Moving out, moving on, always moving forward…..
How many times have you moved in your lifetime?
It's a question that I found myself asking to no one in particular, while securing a medium brown box labeled "kitchen" in red along the side.
"23" .. would be the answer mumbled under my breathe, continuing this one sided conversation with myself and thinking of the absurdity of that fact.
Down the street, across the way, or to another state, I've become a pro at the art of changing residences. Not sure if that's an all together good or bad thing. It just is.
From a U-Haul filled with boxes to nothing but the belongings I could fit into a bag and my 6 month old daughter on my hip, as we moved quickly out of desperation .
We moved out, we moved on, always moving forward no matter if it seemed differently.
About a year and half ago, my family relocated to the suburbs of Atlanta thinking a yard and more square footage would prove fruitful outside the perimeters of the city.
We were wrong, somewhat.
With an unhappy kid who dearly missed her friends and a dreadful commute that went from 10 minutes to 1 hour each morning, the decision was decidedly very wrong for us.
For sale signs went up, a new house went under contract and yet again I found myself moving out. Moving on, to a new place that is close to our old place we moved from 2 years prior; how ridiculous that sounds reading it back.
It never fails me to think of my mother each time the relocation process begins. For one, she's started to write my addresses in pencil so they can easily be erased. Secondly, are my reflections of her and the struggles she faced as a single mother, sometimes having to move out despite how hard she worked, the reasons often beyond her control.
"We don’t have to move out, we just gotta move on"
On to not always the best places, but enough for us, enough to make me see that a home is truly what you make it, and the people that fill that space ultimately determine how you feel when you walk through that door. No matter what you may see when you look out the window.
I brought this up to someone that introduced herself to me as an "aspiring food blogger" at a conference that I attended recently.
She told me of how discouraging it is to see beautifully laid out kitchens with expensive appliances, something she didn't have. "sorta like that Kinfolk feel that I could never afford" was what she relayed to me..
While I refrained from going into my detailed feelings about Kinfolk, I did give my thoughts on how the best food that I've ever eaten has been in a kitchen with tattered wallpaper and linoleum floors that were curling in the corners. A place that's still there with duck tape now securing the corners, owned by my pie making friend from college who loves it dearly and has experienced far less moves than I.
I asked that she not be discouraged and to post about what was real to her, not try to fit into what she perceives as what is popular. I'd love to see pictures of that, for the reality of this world is far from Restoration Hardware tables and Wolf appliances.
But it's often dressed up so prettily and layered beautifully with filters when looking into the window of your computer screen.
This conversation has replayed in my head so many times since that day, especially as we unpack boxes and stare at a kitchen that currently has no stove thanks to back-orders that haven't been filled and a story that deserves it's own post.
I remember always thinking one day I'll have this, one day I'll have that. Taking for granted what was already there and the experiences that I obtained by what was already given. My life for so long was far from picturesque and any filter was easily torn down by the realism that we were often dead broke and ate cereal out of plastic cups and those candlelight dinners of bologna sandwiches were because we weren't able to get an extension on the light bill. Real Talk...
So for me and much of the people that I know, food is a lot more than what's displayed on immaculately crafted white marble countertops.
I want my dear "aspiring food blogger" friend to know that the food we eat and cherish, is deeply rooted in us and far surpasses what's portrayed in that photo or what type of oven is posted up in your kitchen. It's the feeling that it brings, the memory it can recount, or better yet the experience, in some way shape or form had an impact on your life, at least to me.
That cake, when it was finished, did you have such a euphoric feeling of accomplishment that no pay raise after working 60+ hours a week could ever make you feel? Or when you make biscuits, do you think of the first time you made them for someone, let's say it was your mother, as she smiled at you, holding back the tears and fears of not knowing how we were going to make it.
To appropriately toast to new places we cracked open a bottle of Wild Turkey, my man and I. Sitting on the floor reminiscing on where we've been, how we got here and where we're going…
As we moved out, as we moved on, always moving forward.
* P.S - Dear Mama, I love you.. also Charles is pretty firm on the fact that we won't ever move again. He said it with such conviction that I'd like to say he means it. However you know how I am when I get the wild hair, so you never know.
Whiskey, like living outside of the city limits of Atlanta, is an acquired taste.. It's not for everyone. This American Honey brings out flavors of honey and orange notes. Adding the apple brandy in really makes this simple drink a star. When I made this for a friend, I topped hers with sparkling apple cider to taper down the strong whiskey flavor..
Inspired by a drink that I had at Knoxville Public House
2 parts of Wild Turkey American Honey
1 part Applejack- Apple Brandy
Sparkling Apple Cider (if desired)
Combine first 2 ingredients in a glass over ice, filling about halfway. Give a little stir and serve. Top of the glass with cider if desired. Cheers!