On the food front: today I’m making a pot roast, for the first time since returning to the US. I was never able to make a decent one in the Netherlands; something about the cuts of meat there meant that they always came up tough and dry. This time I’m using the Pioneer Woman’s recipe; I think how well it works will depend on hos marbled the roast is (I didn’t buy it with this in mind) and how well the pot lid seals. We’ll see.

With it I made bowties and kasha. At least that’s something I can do well; it’s a bit of a pain, involving two pots, a frying pan, a colander, and a cutting board, but after making it for years, I have it down to a ballet. Well … or at least an efficient set of motions, if not a graceful one.

This apartment’s kitchen is much better suited to my cooking than the Dutch one was; it has things like a casserole dish, not to mention an oven to put it in. Still, I’m looking forward to being in our own place, set up our own way. It’s not so long now. Yesterday we bought a TV and an ungodly number of dishes. (This would make more sense if I actually knew anyone local to ask to dinner.) Tomorrow we have our walkthrough, to mark cosmetic or functional any issues with the place and to get an orientation on how everything works. Next weekend is a three-day one, so we’re going down to the lake house, and we’ll bring back another load of stuff for this place, which we will then lug up the stairs to this second-floor apartment, then later back down, over to the house, and up the stairs to its kitchen. Then closing is the weekend after, and after that I get to live in a place that’s set up for and by us, not to someone else’s idea of generic tastes.

After six years in furnished apartments, this is very exciting.

Actually, I guess I get to do that at the lake house too, but that’s had the left-behind kitchen stuff, though it does have our best china. (The new place gets the second-best china, because when Ted’s grandparents moved from their old house, they gave us a set. That’s fancy, though; the set we just bought is stoneware for every day that can be dishwashed and microwaved.) It’s better now, because it also gets some of the stuff we brought back. However, next weekend is mostly going to be about unpacking boxes and moving stuff around, not relaxing.

I’m trying to figure out what to call the new place. The lake house is Rowell. I’ve been thinking of it as the wee bit hoosie, or the Town house, but those don’t work well for both of us because Ted isn’t familiar with either Rabbie Burns or Georgette Heyer. (It *is* appropriate for a Town house, with that second floor – first floor UK and Europe – ‘reception room’, though I suppose in that case the dining room and kitchen should have been on the ground floor. (We’re going to regret the fact that it isn’t when we have to drag all those dishes up the stairs, and all our clothing up to the third floor.) Someone suggested naming it in Dutch, which would be the Klein Huisje, but that’s a bit hard for Americans to say. I suppose we could call it Casita (Spanish) or Beit Katan (Hebrew).