28 Days to an Empty Home

After a leisurely weekend devoid of both travel and football, it hit us this morning: the movers will be here in less than a month! One month from now, all of our furniture and the bulk of our belongings will be boxed, crated, and en route to Dallas, our new home. To bridge the two-month gap between pack out and our move, the government will provide us with loaner furniture, luxury stuff that will encourage us to be, uh, anywhere but here… and we’re working on that most earnestly.

Given the half day granted to us by the powers that be today, we spent the morning packing and purging, divesting ourselves of the trappings of two households newly merged and carefully stowing the delicate collection of souvenirs collected across nearly five years in Europe. We’ll spend some time every evening for the next few days between a myriad of remaining tasks: purging wardrobes of excess shirts and such; preparing the trappings of my various earthy hobbies for shipping; and setting aside piles, one for our second pack out in April and one to be carted along with us in May. Loc wants to use two pieces of large rolling luggage apiece; I’d almost rather use a military issue duffel bag in lieu of my second set of wheels.


From where I sit right now, one piece of luggage will be almost entirely culinary in nature: bowls, scale, measuring spoons, measuring cups, spoons, bench knife, bowl scraper, proofing baskets, loaf pans, bread box, cutting board, cooling racks, knife block… Dutch oven. I’m deeply invested in the world of artisanal hearth baking right now, and that Dutch oven, though heavy, is much more portable than a pizza stone and broiling pan, my only alternative to it at the moment. I’ve used it to make many a beautiful loaf of late, and I fully intend to¬†continue baking until I fly and resume baking when my feet hit the ground. I’ve read four cookbooks cover to cover in the past ten days, two of which were baking books… like, Loc and I recently went to London for 48 hours and spent a solid 8 of those hours in bookstores just reading.

With our wine shipment paperwork submitted and our bottle count capped, we’ve turned our acquisition efforts to things that are reasonably priced here and absurdly priced at home. These things include Wusthof and Henckels knives, Weck jars, and a smattering of shelf-stable European cheeses. I’ve taken to using Weck jars for desserts, breakfasts, preservation, and simple storage – they rock. I’m gearing up to begin my maiden effort in mozzarella making, but I won’t have the equipment or connections to make aged cheeses until we get to Dallas (I have the equipment all scouted out, believe you me).

So ya… I’m hoping to just follow my enduring interest in food into the culinary world. My father is a food scientist; my younger brother is studying to be a food scientist; and I am reading a tome called ‘On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen’ with sincere interest: I could easily see myself walking down that well-trod path. That, and I seem to have the greatest of trouble in giving a damn about corporate aspirations. I think it’d be fun to work in urban agriculture too – I’m so pumped to be moving to USDA Zone 8: year-round growing! One of the books I picked up in London is called ‘Kew on a Plate’ and it’s chock-full of practical heirloom gardening information… so much happiness.

I’m pretty excited to move to Dallas, not gonna lie. Anybody who’s known me for a while is probably as taken aback as my friends and family were when I decided to go to West Point. Buuuuut there are certain things that Dallas has to offer culturally that were integral to my life before Germany, and I am looking forward to diving back into them. That, and I’ve found a few networks that I’ve already tapped and am excited to join. Hell, I even have an in to local politics, and in the current political climate, I’m more fascinated than I have been in a loooooong time by that world. My days are full of political talk shows right now. Such is life as an unemployed dependa,¬†or as we prefer to say here, a man of leisure.