As it turns out, moving is some difficult business. After five years in our old place, we moved about a month ago, in a weekend that re-defined exhaustion. We’d spent the prior weeks slowly packing up our place—each glass, every book, all those pairs of shoes—into boxes. We hired men to actually move those boxes (I was 7-months pregnant, after all), but the real work began when we arrived at our new place. We’ve been unpacking and settling in since we arrived—going on four weeks now. With the help of Kevin’s parents and my parents (and those burly movers), most of the work was behind us after the first two weekends. Since then, we’ve been filling in the gaps here and there.
In my real estate history, five years is a long time. Aside from childhood homes, I’ve never lived anywhere nearly that long. So, I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised by the big, hot tears on my cheeks when, over this past weekend, Kevin and I picked up a few final things from our old place, left our keys on the kitchen counter and said goodbye. In my rush to sell that place (Not enough room for the baby! Too many stairs!), I seemed to have forgotten how much I had loved it, and how much life—and what a good one—we had lived there.
On the short drive over to our new place, as my tears eased, we talked about how odd it was to see the space so empty. The furniture-less rooms and the empty cupboards and the bare walls seemed to provide endless space to envision the scenes that had unfolded in those rooms. Within those walls, we’d gotten married, I’d graduated from law school, and we learned that we were pregnant. We’d hosted Thanksgivings and countless barbecues, and we’d made a meal with my sister every week, when she lived in Chicago. Our guestroom served as a temporary home to many of our favorite people, and we’d marveled over the skyline and the spectacle of July 4 fireworks from the roof deck.
As we drove to our new home, Kevin asked me what I had pictured as we walked through the empty rooms. I struggled to pick only one of these many memories, and as I thought about it, he answered his own question. “I thought of you in that kitchen, cooking.” And that made me so happy and proud, and nostalgic and blue, too.
I started this blog during our first year in that apartment, so many of the stories of this blog are also the stories of that apartment. Now that we’re in our new place (which I love), and I’m learning the rhythms of our new kitchen, it seemed only fitting that my first post-move post would involve a recipe that was brand new to me. I had taken photos of a pizza recipe that we made dozens of times in our old place and repeated a couple of times in the new one, but I decided this post called for a fresh start.
And a refreshing start, too. Homemade lemonade. It was my first time making it, and it’s such a treat (and dead simple). Unlike the store-bought versions, it tastes pure and fresh, and you can adjust it to your preferences. This one’s got a pucker-y bite and a gentle sweetness to round the edges. Bittersweet, just like our move.
Yield: about 1 1/2 quarts
3/4 cup sugar
5 cups water (1 cup at room temperature, 4 cups chilled)
1 cup freshly-squeeze lemon juice (the juice from 6-8 lemons)
In a saucepan, make simple syrup by boiling sugar and 1 cup room temperature water over medium-high heat until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool completely before using.
In a pitcher, stir together the cooled simple syrup, 2 cups chilled water and lemon juice. Chill for at least an hour and serve.