I have never cooked a meal in my apartment. Okay, let's be frank: I have never cooked a meal in my life. I have fried the occasional egg, toasted the odd bagel, boiled random pots of water, but this is lilydipping relative to the great canoe trip that is true cuisine. (Yes, I'm Canadian.) And in my apartment I have cooked precisely nothing.
The stove is clean, if you discount the layer of dust. The fridge is immaculate. Inside is a Brita pitcher, sans filter, and a box of baking soda, valiantly waiting to combat the odor of something more pungent than water. The cupboard isn't just bare, it's buck naked. I don't even own salt. When I step through the automatic gates of a supermarket, I feel as an illiterate must feel when he cracks the spine of Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit. Pity my kind, wandering the spice aisle in despair: the incuisinate.
I am notionally homeless. The concept of home is bound up in the lovingly repeated rituals of cooking and dining: Home is where the hearth is. To experience this sense of being at home, I have to lean out my window to catch the fragrance of the Portuguese meal being cooked down the hall by my neighbors, a family of first-generation immigrants from Porto. That's the closest I come to home cooking: somebody else's mother's bacalhau.