invite me into his home to share a meal with him. We didn’t do much, but it was fun. He was into using the internet for… everything. I was so analog that…

16. Thanksgiving Dinner Diversions

I got home at two o’clock exhausted and ready for a four-day break from the kitchen. I had two small assignments for Thanksgiving: my special labneh and pork rillettes to be served before dinner. Neither one were very much work; they practically made themselves. The labneh was straining in the refrigerator and all I had…

15. Thankless Thanksgiving

When I got home, Eamon had already emailed me: “Oh you pretty thing. :)” I responded by attaching three Shins songs. “These are my three favorite Shins songs. ‘Gone for Good’ is my absolute favorite,” I wrote. “Thank you, darlin’. Let’s listen to ’em together. Yours, Eamon.” I had a good time with him. He…