Things I’ve burned on my new gas stove

Things I’ve burned on my new gas stove

I haven’t cooked a full meal in my new kitchen. Last night I burned potstickers on the new gas range because I couldn’t hear the water boil down like I could on an electric stove. There are little things I need to adjust to, but we’ve been having stellar scrambles of cheese, ham and eggs with toast — something that will never fail.

I want to bake some cookies or a cake, but my pantry is atrocious. It’s not even a pantry per se, but a taller cupboard my dad made. It’s painted in country shades of yellow and green, and right now it’s an obstacle course of cans, sugars and potato chips. I need to get it organized but am still living out of large blue IKEA bags of clothing until my closet is organized. One baby step at a time.

We feel good here. Unmoored but ensconced. Unbridled and unplugged. It was the best choice for us, and I looked at George over orange juice in wine glasses at 11:30 a.m. yesterday and smiled. We both said out loud how glad we are that the process of selling, buying and moving is over and how happy we are that we did it.

As of this morning, we’ve had one conversation with a neighbor and a wave from another one. It’s a quiet but populated residential street, the architecture of the homes mostly intact from the 1920s when they were built. We wondered how the street looked then and realized it would have been mostly the same — hard workers leaving their homes every morning for jobs, cars and trucks backing out into the morning. I look forward to more waves and hellos, trying to break myself out of my introverted nature.

Yesterday George spent the day chipping paint off the inner workings of every doorknob in the house. They are gorgeous original glass knobs, each one intact and perfect — even the front door. None of them closed correctly as paint had built up behind them over the years. After scraping, each knob shut beautifully, and the satisfied smile on his face said it all. He’s enjoying the small details again in a new environment.

He’s making me eggs right now as I sit here and type more words. The cat woke him up because she demanded her place in the bed. I forced myself awake early, something that has been hard to do in a new space, and sat down with a warm coffee cup in hand. I haven’t yet determined my ultimate coffee spot, but I’m closing in on it.

Yesterday I bought a gallon of paint called earthen jug and will put two coats on the walls of the dining room. When that is done, I will put a mushroomy color on two furniture pieces and decide whether one will go in my dining room as a coffee bar.

The shelf I’m painting is one my brother made in shop class in the very early ‘70s. My brother died in 1990, and I’ve always hesitated to change the color from the one he painted it. It’s lasted all these years and never once chipped. But red doesn’t go in this room, and I think he’d have approved of our big move — he moved a lot for his job. So I will feature this shelf with my collection of ever-changing coffee cups, bringing him and his craftsmanship into the house.

Maybe I’ll attempt supper this evening. We’ve used DoorDash so much we both should be ashamed, but like us, we are not. The ease of ordering new-to-us foods to our doorstep is an enticing daily option. But I got a pack of thinly sliced steak out and will make bistec con papás (steak and potatoes) in a spicy tomato sauce. Let’s hope I don’t burn it. I feel like I’m relearning to cook. We will sit down in our unfinished dining room to eat, enjoying all that is yet to come.

Melissa Herrera is a published author and opinion columnist. She is a curator of vintage mugs and all things spooky, and her book, “TOÑO LIVES,” can be found at For inquiries, to purchase her book or anything else on your mind, email her at or find her in the thrift aisles.

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