In case you haven’t heard, I’m moving to Baltimore in less than 4 months.
I’m all sorts of excited and terrified. It means I will quit my job (which I’ve outgrown), leave my current apartment (my first…and you always will have fond memories of your first, right?! ), move away from my family, and go back to school. It also means I get to move closer to other friends and have the opportunity to experiment with a whole host of new thing. Shockingly, many of these experiments will occur in the kitchen.
Since I love making lists (I pretend like they actually help me get stuff done) here, presented in no particular order, are the Top 10 hings I’m Looking Forward to Experimenting with in My Baltimore Kitchen:
- Crock Pot cooking. This is a skill I will need to develop but cannot wait to try recipes like this and this.
- Non-stick cookware. I love using stainless steel now that I’ve learned how but it does take longer to clean. Since saving time will likely be of the utmost importance, being able to wash and go will be a beautiful thing. I intend on investing in these.
- Using a rice cooker. Another make-my-life-easier appliance.
- Using my George Foreman again. There will be many a summer dinners of “grilled” veggies + tofu on top of salads. Its easier + faster than turning on the stove.
- Not having to share my kitchen.
- Having newer appliances…including an oven that doesn’t take 20 minutes to boil water or run 15-30 degrees under.
- Shopping at a year-round farmer’s markets.
- Shopping at Costco. There is one right on the outskirts of Baltimore (er…it looks like the outskirts to me!). Nature’s Path cereal, MaraNatha almond butter, Alexia frozen fries, 13 lb bags of baking soda, bottles of spices (and pure vanilla extract), bananas and nuts galore!
- Shopping at Glut. Not technically in Baltimore, this amazing, fantastic, food-gasmic, life-changing co-op is high on my list of places to visit again and again. Bulk everything including liquids + carob-covered amazingness + non-sulphered dried fruits at reasonable prices. Because its a bit of a drive, I’ll probably do a stock-up monthly.
- Exploring all of the awesome sauce veg and veg-friendly restaurants and cafes. Look at this list of places within 5 miles of JHSPH. *sigh*
I want to address the likely question of why I cannot use the items listed in numbers 1-4. Depending on how much you’ve creeped this site, you may know that I share living space with this little menace.
So the short answer to the question is because
of Kaybird. The long answer is this. The chemicals released when non-stick coating is heated include some nasty buggers called PFTE and PFOA. The safety of inhaling these in humans is currently being explored by the EPA. While I don’t exactly entrust my safety to government agencies (see here) and nothing may come of it, the fact that they are examining it says something.
Nevertheless, it has long been known that inhalation of these chemicals by birds is fatal. While the jury is still out on the coating in rice cookers and crock pots, my roommate prefers that any and all non-stick coating be avoided. Since I am in love with Kaybird (you thought I was going to say my roomie for a minute there, weren’t you? creep. tehehe), I’ve learned to cook with stainless steel and live without the other appliances. This is fine but let me tell you…I really can’t wait to get perfect rice and meals that cook overnight or while I’m in class etc.
For more information on non-stick cookware, click here.
#6 is, of course, dependent on where I end up living but let’s just say, for now, that it looks promising. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
I’m also eager to see how I’ll do sticking to a food budget. I apparently thrive on challenge! Who knows….maybe I’ll end up teaching my fellow grad students a thing or two about saving $ while eating green. I’d actually love that very much. Caring is sharing, right?
Over the next couple of months I’ll be updating more about my move to Baltimore, my bucket list of experiences to have before leaving, etc. I’m so excited
to still be on an adrenaline rush to be walking with you into this next stage of my life! I’ve already contacted other HLB members and made connections with friends and friends-of-friends in the area. I’m heading down for the JHSPH Open House at the end of March and hopefully will find an apartment then. I’m in get-it-done mode which is good for the move but not-so-good for current stuff (like, ya know, work and working out and all those other things that are important currently). Don’t worry…you can expect to hear all about it!