An article landed in my inbox this week. It was from the ABC or SBS. I’m not sure which, and now I can’t find it. The gist of the story was the difficulty some people have in cooking for one. That is, for themself. The author spoke about her newly single status and how she went through a stage of not wanting to go to the effort of cooking if she was the only one eating. She then went on to say how she pulled herself out of the doldrums and now is happy to make solo meals.
The article made me stop and think about my own approach to cooking for myself and how it has changed. I have written before about my wine and (potato) wedges phase. In the early days of my single journey, I was lucky if I actually bothered to throw the frozen chips in the oven. Sometimes the wine and wedges became wine and a packet of chips (crisps). Nutrition goals met?…not!
In the kitchen all day?
Thankfully, I’m over that and now I have the opposite approach. I spend a lot of time in my kitchen; on purpose and loving it. Today, for instance, I whipped up the following:
- A kilo of granola,
- some five seed crackers,
- picked 2 kilograms of blackberries from the empty block next door,
- made jam with said blackberries and then made
Lentils in abundance!
I love cooking! I love cooking complex recipes. Sometimes I regret not having an audience to share my culinary prowess with, but I certainly eat well! I tend to spend 3 – 4 days in a cooking frenzy and then live on the leftovers for the next two weeks. My freezer fills up and my Tupperware cupboard empties. My maths brain can’t help but chuckle about the inverse relationship between freezer volume and storage container availability.
This love of cooking became very clear to me when I was unpacking my stuff in my new house. My sister and her kids come to help me. I felt a bit awkward when they began to unpack jar after jar of lentils
“How many types do you have?” my niece asked.
Turns out it’s at least seven. Then at least four different types of oil, a bunch of different kinds of vinegar and so many spices I did not have room for them.
The near ancient Kenwood.
I am not a kitchen gadget person and usually make do with basic tools but I do have a Kenwood stand mixer and a BIG food processor. The stand mixer is at least 40 years old. I bought it at a garage sale when my child was a small baby. I remember paying $30 for it and balancing it on the canopy of the stroller as I wheeled it home. It weighs a tonne and is still going strong. It was old then and that baby is now 31! (currently touching all the wood!!!)
As time has progressed and my budget has allowed, I have realised it’s worth spending good money on better knives and heavy saucepans. It’s equally important to have a good knife sharpener. Adapting recipes became second nature. I would now consider myself an accomplished cook but certainly no Michelin-rated chef.
I know some people find cooking a chore, but for me, it’s a creative outlet.