I've been thinking a lot about what makes a place a "home". Because even though I've lived in Los Angeles for over two years now, I've only just recently started to think of it as my home.
I've got this wonderful, weird, amazing job that gives me a chance to travel fairly often. I'm very fortunate to be one of those annoying people who actually enjoys what I do for a living. Every job I take allows me to meet new people and develop close relationships with them. And it allows me the chance to get the feeling of "starting over" in a new city every few months. So trust me when I say that I'm used to packing my life up into a suitcase. To the feeling of sorting through my belongs to find the most necessary items, things to take with me to make me feel at home while I'm on the road. I know how to condense, how to conserve, and I know how to make myself cozy in a hotel room.
I've got my travel ritual down to a science. Starting with preparing my apartment for my absence. My parent's always insisted that we clean the house thoroughly anytime we were going to leave for an extended period of time, and I do the same thing now that I have my own place. I sweep the floors, vacuum, mop, was and dry every dish, and do load after load of laundry. The idea is that when I get back from my travels, that I'll have a spotless place to come home to.
But I always get a weird feeling the night before I'm about to go away. It comes to me when I've finished all my cleaning, packing and last minute drugstore runs. I curl up in my freshly washed sheets and wonder what it will be like to sleep in a bed other than my own for the next few weeks or months.
In college it wasn't something I focused on too heavily, because I always knew that my living situation wasn't permanent. Nobody stays in college forever (thank god for that), and we all understand that the place we call "home" is temporary. But now that I've graduated, officially moved all of my belonging out of my parent's place, and laid down roots in Los Angeles, it's finally hit me that I'm going to be here for awhile. Even if it means that sometimes I have to go away for a little bit.
So I started hanging things on the walls, and buying furniture that's a little nicer than the ikea hand-me-downs from generous friends. I've slowly built up my arsenal of baking equipment and kitchen supplies, and I even started purchasing things like extra lightbulbs, and tools to have handy.
It's an interesting feeling I think, paving the way for my new life. Outside of my small hometown, and old habits. I look back on my former self, and then I look forward towards the life I'm building out here on my own. I'm happy, and content. I'm excited and passionate and living my life to the fullest. Grasping opportunities as they come and doing things that I love.
And like I said, I think a lot about what makes a place a home. I think home is where you are happiest. It's where you feel safe, and what you think about when you're sad. It's a place to grow and love and smile. It's a state of mind that allows for possibility.
An tonight, as I fall asleep in my hotel on the east cost of the United States, where it's hot and humid and there's so much to explore. Where I'm all alone in a strange bed in an unfamiliar city, working a job that I love, I get this feeling.
I get the feeling that I'm at home.
Homemade Peach Pie
Makes 1 nine inch pie
- 5 cups sliced and peeled peaches
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- pinch of salt
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- Tablespoon vegan butter
- 1 tablespoon aquafaba (optional, for brushing the crust)
- 1 tablespoon raw sugar (optional, for topping the crust)
In a large bowl combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Add the sliced and peeled peaches, along with the lemon juice. Stir to make sure they are evenly coated. Let the peaches rest for about 30-45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. After resting, the mixture will be very liquidy. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the peaches out (not the liquid, don't worry more will come out of the peaches during baking) and into pie pan lined with your pie crust. "Dot" little pieces of vegan butter all around the filling, and top with the second pie crust. If you're feeling fancy, brush the top the of the crust with aquafaba and scatter raw sugar over the top for a shiny, crunchy crust.
Wrap aluminum foil around the crust to prevent it from burning, and bake the pie for about 25 minutes with it on. Then remove the foil and continue baking for another 30 or so minutes. I've found it takes a total bake time of anywhere from 50-60 minutes. You should see the filling bubbling and the crust should be golden brown.
Allow the pie to cool completely (4-6 hours) before cutting into it. This will allow the filling to completely set. Peach pie is best served warm, with ice cream on top. It also tastes delicious for breakfast with a cup of coffee and some jazz music playing in the background.