I can’t bring myself to look at the bottles of oils and sauces by my stove, or look in my pantry for long. I have intentional blindness when I do open the door; I glance past the shelves that have all the things you kept on hand, and look just at the shelves that you designated for Laurie snacks. Crackers and tiny soda cans and gatorade and clif bars and such.

First world problems, I know. I haven’t had to figure out how to cook anything yet, between friends and family feeding the kid and me. I heat leftovers or make a sandwich or cut a fruit or make a haphazard bowl of salad, but I don’t actually cook.

I had a repertoire of about 5 Mark Bittman recipes I could handle when you were in grad school and we tried not to go out for junk too much, but that was 7ish years ago and you didn’t like the butternut squash soup much anyway so let’s call it about 4 recipes. 

This was supposed to be your kitchen and I’m pissed you barely got to use it after waiting years to renovate it. I have my little nook where the coffeemaker and toaster oven live, and I’m supposed to be banned from messing with the rest except to clean. You wrote me detailed directions this spring when I had to preheat the oven for you, so that I wouldn’t get frustrated trying to figure out how to unlock it. Now I wish you’d left me detailed instructions for life.