Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Single Living Skill: Table for One

Tuesdays are dedicated to adjusting to this "new normal." So today I have a couple tips for dealing with cooking. Aside from the empty chair at the kitchen table, learning to alter my cooking habits was really hard--and now with an "empty nest" I find I still haven't adjusted too successfully! Please fill in your own tips on the comment line because I'm sure these little ideas are just the beginning. Thanks!

PROBLEM: I love my old recipes but how can I still use them when I only need one serving? I don't want to eat the same thing for a week!

SOLUTION #1: Cook with your freezer.
What I mean is, go ahead make that meatloaf . . . simmer that pot of soup, stew or chili . . . bake those cookies . . . Serve yourself a portion, then divide the rest into equal servings. Cool, wrap each serving in plastic wrap and place in a zippy freezer bag.
The next time you're hungry for your recipe--wallah!--shopping is done, cooking is done. All you have to do is thaw and reheat.

SOLUTION #2: Share it.
(And I don't mean join the parade of casseroles to the new widowers house!)
There are a number of other people who would appreciate your good cooking!
Share it with another widow, a single mom, your busy neighbor, your pastor's family or a missionary.

I'm kidding! I know we've all had our days, but unless you really love cold O's, please don't try this one!

Now send your own tips and ideas to WCPlace@gmail.com or add them in the comment line. We can all use your advice and ideas!

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinprick/110700494/in/gallery-48926779@N02-72157625362935647/


  1. There are also some great recipe books out there for cooking for one or two people. This could be one way to try new things - you can try what you want. No adjusting to anyone else's likes or dislikes. If your partner was not fond or seafood, but you are, this is the time to fix those dishes you always wanted to. Also, the new recipes won't have any of the memories of meals past attached to them. Experiment!

  2. I like the cook-and-freeze option. I like to make things with a gazillion veggies [read: hours of chopping], so I only have to do that once. I divide the cooked dish into four or five Ball jars to freeze. Then some day when I'm super-busy, I can just thaw one out for an easy, nutritious meal.

    My dear grandma, who lived alone for 60 years, inspired me to take time to cook balanced meals for myself all the years I was single. She used a small, glass, covered casserole dish, big enough for about two servings, one for her and one for the Lord (except she'd eat His portion a few days later). Her "casseroles" were simple and not time-consuming to put together, like chicken/broccoli/cheese with a can of Campbell's soup poured over for the sauce. Nowadays, every time I use her little casserole dish, I picture her pulling it out of her oven and sitting by her picture window overlooking her rose garden to eat.

  3. Good points, Myra, this is a great season of life to try some new things, maybe even try something you'd like just because you want to. :) Plus creating some new memories can be helpful.
    And Jane, I love the picture of your Grandma and her two servings. It'll go well with Sarah's comment.
    Also using the glass canning jars sounds like a great alternative to plastics which I hear aren't the best thing in the world for us healthwise. Thanks for the input.

  4. Ferree, I am not widowed, but may I say there is no such thing as a table for one when a believer sits down to sup? I remember saying something to a widowed friend once about her being alone...and she firmly stated, "I am never alone. I am lonely at times, but NEVER ALONE."
    I have another widowed friend who saves "TV meal" trays. She'll do up a very nice meal and divide it into those trays and freezes them. I've been to her home, and she's served one of those meals to me, and it was wonderful. Sarah


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