Sunday afternoon we arrived in Alachua, swarmed by the heat and the gnats. We went to the Sunday Feast at the Hare Krishna temple looking like Pigpen from Peanuts. But instead of dust or odor or whatever he had swirling his head, we had gnats. By the next day they seemed to have become acclimated to whatever bodily delicacies we possessed—that or we just began to smell like a local.
We were supposed to close on our house Monday afternoon but there was a glitch with whom the check was made out to (okay, my fault) so it was delayed until Tuesday morning. Which meant the moving truck was delayed until Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday some people came by to help us unload our truck and even though 2 of the guys only spoke Spanish, it was clear they thought we had a lot of stuff. “Demasiado!”
The upstairs jam kitchen is awesome, although not functional and operational at this point. But it is a great office and stock room. I will post pictures of it later in the week (I hope). There are 2 fridges up there, a chest freezer and two huge desks–one for computer tasks and one for shipping. But, uh, did I mention there is no stove?
There is a lot we have to do in terms of remodeling to get the kitchen up to code and I don’t know when we will be able to do that. This is a big disappointment for me but I am just going to try to roll with it. I thought we would have the money to fix up the kitchen when we got here, but the reality is, we have, like, no money. My husband’s first paycheck won’t be coming for a few weeks, so we need to sit tight and see how we can make ends meet. Sunday I am going to set up a table at the Hare Krishna temple, so hopefully that will go well. We are not exactly totally unpacked but hopefully I can get it together.
Our house is, overall, great. Very spacious with 1960’s tile bathrooms in terrific shape. Am I mourning the loss of my kitchen? You bet. This kitchen is alright, but kind of–well, 50 years old. My husband gave it a good scrubbing today and I got stuff put away enough to make broccoli, plantain, tofu sabji and chapatis for dinner tonite. Our first Alachua home cooked meal. Up until tonite, we have been living on Edy’s Fruit Bars and Govinda’s Dinners to Go.
Because we are strict vegetarians and choose not to eat at establishments that serve meat (or onion and garlic!), moving usually means yogurt, fruit and potato chips. But thankfully, this transition has been made easier by the fact that we can eat a totally fresh, hot and nutritious vegetarian dinner while we unpack and settle in. The meal is a great deal. Eight bucks buys a huge portion of whatever is on the menu–all of which is good.
Let’s see…what else? Our yard is nice for Florida. Our house, which is in town, sits on an acre. I miss my lush 2 acres back in Pennsylvania. This land is nice, but there are no fruit trees! If I had money I would run out and buy fig, persimmon, mulberry and drumstick (vegetable…not fruit) trees as well as rose bushes and blueberry bushes. But the reality is, we don’t have the money.
Alachua, my friends, is expensive. Witness Exhibit A. That’s right, it’s not even organic and look at the price! Food here is costly, as are the taxes and the home owners insurance. And as far as remodeling our kitchen? I am anticipating at least a thousand bucks in just permits. PERMITS!!!
But back to fruit. Just beyond our property line is a forested, empty lot. Low and behold my husband spotted an Asian Pear tree growing. And just our fruity luck, it is full of pears. They are not ripe yet but I am hoping to get my home kitchen up and running in time for a little pear yum fun.
In the meantime, please feel free to order some jam. Every jar sold brings me one smidge of a building permit closer to my jam kitchen–which only means jam success!
Oh, by the way, all orders placed while I was on the move will go out Monday. Thanks for shopping Sabjimata–Northern Florida’s best jam!
Hey, let’s be honest. If this blog isn’t for self promotion, than what is it for?