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  • FIRST POST
    • caronc
    • By caronc 13th Jan 17, 7:32 PM
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    caronc
    Cooking for one
    • #1
    • 13th Jan 17, 7:32 PM
    Cooking for one 13th Jan 17 at 7:32 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?
Page 128
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 18th Mar 17, 8:18 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Oh...it's the being sorry for me for not having a husband bit that I notice sometimes (for some reason - particularly from men since I moved here) that can grate. I've got a good answer to that one - ie that I had several chances and turned them all down (ie because they werent Mr Right)

    I have shrewd suspicions that quite a lot of people married someone other than Mr/Miss Right and probably knew it (consciously or "in their heart of hearts") at the time they married them even.

    There just isn't a counter to "I never met Him - so that's why I'm not married" and a rueful shrug of shoulders whilst saying it. Because those that have been very lucky and met Mr/Miss Right know they are privileged/lucky people for having done so and wouldnt "rub it in my face" that I havent been so lucky. Those that know they married Mr Someone Else daren't admit it to me...(as they know I'd be thinking "Well I held out for Him. So don't complain/lord it because you didn't"). They had the choice to "hold out" - the same as I did and their decision was not to do so...

    *********

    But...yes...it is a different approach to food that we have in the main I guess. That "Groundhog Day" having to eat the same meal two days running thing for instance....
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 18th Mar 17, 8:40 AM
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    PasturesNew
    My mistake I think was then adding more soy. And in just tipping the whole lot onto the plate, instead of scooping out the veg, so that all the soy sauce pooled on the plate.

    I'll learn for next time!
    Originally posted by Ames
    It's annoying when you stare at the plate and think "I wish I'd done it a bit differently ...."
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 18th Mar 17, 8:44 AM
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    PasturesNew
    That "Groundhog Day" having to eat the same meal two days running thing for instance....
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    TWO? TWO? .... you're spoilt!!!


    Also, it's not just one item is it - it's a perpetual treadmill of repeats, the Groundhog event.... when you get to the end of one thing, all you've got to look forward to is the NEXT item to eat for a week... and the next...next... in fact, 95% of any food brought into the house is at some stage of needing to be used.

    I was staring at a pack of spaghetti yesterday - it's 5-6 portions depending how big you want a portion to be. A "family" might open/use that in one go - or use half and put it back in the cupboard to be used up in 2 months' time ... for me it's a case of staring at it in the cupboard every day for 1-2 years as I slowly get through it in 6 different meals.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 18th Mar 17, 8:49 AM
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    PasturesNew
    This morning I am furious. FURIOUS!!

    FURIOUS I say ....

    Yesterday I trotted home with what I thought would be treats (cheesecake and jam tarts) - but the jam tarts were mere whispers of pastry and a tiny bit of jam (they looked bigger in the packet) - and they didn't actually taste of anything ... and, somehow, I don't know how it happened ... I ate the WHOLE packet of tarts.

    I think, in some way, I decided to eat the whole lot in one evening because I was disappointed with them and I'd have to eat them at some point ....

    But, this morning, I feel "groggy" for having over-eaten sweet stuff.

    So I'm FURIOUS at myself - and will never buy another shop jam tart again.... I've probably only ever bought 4 packets in my whole life and I expected better of them!

    That's 69p I'll never see again!
    • Nelski
    • By Nelski 18th Mar 17, 9:02 AM
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    Nelski
    Food today for me today will be some sandwiches and crisps probably..it would have been the other half of the pizza but I will pass on that and whilst it breaks my heart it will be hitting the bin. Cheers for that Lidl
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 18th Mar 17, 9:36 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    TWO? TWO? .... you're spoilt!!!


    Also, it's not just one item is it - it's a perpetual treadmill of repeats, the Groundhog event.... when you get to the end of one thing, all you've got to look forward to is the NEXT item to eat for a week... and the next...next... in fact, 95% of any food brought into the house is at some stage of needing to be used.

    I was staring at a pack of spaghetti yesterday - it's 5-6 portions depending how big you want a portion to be. A "family" might open/use that in one go - or use half and put it back in the cupboard to be used up in 2 months' time ... for me it's a case of staring at it in the cupboard every day for 1-2 years as I slowly get through it in 6 different meals.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    I do know what you mean - and was talking about "the exact same dish" happening 2 days running frequently.

    But - yes - there are then the "rest of the ingredients".

    If you're an avid experimenter with new foods/etc as I am - then thats even worse. Your shelves get filled with a 500 gram of some exotic grain or other and you've used one helping worth from the packet and have got several more helpings to think of a use for and hope you do so before it goes off. Then there's the packets of several different types of nuts - and you know they'll go rancid if you don't use them up pretty quickly. Then there's the several different types of sweetenings (I don't use sugar per se - but I have in date syrup, maple syrup, honey, etc, etc).

    Any CBA'ness going on for long results in several shelves of "summat new you've tried" waiting to have the rest of it used at some point. That's if you can remember exactly what you bought said "new ingredient" for - but then promptly went off into a CBA phase for long enough to forget that fact.

    Then there's the married friend I have that can't understand why I actually need a bigger kitchen than she does - ie space for all those part-used packets she won't have. Added to it being the fact I eat much more "widely" and healthily all round than she does - so there are a load of "from scratch" ingredients to have in anyway - instead of her few packets and tins of "ready" stuff.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 18-03-2017 at 9:39 AM.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 18th Mar 17, 10:32 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Deep joy - about to head off for weekly shopping trip to small provincial supermarket-that-isnt-Waitrose and rack brains as to what takes my fancy (as PN would put it).

    Now why has it just occurred to me that:
    a. If they have free piece of fruit per child
    and
    b. Recipe cards for a bigger household

    Then is it too much to ask that they take account of the literally millions of single person households and do something specially for us? - eg large cards with single person recipes/cooking ideas on one side for a week worth of main meals and the other side contains the shopping list for the ingredients for it?

    Several different versions of course. To cater for:
    - "convenience" food eaters

    - conventional eat-from-scratch eaters

    - ones like myself (ie prepare from scratch and wanting genuinely healthy food - so forget the sugar/white flour/white pasta/ and BTW we are possibly vegetarian or vegan). Thus - a meat-eater version and a vegetarian/vegan equivalent card.
    • karcher
    • By karcher 18th Mar 17, 10:33 AM
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    karcher
    No, it was a stir fry that mum did, in a wok, with veg bought specially, including water chestnuts and beansprouts, and noodles and soy and oyster sauces.

    I heated the wok up, put in a splash of soy sauce and a splash of mirin, then chucked all the veg from the bag in. My mistake I think was then adding more soy. And in just tipping the whole lot onto the plate, instead of scooping out the veg, so that all the soy sauce pooled on the plate.

    I'll learn for next time!
    Save
    Originally posted by Ames
    AMES..I would never stir fry veg without oil (I always use Olive oil as it's all I have in: about a tablespoon depending on quantity of veg).

    You need to heat the oil first then when hot, add the veg then you add the splash of soy sauce at the end just before it's ready....Just try this method I think you'll find it works better
    Please excuse the occasional absence of capital letters in my posts. My left shift key seems to only work when if feels like it and i often cba to go back and edit
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 18th Mar 17, 10:38 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    PS Tesco - if you're listening. I wouldnt mind a little project - and some extra money for doing it of course.

    Ready to discuss financial terms for doing the vegetarian one for you
    • karcher
    • By karcher 18th Mar 17, 10:41 AM
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    karcher

    But...yes...it is a different approach to food that we have in the main I guess. That "Groundhog Day" having to eat the same meal two days running thing for instance....
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    Blimey..Only two..

    Currygate a couple of months ago had me at FOUR!!!

    I haven't wanted a take out Curry since...and to think I'd been pining for one for ages...How foolish of me
    Please excuse the occasional absence of capital letters in my posts. My left shift key seems to only work when if feels like it and i often cba to go back and edit
    • karcher
    • By karcher 18th Mar 17, 11:04 AM
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    karcher
    Just had a slice of cheese with some branston pickle plonked on the top..just a bit of something to fill a gap as I'm not really very hungry.

    Went to bed and left my music on last night...put my earplugs in and shut the bedroom door. I was knackered so went to sleep. No idea what time the music finished and I don't care but it was definitely loud enough for the bar stewards next door to hear!

    Heard the fella leaving at 6.30am this morning..in fact it was probably what woke me up

    Anyways..back to food. I bought some spicy beef burgers in Iceland the other day so thinking of having one or two of them tonight in a bun with a salad tonight..of course that may is bound to change as the day wears on...Probably won't 'fancy' them later but that's the plan so far
    Please excuse the occasional absence of capital letters in my posts. My left shift key seems to only work when if feels like it and i often cba to go back and edit
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 18th Mar 17, 12:16 PM
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    PasturesNew
    I was minding my own business, looking at photos of food and almost feeling motivated to go out and buy the ingredients I don't have. When you cook for one and buy for one, there are few recipes where you have all the ingredients because you've either used them up, or haven't bought them for ages because you remember you struggled last time ... or, that old bug-bear "one tablespoon of...." which you KNOW you never buy/use.

    But I'd found a recipe - yes it needed adjustment because when you read the small print you realised it'd make enough for 20 people ...and then.....


    KAPOW....nothing. The big shutdown. Power's gone.

    So, you sit there for 2-3 minutes "it'll be back on in a minute, annoying the PC shut down while I was in the middle of something, but that's life".

    Then you stand up and walk about - nothing obviously wrong in the house.

    Then you look out of the window ... see if anybody else is looking out of the window. Then you step outside, then back inside again.

    OK ... it's still not on ... did I pay the bill? haven't had a letter.... house isn't on fire ... nothing's blown up .... check the fuse board, all OK.... is it just me? Trot along and bang on some doors, nobody's in/out of bed ...

    Bit more pacing about and after 10-15 minutes you find a neighbour - ah yes, theirs is off too.

    Great, it's not me then, I can relax and forget it.... but what to do. Can't put the kettle on, can't nuke food.

    1.5 hours it was ....... I was freezing, starving, bored.



    No idea what's to eat now as I'm all out of sorts.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 18th Mar 17, 1:09 PM
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    PasturesNew
    I did "the right thing". I opened the freezer and made a quick inventory and decided to use up the frozen pizza base I had + a bunch of other stuff I've chopped/frozen in the past... all pizza-worthy stuff.

    On the base I chopped/lobbed chorizo, a whole chilli, red onion, red peppers ... then added oregano, LOADS of tabasco and some grated cheese.

    Under the grill .... currently scoffing a pizza that's blowing my head off ... *sniff, sniff* ...
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 18th Mar 17, 1:30 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    'Tis worrying if the power goes off I know.

    Last location - I was able to just peer up and down the street to see if anyone else affected/ring enough doorbells that someone would be in and tell me if they were affected too. Followed by "Worst case analysis = loadsa places nearby I'd just go out and eat out at".

    Current location - The power has never gone off yet (touches wood....) BUT it doesnt half fluctuate around and I don't think it's my house causing the problem. It had better not be - as I've had the electrics modernised since buying it. I think it's the high level winds that are so frequent here and the fact the electric cable to my house is hanging there in mid-air (rather than underground as per normal imo).

    Where I am now = there aint loadsa places nearby to go and eat out at. There are only a few and many of them are shut if it's an evening and none of them are ones I'd choose "all else being equal" and they cook chips in lard in this area. Meaning the local chippy is out.......

    I can do raw food for a meal or two - if I have notice. Otherwise .

    This morning's shopping included a packet of decent-quality muesli - in case desperation strikes. Reason being - my kitchen is about to be replaced at last and it could be weeks before "normal service resumes".

    Oh well - at least I've had notice of this - and I duly saved the website link I was given here. I think I could be doing a lot of nipping to "supermarket-that-isnt-Waitrose" and buying readymade hummus/vegetables/ohmegawd the bread they "make" (which is nothing like I'm used to) and has probably got all sorts I don't agree with in it.......
    • LameWolf
    • By LameWolf 18th Mar 17, 2:04 PM
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    LameWolf
    I have shrewd suspicions that quite a lot of people married someone other than Mr/Miss Right and probably knew it (consciously or "in their heart of hearts") at the time they married them even.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    Ah, I fear that was me, the first time around. I took my mother's advice and "took what I could get because the chances of finding anyone else who'd want me were vanishingly small". Long story short - 'twas a disaster, and hence I spent the final 5 years CFO (if you could call it "cooking") even though I was married - blighter's favourite trick was hide my food at the back of the fridge with thumping great packs of raw liver stacked in front of it. Off to cry bitter tears now, for 20 wasted years......
    LameWolf
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 18th Mar 17, 2:21 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Ah, I fear that was me, the first time around. I took my mother's advice and "took what I could get because the chances of finding anyone else who'd want me were vanishingly small". Long story short - 'twas a disaster, and hence I spent the final 5 years CFO (if you could call it "cooking") even though I was married - blighter's favourite trick was hide my food at the back of the fridge with thumping great packs of raw liver stacked in front of it. Off to cry bitter tears now, for 20 wasted years......
    Originally posted by LameWolf
    Now that thought never struck me - ie a mother advising that. Mygawd - and my sympathies on that.

    I think that's another thing then where my parents were pretty "hands off" and left me to it then. I did get comments from my father a few times of "He's not good enough for you" or words to that effect. But - thankfully - never had either of them saying "You cant expect much - so take what you can get"

    I had someone I was sorta vaguely friendly with before now that I quizzed rather at one point (ie when they announced they were going to get married). I knew they always intended to get married - to someone or other. They didnt seem to be "in love" from what I could see - and hence I thought it was up to me (as a friend of theirs) to quiz them a bit about it. The reply boiled down = He's the best I can do. I watched the fallout over the years subsequently - and I sincerely hope she had the sense to divorce him.

    Put it this way = when they become "known" to the police = then boy do you need to divorce them quick and start working out how to avoid anyone like that ever again.

    I'm glad I had the father I did - and just wish he'd been more prominent in my upbringing. He was more along the lines of "You could do better than that.....". about whatever-it-was (job/career or man in life - you name it....).
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 18-03-2017 at 2:26 PM.
    • Doom_and_Gloom
    • By Doom_and_Gloom 18th Mar 17, 2:43 PM
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    Doom_and_Gloom
    For dinner tonight it will be left over vegetable curry and rice, enough for tomorrow too!

    The curry used :
    Half a punnet of mushrooms reduced to 18p - 9p.
    Broccoli pack 160g reduced to 18p -18p
    Green soup mix reduced to 45p - 45p
    Red onions reduced 30p - 6p
    Sweet potato 59p/kg - 12p
    Carrots reduced to 30p - 6p
    Sweetcorn £1.09 - 22p
    Tin tomato - 25p
    Tin chickpeas - 25p
    Brown rice - 25p
    Spices - 5p
    £1.98 by my reckoning for 3 dinners, large dinners at that. So 66p a portion. OH made it for me but he wouldn't eat this, like basically everything I eat.

    Even when I don't fancy eating the same thing days in a row I do it. I hate waste of food. That and if I don't eat what the OH makes me I'd feel guilty .
    27 year old vegan woman. My OH is a lovely omni guy
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 18th Mar 17, 2:44 PM
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    PasturesNew
    I'm in the "nobody ever asked" camp

    I do despise the phrase "leftovers" as I don't think singles have them.

    Singles mostly cook what they'll eat, then eat it - no leftovers.

    What we have are:
    - the 2nd/3rd/4th/5th portions we planned and knew about before starting to cook it.
    - food we've still got to cook at some point.

    But not "leftovers".

    If we walk our empty plate into the kitchen and see another portion sitting in the dish, that's not leftovers - that's the future portion we begrudgingly made because it was easier to cook it all now.... that's our "batch cooking". Not leftovers.

    Therefore, most conversations about leftovers are simply inappropriate and irrelevant.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 18-03-2017 at 2:48 PM.
    • Doom_and_Gloom
    • By Doom_and_Gloom 18th Mar 17, 2:53 PM
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    Doom_and_Gloom
    I agree with the not left over thing PicturesNew, I really do. I actually asked the OH to cook all that food knowing I'd have to eat it for three days straight as the freezer is full due to the reduced tofu bulk I bought and froze! As soon as I got freezer space it went. I know this is a frustration of many on here.
    27 year old vegan woman. My OH is a lovely omni guy
    • Nelski
    • By Nelski 18th Mar 17, 2:53 PM
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    Nelski
    Im in the "shouldn't have stuck with the married one for so long" camp lol oh well prefer being single any day to be honest when I look at some of the relationships my friends have.
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