Settling into My New Home and Pan Seared Salmon

Settling into My New Home and Pan Seared Salmon

I drove up to the new house on San Leandro on Sunday, expecting to arrive a few hours before the moving truck to I could clean the kitchen and get ready to put my things away so I could get back to cooking.  After eating fast food and convenience foods for several days while my kitchen was packed up, I had had enough of eating non-primally. Only the move didn't go as smoothly as planned; the rented moving truck broke down, and spent nearly three days stranded in Bakersfield until a new truck could be found. Then all of my things had to be moved out of the broken down truck and into the new truck, and THEN driven up.  It was the only bad part about moving, but unfortunately, it made for a few nightmarish days of trying to get some sort of response out of the Budget Truck Rental.  They apparently don't work very hard on Sundays or holidays, just for the record. They were happy to let the truck sit stranded until it was convenient for them to work on it, on the first business day after the holiday.  And then they had the nerve to get irritated with  me for being dissatisfied with their lack of response.  Needless to say, I will never rent from Budget again, not because of the truck breaking down so much as their lack of customer service.   But I digress. I arrived in San Leandro Sunday afternoon, and left the dogs in the car while I pulled out the carpets I brought with me and laid them down on the hardwood floors.  The minute I walked in my new house, I was in love. The house is fantastic.  It is hands down the coolest house I have ever lived in. It's small, maybe 600 sq feet. And it's not a true stand alone house; there are three in a row, each attached on the side walls. My garage is attached to my neighbor's garage (Rolly, a very nice older man who is sadly moving out in a few weeks) and my living room wall is connect to my neighbor's garage wall (Sarah, the owner of the houses). She tells me her garage is stuffed more full than mine by a long shot (a miracle if that is true!) and so I don't have to worry about neighbor noises annoying me or my noises annoying them. It is the quintessential 1950's neighborhood, with the quintessential 1950's feel. Everyone knows each other, everyone is so ridiculously  nice (I think I'm also experiencing a bit of culture shock after living in LA!), and talking over back fences and having strangers stop their cars to chat seem to be pretty common. Sarah is so super kind to me, and has been since my first phone call with her to inquire about renting this house.  She normally has a one dog limit on rentals, but after my boss told her I had three and they were greyhounds and rescues, she immediately said "no problem!" And then she found out about Jesse. ; )  I sent her pictures, she sent me pictures of Sumo, her Boston Terrior (who I am in love with, he is SO nice and SO sweet. Kind of Jesse's polar opposite. ; )  She popped over to meet the dogs on Sunday after I got here, and the greys were their normal charming selves. Shae endeared herself to Sarah by leaning against her constantly, and scooting between her legs.  Sarah has since come over several times for her greyhound fix.  She's never met any in person, and is completely infatuated with their sweet gentle natures.  And of course she fell in love with funny, quirky Jesse. Sumo came over to meet Jesse, and it did NOT go well, and so we are going to work on that, but Sarah hasn't kicked us out yet, which is a huge relief!

So, sitting on the floor in my empty house on Sunday, it became clear my moving truck would not be arriving with all my stuff. And while I had packed stuff in my car just in case of such a thing, I made the horrible mistake of taking my "important clothes in case of a moving truck emergency" box and moving it to the moving truck to make room for all the stupid odds and ends left over in the house after the moving truck was packed. And so I had no change of clothes, no towel for showering, and nothing for the kitchen. I did, however, have the foresight to bring all my toiletries, stuff to clean, tools to put my stuff together, a few movies and my laptop and iPad, my french press, coffee, and a mug; and my bag of knitting. So, I considered it a bit of a forced vacation. I left the greys in the house, grabbed Jesse (since I didn't have his crate with me) and headed off to the local Walmart to grab a few things.  Luckily for me, Sarah had left the existing gas stove  installed "just in case", and left a microwave on the counter "just in case". That woman must have precognition! I am so grateful she thought to do that.  I picked up a sheet, blanket, and pillow to sleep on; a towel to shower; clothes to sleep in, and canned food I could heat in the microwave since I had a few pieces of tupperware with me. I was so tired by then I didn't even care what I ate, and it was kind of fun. The dogs lay on their beds, I ate while sitting on the floor, watching the last episode of Grey's Anatomy.  We slept huddled in a big dog pile on the dogs beds, and I fought the greyhounds for the one blanket (note to self: next time buy blankets for the dogs so that I can keep my own!) all night.

On Monday, it became clear the truck wouldn't arrive that day, either, and so I headed off to Target for more supplies. This time, I bought a baking sheet, a spatula, foil, and some food. I was so not eating crap again. I raided my boss's house across the street for salt and pepper, and also found thyme and rosemary (score!)  I borrowed his cutting board and a knife, and squirreled my booty back across the street.  I roasted chicken legs on the baking sheet lined with foil; then added diced red potatoes (Target has produce!), a bag of precut broccoli and cauliflower, and roasted some more.  Then I added quartered shallot and fresh garlic that I had with me (it was one of the odds and ends left behind, I guess, I have no idea why I stuck them with my french press, but I am glad I did!).  I finished the meal off with bagged salad and salad dressing, also from Target. My dinner turned out surprisingly happy, and I was so grateful for fresh, healthy food after 4 days!

My truck arrived Tuesday night, and we ate pizza after, there was NO way I was going to fuss with cooking.  And the pizza was fantastic, it was from a nearby neighborhood pizza joint that all the locals frequent. That night, after my friends left, I moved boxes around to make room, put some of my furniture in place, put my bed together. By 2am, I had my bedroom put together, my bed made, and the first sense of normalcy for the first time in nearly a week! The dogs were happy; we all piled on the bed, watched an episode of Julia Child on my laptop while I ate a piece of cold pizza and had a glass of wine.  That night, we finally got some quality sleep! But sadly, we had to get up at 7:30am to get the moving blankets on the truck, sweep out the truck, and see Luis back on the road so he could get home after his extended vacation.  After he left, I showered, and then finished getting all my furniture in place, and set up my sweatshop area, and put my TV up.  In the evening, I unpacked a good portion of my kitchen stuff, and cooked a proper meal. Earlier, I had run over to the nearby Safeway, which is just two blocks away. The store is sad and depressing, and I likely won't shop there again unless it's for a quick stop. But they did have salmon, and decent produce.  I picked up a head of fresh red leaf lettuce, which made me unbelievably happy.  I chopped the lettuce while simmering sweet potatoes and steaming green beans on the stove; then I pan seared the salmon while mashing the sweet potatoes, to which I only added butter and cream, and kosher salt.  The salmon was just seasoned with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.  To add to the happiness, I could eat at my coffee table while sitting on my couch, watching Grey's Anatomy and surrounded by my smelly dogs. For the first time, this truly felt like it was my home.  <3


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