Transition Tulsa

My wacky friends and I have been making delicious meals together for years and years and years.  We always make a big deal out of our efforts, and almost inevitably some sort of dancing occurs in the process.  We have an elaborate system where everyone participates, with the cardinal rule being “he or she who cooks is banned from washing dishes.”  Chris usually ends up doing them anyway.  Some things never change.

When it comes down to taking the first bite, having done so we always make a few conspicuous noises, lean back, and dub our newest creation “food porn”.  I’m sure we’re not the first bunch of foodie nerds to do so.

Food porn.  You know how it is.  Part of you still feels too young to reach the top shelf in the fridge.  Who let you touch that knife, missy?  And yet–with our powers combined, we have brought forth a means to feed ourselves, and it is delicious.  It’s a little like Top Chef… meets the Muppet Babies.

Here’s a bunch of us at a pie party a few years back.  Best part of being an adult?  Deciding to make pie for dinner.

Here’s the spread at the so-called “Topless Tapas” party–don’t worry, no tops were actually removed.  I remember that night we had eleven people at once working in the kitchen.  And since all the tables across three apartments weren’t enough to hold us, we ate on the floor.

Of course, we can’t forget about Frangelico Milkshakes.  Who invented alcoholic milkshakes, anyway?  I’d like to shake their hand.

And if I had a dollar for every time we joke about hooking up a camera in our oven, to stream on porn sites…  all that bubbling and melting.  It’s atrocious.

The cast of characters has changed a bit through the years.  And we’ve all lived in a number of different apartments.

Some of our dishes have become rather notorious.  This is Natalie making “Balrog Burritos”, for example.

So many other feasts, theme parties, and Sunday Night Dinners were, sadly, never filmed.

Others–like Iron Chef night–were meticulously recorded.

We take cooking very seriously around here.

But anyway.  I swear to you, there is a method to all this madness!

See, recently I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and planning about how I want to live when I move to Oklahoma to teach.  My primary purpose when I am there will be to work towards educational equality.  But in order to be at the top of my game, I am going to need a life outside the classroom that is grounded, guilt-free, and refreshing to say the least.

In Madison, there are a lot of opportunities to live well and to eat fresh, organic, and locally.  Six years ago when this whole game started, I barely knew they existed.  I only cared about fun, friends, and deliciousness.  In between food parties, I lived largely off of pre-made deli sandwiches and Christmas cookies.  Now, I care a lot more about where my food is coming from and about being involved in the process.  It starts with what I eat and extends much further.  It’s how I want to live my life, making constant progress.

In Madison, the adjustment comes slowly, but rather naturally, and I am only beginning to learn what’s what.  Almost all of my favorite restaurants already serve local, organic meat, and the closest grocery store to me is the Willy St. Co-op.  There are about fifty CSA farms within two hours of the city.  In Tulsa this will not be the case.  In Madison I can bring a Tupperware container to a restaurant to serve as a doggie bag.  At a cafe, I would probably have to fight for used coffee grounds to take for composting.  Keeping chickens in Madison is some sort of God-given right.

Again, in Tulsa, this will probably not be the case.

But beyond food, there are also people interested in investing in community, self-reliance, tradition, and sustainable living in Madison.  There is no one particular group or “scene” that I’ve found, and certainly they are a minority, but still, I’ve met people here.  They care about “slow food” or “sustainability” or being a “localvore” or a part of the “transition movement”.   They do things like keep a sourdough starter or a vermiculture, and they brew beer or mead.  Their front yards are edible gardens, and they grow veggies the porch.  They fought to keep chickens in the city, invest in alternative medicine and in CSA farms and local businesses and, of course, they bike to work.  They are sick and tired of all the crap, the waste, the destruction, and the selfishness of our society.

What I’m trying to say is that even though I’m moving far away and putting my energies toward a higher cause, I am not ready to give up learning.  I have a list!  It includes pretty much everything above plus fifty other things.  Plus, I want to keep living in a community.  I don’t want to be alone, trying to teach myself about the world.  I want to  learn how to live more responsibly, substituting thoughtless consumption for connection and community.

And so, I’ve started scouring the Tulsa “scene”–co-ops, couch surfing, online groups, craigslist, and other communities.  The advertisement reads like this:

Hi there, I’m a mid-twenties female with a BA in medieval history, a soon-to-be high school English teacher, and a love for growing stuff in my apartment.

I’m moving to Tulsa from Madison, WI come August, and I’m looking for a roommate (or three) interested in living downtown in an eco-friendly, project-abundant apartment with me.

Anyone interested in learning about/doing urban growing, fermenting and brewing, do-it-yourselfing, carpentry, composting, preserving, permaculture, or anything else “back to basics” and in need of a roommate this fall–let me know!

Male or female, doesn’t matter, just as long as you’re laid back, respectful, and interested in learning about responsible urban living.

What do you think?  Is “Awesome Roommates: Version 2.0” even a possibility?

 

 

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~ by Rachael on January 31, 2011.

One Response to “Transition Tulsa”

  1. We be awesome, yo. :)

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