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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
    ****There is now a new thread "Cooking for one (Mark Two)" which can be found here http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5680849

    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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    Last edited by caronc; 17-07-2017 at 6:56 PM.
Page 129
    • mcculloch29
    • By mcculloch29 18th Mar 17, 3:24 PM
    • 4,558 Posts
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    mcculloch29
    I married a very good looking older man. It ensured two very good looking children, snag was, he played on his looks and wasn't faithful.
    I never played the field.

    When my Mum died he replaced me with a very plain looking, motherly woman.
    He didn't want a wife, he wanted to play the field, and when he was finally ready to settle down he looked for a mother.
    Facially, I look quite a lot like his mother did, so I am sure that's why he married me.

    We divorced almost 25 years ago, I've had some lovely bf's since but nobody to settle down with. I'm still good friends with two of them.
    DS only moved out 20 months ago, and the novelty of being on my own hasn't worn off yet.
    Erma Bombeck, American writer: "If I had my life to live over again... I would have burned the pink candle, sculptured like a rose, that melted in storage." Don't keep things 'for best' - that day never comes. Use them and enjoy them now.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 18th Mar 17, 3:51 PM
    • 13,162 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Sympathies McCulloch.

    I've had summat along those lines - in a very different connection. I had a (very nice actually) boyfriend for some time. It struck me quite some time later that I am very much like his mother mentally. Her and I share a lot of the same way of looking at things/values/etc/etc - and thus she and I are still very good friends to this day. So I took it as a compliment actually for him to choose me in those circumstances- and I think she did too

    It took me years to realise I was on a rather difficult quest to find a man like my father as a partner - tall/good-looking/very intelligent/faithful/basically a nice person/etc. At some point it struck me there aren't many like that around....darn it...
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 18-03-2017 at 3:53 PM.
    ploughing my own furrow...

    They have lessons in schools these days on resisting peer pressure
    • Farway
    • By Farway 18th Mar 17, 4:02 PM
    • 5,383 Posts
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    Farway
    Hmmn, food for thought on here about parental advice. The only marrying advice I gave my daughter [i'm a bloke in case anyone did not know] was to either marry someone who could do jobs or someone rich who could pay someone else to do jobs

    She opted for the middle, rich enough to pay but handy enough to do it himself if he wants

    Now onto grub, zero breakfast, never fancied it this morning

    Lunch was a bit of a look in fridge sort of meal, opted for BIY part baked baguette, plus Linda Mcartney veggie sausages that have been in my freezer for ever, last two now gone. Not the best meal, LM sausages were as dry & tasty as the cardboard box they were in, but made a bit of freezer space

    Dinner is really undecided, whilst on freeezer rummage I found an Asda YS cheese & brocc flan which I had actually, for once, dated when I froze it, November 2016, so fresh as a daisy really

    That may make the meal along with oven chips and maybe fresh toms in oven at same time. I like the all in oven together type of cooking, and if I can get it all on one oven tray even better

    Have to decide soon so as to get theovenm on and food from freezer
    • Willowx
    • By Willowx 18th Mar 17, 4:07 PM
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    Willowx
    Had four slices of toast this morning, two with butter and thick cut marmalade and two just with butter really not sure where this bread thing is coming from! Been to the greengrocers this afternoon got some fruit including some grapes, not bought any in probably a year maybe more the talk on here tempted me and they had some nice looking green ones. When I got home realised I don't tend to get them as they're one of those things that if they're there I'll eat them over half the bag has gone already.

    Got a lump of lamb out of the freezer for tomorrow and planning to make both bread and soup this evening. Carrot and parsnip for the soup, not masses just a parsnip and two carrots worth. Saw a recipe that included honey, the recipe was over the top but I'm tempted by the general idea.
    GC 2017: Yearly budget: £1,560 YTD: £577.39 Jan: £217.70 Feb: £208.39 Mar: £139.29
    Grocery NSD: 51
    Reading Challenge 2017: 60 YTD: 12 books
    Walking Challenge 2017: 10,000 or more steps per day YTD: 60 days (mean:13,052)
    • caronc
    • By caronc 18th Mar 17, 4:17 PM
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    caronc
    I'm in the "shouldn't have stuck with the married one for so long" camp too- having been single, married no children, married with children, single parent to two teens and now a single empty-nester, I have to say from a feeling "isolated" point of view being a single parent was the hardest not helped by the never ending media of the impact of "broken families" on children especially boys I'm now very comfortable in my own skin with two grown sons who both completed Masters degrees so to the critics

    Food-wise had brunch of a lovely stottie cake with bacon and coleslaw was delicious. Not CFO tonight and looking forward to a steak

    Re leftovers - I count it as a leftover if I cooked it with view to eating it either once or multi portions and I either don't eat it all or when portioned up there is a bit spare - not a full portion but too much to bin. Similiarly odd part bits of veg I count as LOs too where I've used most of say an onion or pepper and don't have any immediate plans for the use of the remainder
    April GC £150/£160, May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £185/£170, August £89/£120
    • mcculloch29
    • By mcculloch29 18th Mar 17, 4:27 PM
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    mcculloch29
    Thanks for reading & sharing.
    I have a meal out with friends this evening so just had a plain brunch of porridge and toast.
    Last night we had a buffet on a music club night out which was lovely but made me want something other than my usual Saturday treat breakfast (pancakes with bacon, luxury muesli with yogurt).

    I made the porridge in my pound shop Sistema microwave bowl lookey-likey, great buy. There were no unexpected eruptions necessitating having to watch an in-bowl porridge volcano like a hawk. A couple of spoonfuls of choccy drink powder made the porridge a bit less boring.
    Erma Bombeck, American writer: "If I had my life to live over again... I would have burned the pink candle, sculptured like a rose, that melted in storage." Don't keep things 'for best' - that day never comes. Use them and enjoy them now.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 18th Mar 17, 4:40 PM
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    caronc
    I made the porridge in my pound shop Sistema microwave bowl lookey-likey, great buy.
    Originally posted by mcculloch29
    They're great aren't they Hope you enjoy your night out
    April GC £150/£160, May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £185/£170, August £89/£120
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 18th Mar 17, 4:43 PM
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    PasturesNew
    ....microwave bowl lookey-likey, great buy. ...
    Originally posted by mcculloch29
    I thought that when I bought the first one .... which is why I'm now the proud owner of four + two of the mug-style too

    With a 3.5 litre slow cooker, I often find that having served my first large portion one of those contains the rest of the pot neatly .... lots of uses for them. I defrost in them, cook in them, store in them ....
    • katkin
    • By katkin 18th Mar 17, 4:56 PM
    • 558 Posts
    • 7,174 Thanks
    katkin
    I married my first love, far too young but I did get 2 sons from that. The marriage turned into a nightmare, he was abusive and left me with massive trust issues. After that I was well focused on being independent and doing things my way, men didn't star highly while rearing my kids on my own. Pushed myself into a new career, making money and enjoying life with my lads. It worked out well! There was the odd date but no relationships for over 10 years. I said I'd never get married again, never went looking for it. It kind of found me.

    Now onto husband number 2haha. Meeting him was the surprise of my life, our partnership is so easy, natural and I feel fortunate to have had another chance at trust. It took me a while and he was a patient man, but it's been worth it for both of us. He was a bachelor, needed a bit of training up lol but it was worth the risk. We laugh a lot, enjoy similar things and are at complete ease with each other.

    I don't think there's such a thing as the perfect partner or the one.

    As for leftovers, l love leftovers! I make extra of most things to have lo such as Xmas food etc. Deliberelty got a bigger freezer so I can keep a good stash of lo's in there...It does help to keep on top of stock control, menu plan and be careful with shopping. I guess I'm lucky that I enjoy nearly all foods, cook and probably the most important thing, am financially able to afford what I want, fancy and eat out etc when I like. I'm lucky.

    I was a bit like that went CFO too, actually I think it was easier as I chose for me. He's not anywhere as foody or a glutton but will eat anything given to him, but I'm happy to go with his choices too as long as I can add my own twist on it.

    We set up home and agreed on the domestic tasks, who does this and that. I got the cooking, food shopping etc and he got the dishes and bins haha. We're quite happy about the task split.

    I enjoyed being single though agree being a single parent was no easy task. Like caronc I've also managed to raise 2 well adjusted young men.

    Fajitas for tonight here, my choice!
    • Ames
    • By Ames 18th Mar 17, 5:01 PM
    • 16,173 Posts
    • 28,222 Thanks
    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
    Originally posted by karcher
    Ok I'll try it with oil, I'll let you know how I get on!

    --------

    I agree about the prejudices against single people. I'm sick of the assumption that I must have kids and a partner. A few years ago I stayed in a hostel in Berlin and there was a guy who kept going on and on that he couldn't believe I was in my thirties and still single without kids, even asking 'don't you like men?' He was actually quite offensive. And there's all the little things - like women with kids giving me that 'what are they like, eh?' look in the supermarket.

    I just wish people would stop and think before saying something that could cause offense, or hurt, depending on circumstances.

    ----------

    Food has been good today. Breakfast was yoghurt, a banana and some tinned 'breakfast apricots'. Lunch I had out - one of the hospital departments I'm under had an open day which was really interesting and provided food. Some dry chicken gougons, a nice fritata, flat bread pizza, sandwiches and a big fruit platter. Yum.

    It was held in a medical museum, and we had free entry so I had a look around. I don't think I'm particularly squeamish but some of the displays had me wincing!
    Save
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.

    Reading the alphabet in 2017. 21/100
    ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 18th Mar 17, 5:16 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    It just struck me that I dont think I've ever had "What are they like?" expecting sympathy type looks from mothers. Thankfully - not many people have given me the "You'll change your mind" type comments either. Maybe I've got "not a mother" tattooed right across my forehead invisibly?

    .....and yet....I've quite likely saved one childs life and several other children have been trusted to my "tender care" over the years and I'm told words to the effect of having "made a good job of (temporary) mothering" when I got put in those positions.

    Must admit I never had any "don't you like men?" comments ever - but until I hit menopause I was probably so obviously checking out every man in sight to see if I fancied them and batting my eyelashes at them if I did that that particular comment was probably deemed a bit "surplus to requirements". Ahem........

    You know you're getting older when a good-looking man walking past barely registers a glance from you - it's more like "Man - was there a good-looking man nearby? Oh - I didnt notice".

    ************

    ....and food-wise - oh dear....dinner to make soon and I havent the foggiest idea what to do for it......think it might have to be some of that packet of muesli I bought earlier today.....
    ploughing my own furrow...

    They have lessons in schools these days on resisting peer pressure
    • Willowx
    • By Willowx 18th Mar 17, 6:52 PM
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    Willowx
    Bread is on about an hour later than planned, think the soup will be consigned to tomorrow. Contemplating some tuna and onion on crackers, must also remember to buy more crackers.
    GC 2017: Yearly budget: £1,560 YTD: £577.39 Jan: £217.70 Feb: £208.39 Mar: £139.29
    Grocery NSD: 51
    Reading Challenge 2017: 60 YTD: 12 books
    Walking Challenge 2017: 10,000 or more steps per day YTD: 60 days (mean:13,052)
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 18th Mar 17, 6:55 PM
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    PasturesNew
    Somebody went out for a shuffle around random late opening shops ... and has arrived home carrying a packet of chocolate biscuits..... still unopened though.

    I had a shuffle round A1d1 but didn't see anything that I fancied for tea (no discounted stickers so they couldn't make my mind up for me) ...oh well. I won't starve. Something will turn up.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 18th Mar 17, 7:17 PM
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    caronc
    I've been bumped out of my own kitchen LOL while son makes shortbread for his work's Children In Need fundraiser - his mammy's recipe of course, so a good excuse for me to sit back and have a glass of wine Well seen he's living on his own now as he is clearing up as he goes

    PN - knowing your love of biscuits etc. did you know you can make shortbread in the microwave? Ideal if you want a quick buttery/sugary fix and just 3 ingredients 1 oz sugar, 2 oz butter/marge, 3 oz plain flour. Rub butter into flour/sugar until like breadcrumbs and then knead lightly until it comes together. Flatten until around 1 cm thick, score into sections of a size you want but leave as one piece IFYSWIM. Pop dough on piece of baking paper and pop on turntable, pri@k top with a fork. Nuke for 3 mins ish - the top should feel dry. Sprinkle with a little sugar Break into pieces when coolish
    April GC £150/£160, May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £185/£170, August £89/£120
    • Willowx
    • By Willowx 18th Mar 17, 7:34 PM
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    Willowx
    ...3 oz plain flour...
    Originally posted by caronc
    Now i have three types of flour but no bog standard plain and i do like shortbread, any idea of whether self raising or strong (white or wholemeal) would work or would I end up with something odd?
    GC 2017: Yearly budget: £1,560 YTD: £577.39 Jan: £217.70 Feb: £208.39 Mar: £139.29
    Grocery NSD: 51
    Reading Challenge 2017: 60 YTD: 12 books
    Walking Challenge 2017: 10,000 or more steps per day YTD: 60 days (mean:13,052)
    • Ames
    • By Ames 18th Mar 17, 7:46 PM
    • 16,173 Posts
    • 28,222 Thanks
    Ames
    Somebody went out for a shuffle around random late opening shops ... and has arrived home carrying a packet of chocolate biscuits..... still unopened though.

    I had a shuffle round A1d1 but didn't see anything that I fancied for tea (no discounted stickers so they couldn't make my mind up for me) ...oh well. I won't starve. Something will turn up.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    I thought they self combusted if left unopened more than ten minutes after getting home? Something to do with a chemical reaction between the chocolate and biscuits with the higher ambient temperature of the home acting as a catalyst.

    I've been bumped out of my own kitchen LOL while son makes shortbread for his work's Children In Need fundraiser - his mammy's recipe of course, so a good excuse for me to sit back and have a glass of wine Well seen he's living on his own now as he is clearing up as he goes

    PN - knowing your love of biscuits etc. did you know you can make shortbread in the microwave? Ideal if you want a quick buttery/sugary fix and just 3 ingredients 1 oz sugar, 2 oz butter/marge, 3 oz plain flour. Rub butter into flour/sugar until like breadcrumbs and then knead lightly until it comes together. Flatten until around 1 cm thick, score into sections of a size you want but leave as one piece IFYSWIM. Pop dough on piece of baking paper and pop on turntable, pri@k top with a fork. Nuke for 3 mins ish - the top should feel dry. Sprinkle with a little sugar Break into pieces when coolish
    Originally posted by caronc
    Oooh that sounds good. Can you keep the dough in the fridge or freezer for a while?

    I bought a donut/cake pop maker months ago from Amazon thinking it would be good to just make a few small cakes now and then, so I didn't go out and buy a load and eat them all in one go. But the first time I tried it the recipe was for dozens of them, and I ended up chucking most of it away. I think even divided down to the smallest possible ratio there'd be a silly amount. Nuked shortbread sounds like it'd fit the bill perfectly.

    Now i have three types of flour but no bog standard plain and i do like shortbread, any idea of whether self raising or strong (white or wholemeal) would work or would I end up with something odd?
    Originally posted by Willowx
    I have a large kilner style jar full of flour. But I haven't a clue what type it is. I've been thinking about trying to make something to find out. Sadly, I've just made a big bowl of jelly so shortbread will have to wait.
    Save
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.

    Reading the alphabet in 2017. 21/100
    ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
    • caronc
    • By caronc 18th Mar 17, 7:53 PM
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    • 14,002 Thanks
    caronc
    Now i have three types of flour but no bog standard plain and i do like shortbread, any idea of whether self raising or strong (white or wholemeal) would work or would I end up with something odd?
    Originally posted by Willowx
    No unfortunately it has to be bog standard plain flour - you can of course oven cook it . Around 15 mins at 160 fan or 180 - check after 10 mins it shouldn't be brown


    Oooh that sounds good. Can you keep the dough in the fridge or freezer for a while?


    Save
    Originally posted by Ames
    Yes will keep in the fridge for 5 days anyway and freezes brilliantly
    April GC £150/£160, May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £185/£170, August £89/£120
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 18th Mar 17, 8:02 PM
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    • 348,339 Thanks
    PasturesNew

    PN - knowing your love of biscuits etc. did you know you can make shortbread in the microwave? Ideal if you want a quick buttery/sugary fix and just 3 ingredients 1 oz sugar, 2 oz butter/marge, 3 oz plain flour. Rub butter into flour/sugar until like breadcrumbs and then knead lightly until it comes together. Flatten until around 1 cm thick, score into sections of a size you want but leave as one piece IFYSWIM. Pop dough on piece of baking paper and pop on turntable, pri@k top with a fork. Nuke for 3 mins ish - the top should feel dry. Sprinkle with a little sugar Break into pieces when coolish
    Originally posted by caronc
    I'm not really a biscuit lover, to be honest.... I buy/eat them as "it's easier than actually cooking" - and they're always seconds/cheapo and I'm usually disappointed

    I've never been much a fan of shortbread. At school it used to be a dessert, with crushed pineapple on it ... that's almost the only time I've ever eaten any. I've certainly never bought a packet... they used to be the sort of biscuits old ladies would give to your mum for Xmas.

    I like the IDEA of biscuits, but few are good when it comes to the eating bit.

    As you've kindly typed that up .... I'll add it to my list of things to get round to

    I don't like touching pastry, so I'll change the word "rub" to be "fork" and change the word "knead" to be "back of a big spoon"
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 18-03-2017 at 8:07 PM.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 18th Mar 17, 8:05 PM
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    PasturesNew
    For those wondering about the flour ... for the tiny quantities involved... why not just give it a go.
    • karcher
    • By karcher 18th Mar 17, 8:20 PM
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    • 10,262 Thanks
    karcher
    I knew I'd change my mind...No to burgers. I'm having Pizza with added fresh chilli, onion, mushrooms and tomato.
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