Whether you have a 5-bedroom house or a 1-bedroom apartment, moving is a chore. I would say I have a particular aversion to moving, and yet I keep doing it. It started in college, that back and forth to Gambier, Ohio each year. It carried on in England when I arrived with just two duffel bags and moved from university accommodation to London and then back again. The tradition carried on when Andy and I got married. We just keep on moving. Across town, across country, across oceans – we just can’t seem to stay put. You’d think we’d learn our lesson or find a place we like and stick with it, but the call of something different, something new is in our blood.
In fact we loved our last apartment and everything about it, but the truth is, Andy had grown tired of his commute to work – the same walk, the same subway, day after day. And we’d both grown very tired of the restaurants (or lack thereof) in our neck of the woods. After just 365 days, we were ready for a change.
I hate moving because of the disruption it causes in your life and the endlessness of it. There’s always that last forgotten drawer whose contents you dump into a hefty bag because you couldn’t possible deal with packing one more stupid thing. And aside from the physical act of moving, there’s all the phone calls you have to make to the cable and electric company, the bank, and the post office to change your address. It seems never-ending.
But despite all my griping to the contrary, I quite obviously love to move. There’s no other explanation for it. The freshness of a new house, that new-paint smell. A blank slate. Having given away boxes and bags of junk you’ve never even worn or used, I feel streamlined and light. Andy and I take a certain pride in the fact that (furniture aside) we can pretty much fit our life into eight or ten medium-sized boxes .If we put our minds to it, we could be out of our place in a day (obviously I’ve become something of an expert packer). That and I’ve learned a thing or two from watching my dad pack the trunk of a car enough times to know.
Our new place is lovely. It’s old, has high ceilings and all those period features I was craving in our previously soulless new-build apartment. It’s just a stone’s throw from the subway. The location is fantastic, the view from the bedroom is magnificent and Central Park is just one avenue away. One could say it’s perfect. Except for one fatal flaw. While the kitchen has full-sized appliances (and mercifully a dishwasher), it’s tiny. Very, very tiny. I’ll have to get creative with space if I’m going to be cooking in there!
I serve this with Brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes with gravy. To make the gravy: after the meat is done, pour liquid from the slow cooker into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Dissolve a tablespoon of cornstarch in 2 tablespoons of water, added it to the saucepan, and whisk until the gravy has thickened.
Sunday slow cooked pot roast
Serves 6 to 8
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 lbs. pot roast
5 carrots, peeled and cut into thirds
4 celery ribs, cut into thirds
2 sweet onions, peeled and quartered
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1/2 cup hard cider
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over high heat until wisps of smoke rise. Generously sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the pot roast. Sear the roast until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Meanwhile, place all other ingredients in slow cooker. Nestle the pot roast on top of the vegetables. Cover and cook on low until the meat is tender and fully cooked, about 7 hours. Remove roast, slice, and serve with the cooked carrots.
Maggy Keet blogs with her mother and sister at Three Many Cooks.
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