It has been just over a month since Hooch & Home South relocated back to the land of bourbon and horses and it went pretty smoothly, so I thought I’d share some of my moving insights as an excuse to also make a new cocktail…as a toast to our new location!
Although I had been job searching for many months, the job that finally got us to move was one that took about three weeks from application to first day on the job. Needless to say, it was a quick turnaround! Luckily the timing worked out so that I had a full week off of work between jobs and we were able to get most everything packed up and ready to go. Here’s a few of my tips and tricks for moving, especially on a short deadline.
- Hire professionals. As long as I live, I will never spend better money than money spent on paying people to move my stuff. I was so used to the carefree days of college and begging for the labor of my friend’s gracious family that the first time I hired movers was a revelation. This time around, we hired people to load and unload the truck that we drove from South Carolina to Kentucky, which helped save us some money. Not only did we get to stand aside as strong men carried our stuff up and down stairs, but they also loaded it expertly so that everything fit and nothing was damaged. Uhaul makes it very easy to connect with local movers and they aren’t even paying me to say that. If you have the ability, spend the money. It is SO worth it.
- Use decent boxes, good tape, and lots of packing material. I am such a cheapskate that I have never bought boxes, instead relying on the kindness of friends and family and stalking the grocery store stockers to steal good boxes from them. However! I have learned that using boxes that are in good shape is especially critical when hiring movers to load your things. Boxes get beat up in the process, so starting with a beat up box means you are risking damage to your stuff unnecessarily–and not just the stuff in the crappy box! Also, find a source of old newspapers and use them to pad your belongings and fill up boxes that aren’t completely full. A decent box that collapses in on itself is an easy hazard to avoid.
- Label judiciously. Even if you can’t hire people to haul your things around, labeling is a critical part of making a move efficient. This time around, I opted to label boxes both by room and with a detailed inventory of each box’s contents. It didn’t take that much longer to write out a list and tape it to the top and I know it helped me stay sane in a sea of “Kitchen” boxes when I was looking for the one fine mesh strainer we have so we could filter the cold brew.
- Try to pack by level of use. We cook a ton and we knew we would be in Kentucky for a week before we would be able to bring the majority of our stuff, so we packed up what we called our “survival kitchen”. Dedicating a couple of boxes to the things we knew we would want to have immediately (cast iron skillet, stock pot, colander, spatula, coffee making materials, flatware, a few plates and bowls) was not that difficult to do and it helped make our transition that much easier. This tip also works well for other critical need items, like work-appropriate clothing and booze! Luckily I packed a box of bourbon, Fernet, and gin, so we were pretty well set for our basic cocktail needs throughout that rough time.
- Make peace with the chaos. Although we did try to pack intentionally, there comes a point in any move where things just get shoved into random boxes. Realize that there will come a day when you will rediscover something you forgot you had because it was in a box with completely unrelated stuff. It also helps to have an out of the way space somewhere in both your old place and your new place where less important things can be shoved while you work your way through packing and unpacking. We lived with Box Mountain for a few days and now our garage is serving as the “I don’t know how to/can’t deal with this right now” landing zone.
- Clean as you go. Since we were moving quite the distance, we didn’t have a ton of time to clean our old apartment once all our stuff was out. As we worked to pack everything up, I had a list of cleaning that could be done along the way if one of us needed a break from confronting all our possessions. As a result, by the time the movers came, all we really had to do was sweep up and do a final once over as we left. That is another excellent benefit to hiring movers: you can clean as they load!
- Find a way to stay motivated. We did really well for the first week or two of unpacking and then we both ran out of steam for one reason or another. Part of what has kept us working on Box Mountain (now Box Hillock) was the threat of visitors. Hosting a couple of friends for dinner helped us power through to get the common area and kitchen ready for guests. Hosting people again a week after that helped motivate me to tackle what was left to do in the bedroom.
- Make lists electronically. I know this sounds like a weirdly specific tip, but as a person who highly values list making, having my lists either on my phone or on Google Drive was way better than trying to keep track of the fifteen different sticky notes I had floating around South Carolina and Kentucky.
Moving is always a stressful process, but there are a few ways to help control the madness and make the transition a little bit less painful. Good luck!
Peach Champagne Float
We toasted our new abode with a pickleback when we hosted our first guests, but I thought I would share the drink that we actually made on the night before the movers came. I like to picture myself drinking this while sitting on a warm beach with my toes in the sand, watching the sun set over the water. Sadly reality doesn’t often match our dreams, but close your eyes and you can imagine along with me.
Making sorbet with alcohol is a great way to ensure it will have a great texture while also adding another dimension of flavor. We had a bunch of ripe peaches and decided to mix them up with some jalapeno-infused tequila because we are geniuses…although Alton Brown gets the credit for inspiring us with his Black Pepper Mango Sorbet.
Peach Jalapeno Tequila Sorbet
- Eight ripe peaches
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4ish cup jalapeno tequila
- 12 oz sugar
Peel and slice the peaches. Puree the slices in a food processor until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse to combine. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and chill for at least four hours.
Process the puree in an ice cream machine according to the machine’s instructions. Ours took about twenty minutes to get to the right consistency. Put the sorbet into a freezer-safe container and freeze for three hours or overnight before serving.
The sorbet tasted amazing on its own, but also got my mind turning for possible cocktail options. I made a few really excellent margaritas with a scoop floating on top, but the night before moving we needed something simple: champagne floats! Once the sorbet melts a little, the mixture of bubbles and peach/pepper/tequila flavors calmed our nerves just a bit and reminded us of a time when we had time to make sorbet. This float would make just as good a party drink as it made a moving drink–so dig up an ice cream maker and pop some bottles!
- 4 oz. champagne or other bubbly wine of your choice
- Generous scoop of sorbet
Float the sorbet on the champagne and garnish as desired. Toast to your great success, no matter the outcome!