940kg. Almost a metric ton, a litte over a short ton. That’s the official weight of the shipment of things I brought over from Montreal and have been attempting to place in my new home over the past week. In my defence, there was a couch, a table, and some other heavy pieces of furniture. There were also seven full boxes of books. But what I think surprised the movers the most, was the comparable seven bigger boxes of kitchenwares, dishes, glasses, accessories, pots, and pans.
In my previous apartment, I had one bedroom, a bathroom, a living/dining/office room, and a kitchen. Even when I include the big pieces of furniture within each room that crossed the Atlantic, the most valuable part of my shipment, the material things that represent me, originated from my kitchen. To some, that may seem insane. To me, it’s entirely logical.
On average, I eat two meals a day at home. That means I spend 30 minutes in the morning and at least an hour in the evening, usually much more, in the kitchen. When I am not preparing something for immediate consumption, I can also be found there preparing a lunch, a snack, prepping ingredients, concocting desserts, pouring myself a glass of something, etc. I like being in the kitchen. A lot happens in that room. And while other rooms have their qualities, I find that what is revealed in the kitchen is much more important than in other spaces.
I learned a lot about myself in my kitchen in Montreal. For seven years I feed my soul and my friends, I cleaned out my actual and personal pantry, I endured failed recipe attempts and relationships, and I lived all of those moments knowing that I could in that room, and this regardless of what was happening, find comfort in something as simple as two scrambled eggs.
Through the discovery of new ingredients, I found different ways to prepare dishes. With the incorporation of new materials, I was better able to pull together my meals. With sharp knifes and utensils, I honed my preparation skills, even if they caused me a few stitches and a concussion. And each one of those proficiencies (except those painfully acquired) I shared with others afterward.
So if I wanted to share the same things with others and uncover other facets of myself in France, it wasn’t a question that the contents of my kitchen would have to follow me. One could argue that what I created in my Montreal kitchen I technically shared at my table, but I would retort that the very same table was also in the shipment... The best part is that now, rather than using the contents of my kitchen alone, I get to use them with someone. Every day, I see him make his own revelations, uncover exotic and sometimes even bitter flavours, marvel at the greatness of a three ply aluminum saucier, and learn first finger that steel knifes from Japan are indeed quite sharp.
For the past four days, I have reunited with and am thankful that I made the wise investment of bringing my kitchen to my new homeland. I have since made meals using recipes from back home with ingredients from France and can only claim that what was set down at the infamous table and shared was a perfect communion of all things right in my life and that makes the whole moving experience seem perfectly rational.