Cooking for one
I have never been one to eat leftovers. I find the idea of eating the same thing I ate merely 12 hours ago somewhat demoralizing. I eat as an escape. Sometimes to get away from my desk at work, or sometimes to get away from life. Trying new food, is a new experience. An experience that transports me somewhere else albeit for a brief moment in time. Food is a new breathe of fresh air; a new distraction.
I have never been one to cook. It wasn’t until my divorce that the need to start cooking for one developed. While the temptation to just eat out and make others do the work is very real, I have opted instead to try and cook for myself. There are many reasons for this including costs, health, and something simply to occupy my time. The experience, although limited, has been an interesting and introspective exercise, one I wish to continue. One that needs more thought.
First and foremost, every recipe I have ever seen creates enough food for Jesus to re-feed the masses. I know what you are thinking, why don’t you just cut the recipe in half? I have done that. Well not that exactly that, more like cut it in half and then cut that in half again. Trust me, my google voice assistant history is littered with how many ounces in 8 fluid grams minus the square root of pi multiplied by neutrons in an eggplant. For one it’s not enough to divide by two. Many recipes are divided then divided again. And if I don’t? I guess I’m eating for two tonight!
The bigger problem that exists of course is waste. Let’s take a recent recipe for example. This recipe serves four and calls for an eggplant. I divide and divide and get the measurement for one. I’ll need a pinch of eggplant. That’s certainly no big deal, but now what am I going to do with 90% of an eggplant leftover. Guess I’m eating and making eggplant dishes for the next week. Any recipes out there I should try?I might have more success growing my own breed (is that the right word) of mini eggplant.
If I am going to be throwing out 90% of the food I buy, shouldn’t I just eat out in the first place? Is that the more responsible thing to do? Should I stick to recipes that don’t call for small portions of fresh fruit or vegetables? How do I manage waste and cost in an eco-responsible way without having to eat on repeat?
Of course I have the best of intentions. I have leftovers in my work fridge right now, which have been there for the last two days. Will I get around to eating them? If they stay long enough it’s no longer repetitive, but now the food is gross, or bad, or something i’m sure.
I enjoying eating. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy dividing (I knew math would be handy one day). I enjoy shopping for ingredients. However, I need a way to create less waste from leftovers and partial use fruits and vegetables, as well as reduce my costs while preventing repetitive flavors and dishes.