I knew something was wrong when I found myself looking at a recipe for avocado toast, that $25 brunch staple that was apparently invented in my neighborhood.
Since this pandemic has forced me to spend more time at home, I’ve embarked on a cooking/home decorating spree that would make Martha Stewart jealous. But so has everybody, apparently. Even reformed slutty comic Amy Schumer has embraced both motherhood and her own home cooking show (the difference being that she can repair to Martha’s Vineyard with her chef husband while I’m home alone in my tenement studio).
Maybe it’s about having a new appreciation for the simple pleasures in life, or maybe it’s just because all the restaurants in New York City are only open for take-out.
But lately I’m on what you might call a food and flower binge.
My best friend and I have been joking about this because our daily phone calls now consist of us trading recipes for such dishes as lemon caper butter sole and roasted Cornish game hen. We find ourselves saying such things as “Yes, it really is the dill that really makes the salmon!”
And we’re saying them unironically!
My other new extravagance is flowers. Now, I like a good bouquet as much as the next guy, but who has time to worry about such things when you’re working 40 hours a week and you just want to veg out in front of the TV when you get home? But my pandemic-enforced “staycation” has caused me to look around my apartment and say, “I can do better than this!”
It’s amazing, but just by adding a few well-placed flower arrangements to your living space, you too can turn your crappy apartment into an Architectural Digest-ready mansion! In fact, I’ve gotten so out of control with my flower buying that I actually had to purchase a vase! (A water pitcher just won’t do for my newly acquired lifestyle!)
The other day I was sitting in Hudson River Park as a group of picnickers next to me was being ticketed for not socially distancing and my first thought wasn’t, “Shame on you!” It was, “Is that brie or camembert that you’re eating?”
I’m now one of those annoying people who posts pictures of his culinary creations on Facebook, but I have plenty of company. In fact, I was recently food-shamed when one of my Facebook friends one-upped me with his purple yam pancakes with fried banana purée and maple bourbon syrup. (And I thought putting some fruit on my bowl of Kashi was a big deal!)
So it should come as no surprise that when I recently watched Nancy Meyers’ Somethnig’s Gotta Give—the ne plus ultra of lifestyle porn with its drool-worthy Hamptons summer house—I duly noted that there were fresh flowers on every table and nightstand.
My drug of choice these days isn’t a quarter ounce of cocaine but a one-pound bag of cherries. They light up the same pleasure centers in my brain without causing a perforated septum.
So don’t hate me because my apartment is beautiful and my cooking is mouth-watering. Just surrender to the siren call of psychedelic red carnations and overflowing piles of fruit.
You’ll be happy you did.