The Rigidity of It All

My diet and exercise have nearly always come first. Ask any of my ex-boyfriends. Most of them were very good eggs – you’re welcome to use me as your conversation starter. At first, they’d probably only tell you about the spontaneity we didn’t share. But make it past date three or four, and you’d probably hear about all of the mornings we didn’t spend sleeping in and all of the restaurants we didn’t go to – among other things.

After a week working full-time in NYC, I’m beginning to re-evaluate my priorities. I can just hear my family and friends clapping their hands…

It’s not that I don’t have enough time anymore. I know it’s possible to go to the gym at 5:30 am six mornings out of seven. I know it’s possible to plan and prep a whole day’s worth of meals in the hour I have after I shower. I know that before I have to scoot over to the subway, there’s enough time for me to weigh every gram of food that will cross my lips all day. And I know it’s possible to know, almost exactly, how many calories I will have eaten by the time the day is done.

I’m sure about all this because I didn’t miss a beat doing it all week. But for the first time, the rigidity of it all is wearing me out.

I want to be able to wake up and feel like back & biceps can wait until tomorrow, because today feels like a good day to run in the park.

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I want to be able to cook an unidentified number of Brussels sprouts and pearl onions and not feel bad about it. Don’t worry – the rational part of my brain says “THEY’RE VEGETABLES!”

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I want to be able to help polish off s’mores at dusk. Because it’s summer. And because they’re the only kind of hot and sticky I appreciate.

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I want to be able to work my way through a pint of strawberries. Not because it’s a designated snack at a particular time…but simply because they look good.

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I want to be able to overcrowd my tiny pan to my heart’s content – and I want to be able to get a hot sear going using something other than coconut oil spray.

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And most importantly, I want to be able to try a bite or two of everything that comes out of the test kitchen at Food52. I risked being labeled as the intern who wouldn’t stop instagramming everything so you could see.

These are the [beautiful] shelves. I’m to make sure they look like this all the time.

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This is what a devil on hatchback looks like.

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The “devil” component involves cream cheese, bacon, and honey – in case you were wondering. “Hatchback” refers to Hatch green chile peppers. Theoretically. We had to settle for lookalikes last week because my wild goose chase around Manhattan yielded exactly 0 of the 20 the recipe called for.

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These are the equivalent of chocolate pillows. I have it on good authority that they smell really good – for a really long time.

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This is a carrot cake – without a raisin in sight.

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This is a whole fish, and a bunch of forks.

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It is a little intimidating here. Everyone is effortlessly witty and impossibly nice – not to mention completely at ease in the kitchen. I’m…not quite there. Learning the Food52 voice has felt an awful lot like learning French [complete with the occasional awkward word choice]. Introducing myself to the induction stove is #1 on my Put Off As Long As Possible list. And resisting all of the baked goods is probably not making me any more fun to get to know.

On next week’s agenda: split a cookie. Give up the bigger half…and return shortly for a second half.

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