A displaced hedgehog is a figure - or rather an image - from Tove Jansson's Moomin books. This is how I can best describe myself. This blog is mostly about being displaced.
Sunday, 18 November 2018
Cooking for one
our children started moving from home, it took us a long time to
adjust the amount of consumed food. I remember huge pots of pasta,
family packs of meatballs and fish fingers, enormous pans of mince-meat
sauce, fruit bowls emptied within an hour. With just the two of us,
we obviously did less shopping, cooked smaller meals and also used
more fresh ingredients rather than ready-made. Still, it's remarkable
how difficult it is to calculate a meal for one. Even when I buy what
looks to me like small packages, it always turns out to be too much.
I can never cook the right portion of pasta. If I cook beans or
lentils I always end up with twice as much as I need. I know
exactly what you are thinking now: save the leftovers and freeze. That's
what I am learning to do. It's hard for someone not used to it.
Moreover, I am learning to cook various things over the weekend, to
use later. I like vegetable cream soups, so I steam two courgettes, a
butternut squash, five carrots, a celeriac, and freeze them in
separate bags. Then I take as much as I need from each bag for just
one bowl of soup.
of you are laughing now: what's the big deal, that's what normal
people do. But I am not normal. I have never had a 9-5 job, and the
past ten years I would come home with hot dinner waiting on the
table. Planning a week of meals for one feels alien to me. Yet it
would be below my dignity to eat the same pasta with mushroom sauce
seven days a week. OK, go on laughing. Changing habits at my age is
serendipity, soon after I moved to Gatehouse I read an article about
cooking for one. The point is exactly the same I am making: your food
doesn't have to be boring just because you are cooking for yourself.
And there are some useful tips. I particularly like the one about
keeping onion fresh by using the outer skin layers.
a strike of genius! I am doing it now, because I only need a quarter
of an onion at a time. I do the same with cabbage.
by mistake cook more than I can consume, I freeze it, even if it is
just half a cup: I can always have it as a starter.
eat very little meat, mostly when I have lunch in college, and then I
still try to choose fish. Since I moved to Gatehouse I haven't had
any meat and only cooked chicken once. Chicken fillets usually come in
twos, so again I had to freeze half of it. But it is convenient to
have a nice meal in the freezer. (More laughter from you, dear
have no oven, so some dishes that I used to cook are now out of
bounds, such as baked fish.
also spoiled by fifteen years with induction hobs, so I have not quite
grasped how an ordinary hob works. Takes some time to heat and some
time to cool. No built-in timer. I know, very first-world problems.
is what I had for lunch today: beetroot soup. If you think having a
bagel with soup is weird, that's not my concern.