As I slipped into my seat at a recent work dinner party, a colleague asked “So what have you been cooking lately,” normally a sure fire conversation starter between the two of us. But I had to think back to think of something that I had cooked, something more more properly cooking than buttered pasta or avocado toast.
I’m in the midst of moving. A move that is fairly overdue, mostly welcome, pretty exciting, and will be excellent once it happens. If it ever gets done. I’m in that period of where it seems like everything I own is either in boxes or on its way to being in boxes. I also randomly had the thought the other day that all of these things that I am currently packing will have to be unpacked once I get to the other side. Also we are moving offices over the summer. So very many cardboard boxes in my life. It seemed wise at the time to start packing up the kitchen gadgets first, an act which I have since been told repeatedly was a apparently a rank amateur move. I’ve also just been feeling that on the few evenings that I spend at home, I should be working on getting things organized, not making more of a mess. Which I’ve come to realize is stupid, especially since I spend so much of my time trying to convince people that cooking is easy and doesn’t have to be a big deal. Also, all of this activity is happening as spring has finally sprung, and by the time that I’m packed and unpacked, my little self imposed cooking hiatus would have me missing all of the cool ephemeral seasonal produce — the first greens and alliums, ramps and fiddleheads, soft shell crabs and morels. SO I’ve started making an effort to stop with the obsessive packing and list making and start being in the moment, making time to go for walks in the warm air, read books lounging in the path of balmy breezes from an open window and cook simple meals vibrant meals, like this pistachio chive pesto which I’ve been stirring into pasta, slathering on slabs of meat, topping toast with and dolloping onto soups. Into the food processor, which is one of the few pieces of kitchen equipment that remains on the counter goes 1 cup of shelled pistachios, 1 clove of peeled garlic, the zest of a lemon, and 1 bunch of chives, already roughly chopped. After a few pulses to get things started, I drizzle in 3/4 cup of olive oil and blend until everything is incorporated.