Cooking for two is tedious – Advice Eating

I’ve come to terms with the fact that we’ll always be the ones setting fires in the driveway. We burned boxes, old wood, and the combustible remains of an old RV (yes, we are those people). The latter was an accident, but all of these incidents eventually resulted in a bonfire on the gravel.

I recently ate at a chain restaurant that was absolutely delicious and – due to my sensitivity to food additives like MSG – absolutely poisoned me. With that in mind, it’s probably best if I just stay home and learn to use those random driveway fires wisely.

home cooking

With the exception of some amazing privately owned restaurants that really do cook their own healthy dishes, I need to start making more of my own food again. I used to be a good to really good cook. If you have a family to support, is there really any other way? I’m always amazed when someone says they can’t cook.

For real? You don’t know how to cook meat in a pan, pickle a roast, make a baked potato? Look, we all know it’s not rocket science. My family tends to ask for my chili, chicken pot pie, and pierogi and sausage, among other dishes. I’m “famous” in the extended family for a certain orange-cream-gelatine “salad.” It’s a Midwest thing.

I can absolutely cook from scratch and my love for leftovers is legendary. These days I’ve found that since getting back to “cooking for two” again, I’ve been trying to pass off some truly awful concoctions for dinner. Too often I sprinkle my endless rotation of “fix it and forget it” meat and potatoes with culinary delights like granola and salads. Had to revisit some of our old family favorites.

This week I managed to make tacos for the first time in years. This used to be a regular part of our dinner rotation. This time I forgot we were out of sour cream and I couldn’t find the hot sauce at all. I actually misplaced a whole bottle of hot sauce. Our kitchen is not that big. We also had beans but unfortunately no rice.

Boring

Maybe I just lost the desire to cook. I’m beginning to understand why my mom was adamant about her two great dishes, chili and green pepper steak. She memorized the takeaway and daily specials of various restaurants for days off. Cooking for two is tedious.

She also famously said, “I made a cake once.” I was too young to remember that auspicious occasion, but I was told it blew up. Or maybe that was her fried potatoes? In any case, I don’t come from a “like mommy used to” home. Granny? Yes. Mother? Not as much.

Now retired, she is a great cook! She regularly shares with me her menu plans of glazed meats, fried sides, and sautees. It is impressive. After all this time, her secret is out. It wasn’t that she couldn’t cook – she just chose not to.

proof

I feel like we’ve had a constant rotation of tacos, pasta, roast, chicken pot pie, chicken and dumplings, sausage and pierogi, stir fry, and so on for years. To keep the tradition alive, this year I dutifully typed and passed on a binder full of family recipes to the “kids” as Christmas gifts.

I don’t know if I think they’ll actually use it or if I just wanted to record that I used to cook these things. I even provided photographic evidence. “Here you are with some cookies I made in 2008.”

Inspired

It’s strange to me that someone who obviously loves to eat as much as I do shouldn’t be inspired to cook anymore. It’s just so… endless. I like to cook when the urge comes. Unfortunately, the urge to eat overcomes me much more than the urge to prepare meals.

GirlWonder and her FabFiance recently received the gift of a Blackstone Griddle. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to give a plethora of items like these to a couple who live in an apartment the size of a placemat. Your place is adorable. What it isn’t is spacious. The “big stuff” is with us.

The first week they came home to whip up homemade Philly cheesesteaks on the grill. The day after they brought all the breakfast items. We enjoyed pancakes, sausage and eggs. I really enjoyed not having to plan or prepare a single piece of it. This is bliss. I don’t know how affordable a chef that lives in the house is, but this is definitely on my shopping list.

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