Cooking for One!

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This is very difficult for me. I found it difficult cooking for two!

I used to love cooking. The more the merrier….people and food. But getting the right amount of food for two people took me a long time. Especially pasta….always way too much.

When the kids were home I always had a ton of food. What didn’t get eaten for dinner would more than likely be lunch for someone the next day. So no problem having leftovers laying around for a week.

If we had company, I always worried that I wouldn’t have enough food, so inevitably always had too much food! But I was pretty creative with whatever was left.

I really liked trying new recipes….Ken and my friend Bev were good guinea pigs for that…..

We ate pretty healthy too….I liked shopping for fresh veggies and fruit. Ken was a real meat and potatoes type guy, but he was OK with a veggie pasta too. It was when I started experimenting with bulgar and various grains that I’d get some flack…he’d give it a go but I knew he’d rather have a baked potato. Rice was always OK too. Not too often did we have processed food or stuff out of cans….I always thought fresh was best. Prepping it all, even after a day of work, was fun….pour a nice glass of wine and start chopping away……

Then when he got sick and the nausea became such an issue cooking and meal planning became a major challenge. Not just eating, but smelling certain things could really cause problems. My choices for meals became more and more limited, especially the last year. French Toast became a regular dinner, at least a couple times a week. It was a very difficult time, for both of us!

Now, I can cook when I want and what I want…..but that is just about as hard. I love trying new recipes or even creating my own concoctions…..but that’s a lot of energy and depending on what it is, a lot of time to prepare a meal for ONE.

I really need to work on this.

There are so many things that can be bought now to speed up prep time….like this stuff…here is a link Philly Cooking Cream I’m sure just using real cream would be better for you but this stuff is thicker and with a few herbs and spices, it makes a great sauce that takes only minutes. Throw in some chicken or prawns and asparagus or some other veggies and you’ve got a meal in less than half an hour! Add a salad or some bread and you’re all set.

I gave it a try the other night with Bev as my test taster. It was a success! I will definitely buy this again but if there is just me, only half the container and about 1/5th of the pasta I cooked would be perfect. So easy and quick….so easy to put together after working all day.

Bev, being a single gal, has this cooking for one all figured out. She introduced me to the little Minute Rice Ready to Serve, nuke for one minute things.. Minute Rice Cups  I’ve tried most of them but will stick to the long grain and wild rice one, the basmati is passable. I would never in a million years have bought these before….but now I am.

When Ken was in the hospital, sometimes I’d get home after 8 and just couldn’t be bothered even thinking about preparing something. I didn’t want to stop anywhere on the way home….I just wanted to get home. I hate to admit it, but there were more than a few nights that my dinner was a package of microwave popcorn!! I did usually have a reasonable lunch, at least.

BBQing is easy too, especially on my nice new BBQ….no real big mess to clean up, so now that the weather is nice I’ll be doing that more.

I have to start cooking and eating properly again….. at least a couple nights a week. I used to like planning dinners but that seems like it was so long ago, I’ve almost forgotten how to do it…..I will work on it. It’s just getting the amounts right….I don’t mind leftovers the next day but I also don’t want to have them the day after that too!

I also used to have a “cooking weekend” every now and again. I’d spend the whole day making soups and various casseroles that could be frozen. Really easy to just take something out in the morning and then heat it up after work…..Ken was usually home before me, so it was his job to get it in the oven. I’d leave him a note with the temp and time etc. I should probably start doing that again, but downsizing the portions of course.

I will eventually get this sorted out and I hope I can get back my enthusiasm for cooking again….yes, definitely need to work on this……….

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