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  • FIRST POST
    • caronc
    • By caronc 13th Jan 17, 6:32 PM
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    caronc
    Cooking for one
    • #1
    • 13th Jan 17, 6:32 PM
    Cooking for one 13th Jan 17 at 6:32 PM
    Hi, newbie poster though long time lurker trying to adjust to being an empty-nester and due to some substantial changes income-wise in the next couple of months trying to cut my costs and adjust my shopping to mainly solo dining. I abhor waste so good that way and do cook from scratch/batch cook the vast majority of the time. I do "sort of" meal plan but it can be a bit hit or miss depending on my health is on any given day. I'm reliant on on-line shopping so can't take advanage of aldi/Lidl etc. What (if any) changes did you make when changing to a single-person household?
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    • meg72
    • By meg72 16th Jan 17, 9:00 AM
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    meg72
    Let us just face it.

    There is nothing worse than making up a lovely meal and then eating it alone.

    Food is for sharing.

    That is why I think soup, sandwiches and ready meals should not be denigrated for those alone.

    I know people mean well, as I do myself, but we have to be realistic here also.
    Originally posted by melanzana
    Sorry to disagree but I feel this is a mindset to be avoided. Food is not only for sharing it is to keep me healthy, physically and mentally.

    Ready meals are out for me due to high salt, sugar and fat. I do have soup for lunch sometimes but its HM.

    I feel its often the case when newly alone to fall into the trap of thinking its not worth cooking "just for me" that just makes me feel sad, like I am not worth a nice home cooked meal. Nice food is only for company?

    No I am worth the same love and care that I would put into making a family meal and doing so makes me feel good about myself.

    Theres nothing better than sharing a meal but theres a lot worse
    things than eating on my own.
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    • caronc
    • By caronc 16th Jan 17, 9:08 AM
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    caronc
    Sorry to disagree but I feel this is a mindset to be avoided. Food is not only for sharing it is to keep me healthy, physically and mentally.

    Ready meals are out for me due to high salt, sugar and fat. I do have soup for lunch sometimes but its HM.

    I feel its often the case when newly alone to fall into the trap of thinking its not worth cooking "just for me" that just makes me feel sad, like I am not worth a nice home cooked meal. Nice food is only for company?

    No I am worth the same love and care that I would put into making a family meal and doing so makes me feel good about myself.

    Theres nothing better than sharing a meal but theres a lot worse
    things than eating on my own.
    Originally posted by meg72
    Absolutely
    • pollyanna 26
    • By pollyanna 26 16th Jan 17, 11:46 AM
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    pollyanna 26
    Thanks to LW for the nut loaf link . I've seen it mentioned across various threads and have now finally bookmarked it
    Another one who didn't get on with the Delia book . Mine was in the charity shop shortly after buying .
    I agree with the posters on eating well and healthily . It's easy to rustle up something when you don't feel liking making a lot of effort and there are healthy easy options to do so . After all if we don't look after ourselves who will ?
    For the book lovers among us Sam Stern is worth a look . His Too Good To Share is a good buy . Each recipe makes two different meals in one cooking session . His Eat Vegetarian is one of my most used books and I've lost count of how many copies I've bought for family and friends . The recipes are for different portions and many have a vegan choice . Simple , uncomplicated and the sort of food you want to cook . The Student book also is suitable for one upwards . If perish the thought I could only keep 100 books those three books would be on the list . He co-wrote a couple of earlier ones with his mum which although not aimed at solo eating are brilliant and one actually features Betty's Fat Rascals loved by us northeners and quite expensive in The Tea Rooms . Finally he introduced his readers to Hendersons Sauce which is a vegetarian version of Lea and Perrins Worcester Sauce but nicer and livens up soups and stews etc .
    Apologies to those who aren't book fans but in my life Home is where the books are
    polly
    • Winchelsea
    • By Winchelsea 16th Jan 17, 1:11 PM
    • 685 Posts
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    Winchelsea
    Elaine Colliar
    She's back - I got the email from Mortgage Free in Three a couple of days ago, the first one for ages.
    Keeping three cats, the car and myself on a small budget, and enjoying life while we're at it!
    • pollyanna 26
    • By pollyanna 26 16th Jan 17, 1:22 PM
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    pollyanna 26
    Winchelsea Thank you so much for the news of Elaine's return , made my day . I was caught up in the great Yahoo debacle a couple of months ago and voted with my feet . Never thought Elaine would be back so need to alter my email details on her site to get my daily fix .
    polly
    • LameWolf
    • By LameWolf 16th Jan 17, 1:38 PM
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    LameWolf
    There is nothing worse than making up a lovely meal and then eating it alone.
    Originally posted by melanzana
    Obviously we're never all going to agree on this - but for me personally I have to agree with Melanzana. And I think the sticking point is that I dislike cooking so much.

    I don't mind making a meal for my DH because I love him to bits, and he loves his food. Whereas I see cooking AND eating as blimmin' chores that I have to perform in order to keep body and soul together.

    When my little Penny-Dog was alive, I used to have my dins at the same time she had hers, just so that I didn't have to eat alone.

    As with so many things, it's "horses for courses".

    Btw, I have just finished making a lemon cheesecake and a cheese, tomato, onion and Qu0rn quiche.......
    Last edited by LameWolf; 16-01-2017 at 1:41 PM.
    LameWolf
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 16th Jan 17, 2:02 PM
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    PasturesNew
    There are many ways in which cooking for one is entirely different to cooking for two or more. Catering for yourself for a week or two, or couple of months, isn't the same as always cooking for one.

    Cooking involves the problems of shopping/quantities and use by dates, making sure you use it all. You can't freeze everything; while a family might choose to freeze this or that, they'd struggle if everything they cooked also required putting 4-5 portions into the freezer and then having to eat it to free up the space.

    Then there's the "driver". Alone you have to decide and work out what to cook - there's nobody saying "ooh cook me this, cook me that" or "can we have ... please, please, let's have that". You have to sit and think and decide.

    Then there's the "point", what is the point.... often the act of cooking will put you off feeling like food. It's a lonely existence, standing there in the kitchen waiting for something to cook.... so you can eat it, then do the washing up ... then stare at the debris everywhere that needs cleaning up.

    Nobody to feed but yourself.

    Toast, crumpets and muffins fill a hole

    So long as you're managing to eat something, that's kind of "a good start".



    Cooking for one isn't just today, or this week, or this month, or until the end of the year.... it's decade after decade after decade of mindless having to go through the motions, just to put something hot onto a plate, to be eaten in 2-3 minutes flat.

    There's no "joy" in that unless you're really into your cooking, love your kitchen, have the gadgets you want and can afford the more exciting ingredients that go into "nicer/better food".

    All this against a backdrop of celebs on the telly with their "crowdpleasing" "it's all about family and friends" dishes and their glorious houses filled with food and friends and the sun shining in from outside. Except Nigel, who always looks like he wishes he still had town gas connected.... so he didn't have to open his HUUUUUUGE fridge and pull out another block of parmesan.

    Today's breakfast was: skipped it
    Today's lunch was: One cheese triangle.
    Today's tea will be: God only knows, what's quickest/easiest?
    • Nelski
    • By Nelski 16th Jan 17, 2:40 PM
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    Nelski
    I think its really sad that people see food in this way ...Pastures New I cant believe you manage to live off the stuff you do and its no surprise that there no pleasure in it.

    Certain things about cooking for one I hate like making too much so that my freezer is always overflowing or having to eat the same meal twice in a row ...sometimes theres only so many ways you can dress up meat and veg

    Having said that lets look at the positives, you never need to cook or eat something you don't like to please a bloke or anyone come to think of it, you can have strange combinations of foods you love without anyone thinking you are loopy, when you do have friends for dinner you can really enjoy being over the top and treating everyone to chef type food , its cheap and even if you eat well its difficult to spend lots on just your food and my favourite there are no rules such as we eat dinner at 7 or whatever you make your own rules

    I guess I am lucky I love cooking and I love cooking for me so I am sad for those who see it as a chore and I would really worry about PNs diet come on over to my house matey and ill cook you up a feast

    So having said all the above waffle tonight is a repeat of last night..meats from Christmas veg and roasts
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 16th Jan 17, 2:46 PM
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    PasturesNew
    you never need to cook or eat something you don't like to please a bloke or anyone come to think of it,
    Originally posted by Nelski
    That's a choice some choose to make. I'd not do it. If they want it they can get it themselves.

    you can have strange combinations of foods you love without anyone thinking you are loopy,
    Originally posted by Nelski
    I've never cared what people think about strange combinations - indeed, I post my food on MSE to bring "those who cannot be 4rsed" into the fold, by letting them know that others "eat cr4p and still live" and you don't get run off the site for doing so.

    when you do have friends for dinner you can really enjoy being over the top and treating everyone to chef type food
    Originally posted by Nelski
    With no table, no chairs, no dinner set and a fear of ovens ... plus, no mates ... that's really never going to happen.

    there are no rules such as we eat dinner at 7 or whatever you make your own rules
    Originally posted by Nelski
    It's the gnawing pain from my stomach that drags me towards the kitchen ... not a desire to eat any food in there.


    come on over to my house matey and ill cook you up a feast
    Originally posted by Nelski
    I'm funny about food ... I'd need a full menu rundown before I'll say "yes" as you might try to feed me "funny stuff" - and I don't eat things I don't like
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 09-03-2017 at 8:07 AM.
    • monnagran
    • By monnagran 16th Jan 17, 3:07 PM
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    monnagran
    Pollyanna: "my life home is where the books are." Me too.

    My idea of heaven is a bed in the corner of the library, next to the coffee machine.
    What else could you want?

    x
    I believe that friends are quiet angels
    Who lift us to our feet when our wings
    Have trouble remembering how to fly.
    • meg72
    • By meg72 16th Jan 17, 3:16 PM
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    meg72
    Pollyanna: "my life home is where the books are." Me too.

    My idea of heaven is a bed in the corner of the library, next to the coffee machine.
    What else could you want?

    x
    Originally posted by monnagran
    A pack of Jaffa Cakes lol.
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    • pollyanna 26
    • By pollyanna 26 16th Jan 17, 3:16 PM
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    pollyanna 26
    Oh Monna I had the chance to train as librarian back in the day . Mums opinion was the civil service was the way to go and my dream hit the dust . I would open a library myself if I had the money and time to spare - I already have the stock your idea sounds perfect to me but copious amounts of tea rather than coffee .
    polly
    • caronc
    • By caronc 16th Jan 17, 3:34 PM
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    caronc
    Obviously mixed views on the joys of cooking for one - the world would be a strange place if we were all the same! Personally I love cooking (and eating) so preparing nice food is a pleasure me and one I want to keep up despite being on my own and having some tricky health issues which are severely curtailing what I can do. I'm definitely in the "live to eat" rather than "eat to live" category but do get that if that's not you simpler options might suit you.
    Last night's roast dinner was lovely, the joint was just the right size to feed me last night, give me a cheeky pilfered slice this afternoon and make an individual shepherd's pie for tonight so not eating it for days and days or adding to my already overflowing freezers. I did end up with rather a lot of root veg mash, most of which I've turned into soup ( I don't mind repetitive lunches), the bulk of what's left will top the shepherd's pie. Anything left after that will either get added to the soup or made into bubble and squeak tomorrow night. I do need to get on top of how much fresh fruit and veg I'll use but surplus just now is mainly due to taking advantage of the cheap veg the supermarkets were offering at Christmas
    • Nelski
    • By Nelski 16th Jan 17, 4:57 PM
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    Nelski
    That's a choice some choose to make. I'd not do it. If they want it they can get it themselves.


    I've never cared what people think about strange combinations - indeed, I post my food on MSE to bring "those who cannot be 4rsed" into the fold, by letting them know that others "eat cr4p and still live" and you don't get run off the site for doing so.


    With no table, no chairs, no dinner set and a fear of ovens ... plus, no mates ... that's really never going to happen.


    It's the gnawing pain from my stomach that drags me towards the kitchen ... not a desire to eat any food in there.


    I'm funny about food ... I'd need a full menu rundown before I'll say "yes" as you might try to feed me "funny stuff" - and I don't eat things I don't like

    I have somebody who cooks for me; lives alone/loves cooking, so cooks for people. That gets me out about 4-5x a year for a pie or some sausages mostly... and that's nice. I get a doggy bag some nights too

    It's usually a Lidl pie, or a SC curry. Nothing "fancy shmancy", just regular food. But I like being fed
    Originally posted by PasturesNew

    Pie here anytime you fancy it PN I guess I am a feeder
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 16th Jan 17, 5:38 PM
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    silverwhistle
    There is nothing worse than making up a lovely meal and then eating it alone.

    Food is for sharing.
    .
    Originally posted by melanzana
    I agree with the second statement but not the first. Come on round and I'll grate parmesan on you!

    I've always lived alone and like my food. I can go for a few days with similar stuff, so a home made soup I'll liven up with a few fried off chillies or chilli sauce. Free range roast chicken becomes (stock obviously) risotto or chicken curry, and soup. Home made bread becomes the basis of other light meals.

    The only problem is that occasionally I'll get something nice, such as fresh fish or piece of meat and then decide they need a bottle of Albarino or Primitivo to go with them.. That's why I like entertaining as I also get to sample more different wines and can justify getting better ones..

    The important thing is not to feel too guilty about it all. On football training nights I eat early and simple as it's too late to do anything afterwards (and that is aching muscles hot bath time). So I'll do pasta with, say, a simple tomato sauce made from passata and whatever else I fancy. Or maybe some noodles with a few stir fried veggies and maybe prawns if I have them in the freezer. I have been known to have a Lidl pie with fresh steamed broccoli, and I can recommend their Pinotage at the moment..

    Can't remember who was wondering whether they could justify the cost of a slow cooker but there's always someone with one spare, ask around or let people know. For example I might pick up mum's unused one from her garage tomorrow as my own is beginning to show its age..

    PS: tonight's meal is aforesaid pulse based soup, and a good stirring of really good EVO which will lift it. Oh, and some freshly grated parmesan. I don't normally give negative advice, but I will say NEVER use pre-grated parmesan - it's horrible!
    • caronc
    • By caronc 16th Jan 17, 5:50 PM
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    caronc
    Can't remember who was wondering whether they could justify the cost of a slow cooker but there's always someone with one spare, ask around or let people know. For example I might pick up mum's unused one from her garage tomorrow as my own is beginning to show its age..
    Originally posted by silverwhistle
    Was me wasn't much the cost as wondering where I'd put a baby one as I already have three and more kitchen kit than I want to admit to (which I do use)
    • LameWolf
    • By LameWolf 16th Jan 17, 6:06 PM
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    LameWolf
    Nelski I'll come over to yours.... can you cope with feeding a vegetarian?

    Thankfully the lemon cheesecake (experimental!) went down well. The quiche is one of my standard recipes that I can make with my eyes shut.

    Didn't all go well - I bashed my shoulder twice - hard - with the fridge door (don't ask!!) and my hands were so painful after zesting the lemon that I had to have an extra dose of liquid morphine.
    But Mr LW volunteered to grate the cheese for the quiche, so that saved the ol' paws another battering.
    And he's just been and washed up the dirty plates and cutlery.

    Had I been on my own, it'd probably have been a lump of cheese and a couple of baby tomatoes for dins, and no dessert.
    Last edited by LameWolf; 16-01-2017 at 6:09 PM.
    LameWolf
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 16th Jan 17, 6:47 PM
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    silverwhistle
    Was me wasn't much the cost as wondering where I'd put a baby one as I already have three and more kitchen kit than I want to admit to (which I do use)
    Originally posted by caronc
    Ah yes, I'm familiar with the problem. The electrical control bit on mine appears to be coming off so I may well be making space for the newer one..

    Incidentally, I livened up my soup not with olive oil but with some Stilton left over from the holidays, some homemade carraway bread and a left over glass of Corbieres. :-) The cheese melted beautifully.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 16th Jan 17, 6:59 PM
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    caronc
    Ah yes, I'm familiar with the problem. The electrical control bit on mine appears to be coming off so I may well be making space for the newer one..

    Incidentally, I livened up my soup not with olive oil but with some Stilton left over from the holidays, some homemade carraway bread and a left over glass of Corbieres. :-) The cheese melted beautifully.
    Originally posted by silverwhistle
    Sounds like a good excuse for a new one. I have 2 Argos cheap and cheerful slowcookers both 3.5L a round one and an oval one (plus a 6L Morphy Richards), they've both lasted a good few years- would definately replace the oval one when it goes but not sure about the round one - would be an excuse to get a wee 1.5L instead Like me it sounds as though you enjoy a nice glass of vino though confess to when it's just me I tend to have a wine box on the go. If I open a bottle I tend to drink it all......
    • meg72
    • By meg72 16th Jan 17, 7:47 PM
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    meg72
    Nelski I'll come over to yours.... can you cope with feeding a vegetarian?

    Thankfully the lemon cheesecake (experimental!) went down well. The quiche is one of my standard recipes that I can make with my eyes shut.

    Didn't all go well - I bashed my shoulder twice - hard - with the fridge door (don't ask!!) and my hands were so painful after zesting the lemon that I had to have an extra dose of liquid morphine.
    But Mr LW volunteered to grate the cheese for the quiche, so that saved the ol' paws another battering.
    And he's just been and washed up the dirty plates and cutlery.

    Had I been on my own, it'd probably have been a lump of cheese and a couple of baby tomatoes for dins, and no dessert.
    Originally posted by LameWolf
    Can sympathise with painful hands. I had given up trying to grate anything because of the pain but found a kenwood food processor with different disks for grating and slicing for £5 on a carboot and its been a godsend.
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