Finally! We arrived in Los Angeles and moved in to our little apartment in Westwood Village. We are settled in and enjoying ourselves, but cooking in my new kitchen is definitely more challenging than in my kitchen back in Chicago.
In this vintage apartment, I have the basics: oven, kitchen sink, refrigerator and a few kitchen utensils. What I don't have that I enjoyed back in my condo are: well-stocked cabinets full of kitchen utensils and gadgets, a microwave, a dishwasher, a gas grill on the patio, and an air-conditioner. Perhaps the most challenging of them is the lack of air conditioning, considering that L.A. is on its second week of a heat wave.
Our first evening, Nate wanted spaghetti and I made that and broiled him a chicken breast. It was very hot in this kitchen! After a lengthy discussion with my mom and my best friend's mom about how to cook like you're 'in the olden days', without air ,I have found a way to deal with this. The secret is to cook in the morning while the air is cooler. Also, to cook extra when preparing proteins, etc. Some for now, and some for later.
Last Friday, I roasted a whole chicken serve for lunch with corn on the cob, rice pilaf salad and sliced tomatoes. On Saturday we hiked Solstice Canyon and when we found the waterfalls, we sat for a picnic and Nate had the leftover chicken in a baguette. On Sunday he, again, had the chicken on top of homemade Caesar salad when we went to the beach for a picnic dinnner. I froze the rest for later - I had bought a five pound chicken overestimating my husband's appetite!
In cooking or baking in my L.A. apartment, I have also found that I may need to get a little creative. Toasting and reheating take much longer without a toaster or a microwave! I only have one pan so croutons, then vegetables, then shrimp each take their turn in the same pan in my oven - this works out because I only then have one pan to wash! I've also used a skillet as a serving dish for a salad (I had no bowls the first two nights) and a wine bottle as a rolling pin, as I did here when I was making a blackberry galette.
It has been an adventure so far and I'm excited to see what my second week here brings!