Friday, July 12, 2013

A New Way of Cooking

I was raised in a family of seven.  My Mom could make a meal out of a can of Spam.  She would slice it into 7 pieces, layer it on a particular platter, put pineapple rings that were cut in half around the perimeter and a can of mandarin oranges sprinkled over the top.  I do believe that a couple of spoons of brown sugar was then spread over the top of it all.  And baked.  Always a salad of some kind.  Always some kind of a starchy side dish and always a plate with a stack of white bread on it and butter on the table.  My sisters and I were often in charge of the salad.  Anyone remember shredded carrots with raisins?  How about peas with small cubes of cheddar cheese?
One of my first attempts of "cooking".... a grilled cheese sammie.  We had a large waffle iron that you could reverse the waffle plates, and they were grill plates, so that is what the sandwiches were grilled on.  So I carefully butter the bread (white, Wonder probably) and put some nice thick slices of Velveeta on the bottom slices, placed the top slice on, and closed the waffle iron.  And then walked away.....mistake....big mistake....I came back into the kitchen to witness rivers of melted pseudo cheese oozing out the sides and down the formica counter doing a great imitation of hot lava......

So when I married, and had a family of my own, I always pretty much followed these parameters that were a "balanced" meal.  We had to have a protein, a veggie, a side dish, and I always gave the kids some kind of fruit.  And milk.  No one seems to drink milk at meals anymore.  And it worked fine for a lotta years.  But I have never learned how to make a meal for just two of us.

I even bought my sister some cookbooks to encourage her to do more cooking, aimed at cooking for one or two.  But for me.....always a main dish that could feed everyone in my condo row.  It is pretty much a joke for me to make a salad for two.  Never happened.  I just haven't been able to do it.  I just keep adding stuff.

I bought this magazine the other day, hoping it would help.  Tonight I grilled some ribs (2 WHOLE racks from Costco) and then supplemented with some fried fresh corn and scalloped potatoes for 2.  Never in my life have I cooked only 1 potato before tonight.  How odd to cook something that calls for things in a teaspoon or tablespoon quantity rather than cups.

Both came out very yummy, and I don't have GOBS of leftovers.  Yes, I know having "planovers" is always a good thing. but even I get tired of eating the same stuff.

So I will work my way through this magazine.  I do love these ATK recipes.

Watch this space.

1 comment:

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I've always cooked for a crowd - but now I have these great freezer containers that I got from Amazon - they seal so tightly that nothing gets frost in it - or freezer burn, so I freeze the leftovers for lunches - one container - one lunch - or we can take out two and have dinner -add a salad and no cooking that night.

Of course there is no hope for saving salads very long - one day is about my limit on that - so I try to cut down on the size of the salads - except for a big green salad that we dip out of all week -adding cucumbers freshly cut each nigh (they get too slimy if left in the big salad).

I used to love carrot/raisin salad - not so much anymore - and the peas and cheese is still a favorite.

Enjoy your cookbook. When we first got married I bought the Betty Crocker Cooking for Two - but Don was such a big eater then (4 sandwiches for his lunch at work) that I gave up and went back to cooking for a crown and he ate it all. Now he's a much lighter eater so I have to cook small - or freeze.