Since I moved to Boston in 2000, I have rarely enjoyed the luxury of having my apartment all to my self. A non-profit income and high rents dictate that my housing situation involve at least two other people, often more. In June, though, my friend Karen and I decided we’d played enough den mother to our peers and gave up crowded living situations to move into a two-bedroom apartment.
Living with only one other person comes with its own set of pros and cons, but it is certainly less stressful and invasive than sharing freezer space with three women. I enjoy Karen’s company and like coming home to a friend every night. I also like being alone in the apartment, a situation I find myself in much more frequently now.
This weekend, Karen went home to Pennsylvania to sell her Jeep (seems no one in Boston is jumping at the chance to pay off her lease. Shocking.) and I have been home alone for three days. I jumped at the chance to spend some time uninterrupted in the kitchen, although the humid weather hasn’t left me exactly itching to play with the stove. Instead, I hit Haymarket for lots of cheap vegetables and citrus and tried my hand at ceviche, something I can’t do when Karen is home because she hates fish. Loudly.
I couldn’t find red snapper – to be honest, I didn’t look very far because I wasn’t up for a citywide trek – so I used cod, which turned out quite well. I am surprised at how good this is. I’d never heard of it before trying it at Eastern Standard this winter, and once the bartender told me the basic idea behind it, I’d been wanting to make it. I don’t remember the ceviche at ESK being this sweet (I don’t think they use orange juice) nor having avocado, and although delicious, I definitely prefer my own for taste and cost.
I had some for lunch today – just a big ol’ bowl of ceviche. I don’t know that it’s how I’m supposed to eat it, but I did anyway because it’s delicious. Tangy and crisp and fresh, it’s the perfect thing to eat on a summer day when your friend Matt has gotten drunk and broken the knob on the air conditioner.
I was on a roll, and I was also swimming in fresh mint, which I had bought for the ceviche but hadn’t needed much of. I actually overbought on every item save for the fish, and now my kitchen boasts a huge bowl of lemons, limes and oranges, and my refrigerator looks like an herb jungle with mint, flat parsley (which I grabbed quickly, thinking it was cilantro) and cilantro. Not wanting to spend the next six hours making pitchers of mojitos, I turned to a recipe on Cave Cibum that caught my eye last month. I used real sugar and ground ginger since I didn’t have Splenda or fresh ginger, and a little more vinegar than was called for because I really love vinegar, and the results were not only beautiful but sweet and spicy and pungent. Deeeelightful.
Coming soon to a kitchen near you: cilantro pesto.