I’ve decided I’m not cooking for two any longer.

When YA was younger, it was easy.  She wasn’t picky and she ate whatever I put before her.  In fact, telling her that she liked something the last time I made it (even if I hadn’t ever made it before) would convince her to try it. 

As she’s gotten older, she’s gotten much fussier.  It seems like a combination of things: now she can whip up anything she wants at the moment and she has to “be in the mood” for certain foods.  This means that things she would have eaten happily as a child, she now might or might not eat.  Even something she says sounds good on Sunday might go uneaten on Monday or Tuesday. 

Cooking is not a chore for me, but cleaning out the fridge is.  And as I’ve wanted to cook more during pandemic and she has wanted to eat less of things I cook, I’m spending way too much time dumping stuff that hasn’t survived its imprisonment in Tupperware. 

So I made the decision last week that I’m going to really focus on cooking for one and if I mess with a recipe and it turns out nicely, I’ll write it down.  And if I make too much, I’m going to gift some of it to friends and neighbors right up front.  I will probably still do the occasional dish that I can pretty much guarantee she will eat (raclette, chili, lasagna, baked potato soup) but for the most part I’m cutting her loose.  I’ll doubt she’ll notice.

On Saturday I made some Tuscan Olive Bread – intent on giving one of the two loaves away.  Unfortunately even as I was slavishly following the directions, I completely missed putting in salt.  It’s not bad dipped in olive oil, but not good enough to give away.  Then I found a fun Deep Fried Cauliflower recipe.  No breading and very nice.  I put half on my plate for lunch and while I was in the living room, YA gobbled up all the rest, right out of the Tupperware on the counter!  Hopefully I’ll have better luck this week.

Do you eat food that’s past its expiration date if it still smells and looks fine?

43 thoughts on “Spoiled”

  1. Our son is very particular about those Best By dates, and throws things out well before them. I like the organic dairy products we get, since the dates are often 2 months in the future, and we use them up well before the dates.

    I think your decision to cook for one is wise. How else will YA start to cook for herself? Our daughter is turning into quite a cook, and her goal this year is to make a new soup every weekend. She shares with her friends

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Actually YA is an OK cook. That’s part of the problem as that she is not dependent on me as a cook any longer.Many times after I’ve already headed upstairs for the evening I can smell garlic and onion from downstairs – she’s cooking something. Last night she made lasagna. She says it’s good, I’ll have it for lunch and find out.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    VS, I think you are experiencing the power of paradox—as soon as you intend not to cook for two, then your cooking becomes more appealing. I don’t let much of our food get past expiration dates, but it depends on what it is. When I shop for bagged lettuce, I look at Exp dates, only so I can choose the newest bag that will last the longest. I get all huffy when I buy a bag o’ lettuce and it is already fading into compost. I do know that you never, ever eat canned corn that is too old. The high sugar content of corn feeds all kinds of food pathogens. Frozen corn is a better risk.

    WE do get stuff that is shuffled to the back of the fridge, then it is forgotten and furry. I won’t eat that.

    This all makes me think of my Grandms’s storage cave on the farm. Her canned goods and garden produce fed that family all winter during the 30/s and 40s. Most of it they ate, no matter how old, but most of it never lasted more than a season. But by the time I went in there in the 60s after they left the farm for the “town house” there was a lot of stuff that never did get used. I wonder if those jars are still there? It was the content of horror films down there—spiders, cob webs, and dirt. Yuck.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Husband refers to himself as “the food manager” and takes the responsibility of assessing leftovers for quality and palatibility. As long as sour cream and plain yogurt aren’t pink, they are edible.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. I run the kitchen of room 605 on the “better angels” system. When I open the fridge door, the persnickety angel that fears spoiled food starts howling because the hummus has changed color and the eggs have a sell-by date from the Trump years. Then the angel who freaks out when I throw out good food pipes up and starts carrying on about the poor starving Armenians. I stand there in confusion while the angels go at each other until one of them gets the upper hand and I either chuck it or eat it. I’m sure to feel creepy about it either way.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. We continue to cook in quantities that could feed a football team. It is hard to downsize, for reasons elusive to me. On the way to Denver, we stopped off in Newell, SD, at a butcher shop we like there, and ordered two lambs. They should be ready in a couple of weeks, and we will take one to Son and DIL. That means some hasty freezer rearrangement to make room. This weekend I will make a turkey we have as a space saving measure. The leftovers will go into Turkey Chipotle Chowder, and get put in the Lutheran freezer (where all the leftovers and hot dishes go).

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Meeting the two of you (Renee and Chris) was delightful but surprising. In view of how seriously you take food, I expected two people big enough to play offensive line for the NFL. But, no! For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting them, Renee and Chris are highly attractive, right-sized people.

      Liked by 4 people

  6. I am struggling to know how to cook for one. Not even sure what foods I like, having spent ten years cooking to Sandy’s very narrow diet. Do know i can now eat on my schedule: breakfast at noon. lunch at 4-5. dinner at 9. I am not hungry in morning and overeat at night. So this works. Right now with all the stress and running back and forth. Lunches are lean cuisines and the like. Supper is a fresh salad. In early June I started eating smaller portions, of more healthful foods as I could and avoiding some snacking. Lost 19 lbs doing that.
    I do not slaviashly follow the dates. Very careful with fresh items like dairly and meats. When I get to where I can buy meat again, I will have to ask some questions about that issue.

    Liked by 5 people

        1. Cooking for one can be weird, Clyde. It is painful and exhausting to just stand there in the kitchen while something heats up on the stove, or it is for me. It often feels like cooking for myself is way too much trouble, but the alternative is to eat the stuff that comes out of our institutional kitchen.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. My friend Philip, has discovered that he likes Swann’s frozen dinners. He orders them over the phone, and they are delivered right to his freezer. He has a small tabletop convection oven that works beautifully for heating them. Since he’s totally dependent on his CPAs and volunteers to prepare his food, he chooses items that require a minimum of effort or skill. He says they are quite good. I have no idea what they cost.

          Liked by 4 people

        3. I can relate to the issue of it being painful standing in one place for even short periods of time, so I do things in stages, and sit down to take a load off when I need to. I have a high chair in the kitchen than I use when I need to spend more time in front of the stove than I comfortably can standing.

          Liked by 3 people

        4. My biggest issue with cooking for one is the ingredients. It’s really hard to find a teeny onion or a very small green pepper and what it means is that I have to plan very carefully. If I buy an onion s and a pepper I need to have two dishes in a week that have an onion and a pepper in them. I need a grocery store that sells tiny items.

          Liked by 1 person

        5. Wait! Are you saying it’s possible to cook something that doesn’t have onion in it? Next you’ll be telling me there isn’t garlic in everything, too.

          Actually, what I do when husband is on his semi-annual jaunt up north, and I cook only for me, I cook a double portion, and freeze half of it if it’s something I don’t care to have two days in a row. But it’s not unusual for us to have the same dish two days in a row, changed up a bit with the side dishes.

          Liked by 3 people

        6. I finally broke down and bought one of those garlic plates that you always see being sold at the fair and at different festivals. Ended up buying it at the Raspberry Festival in June. I really like it.


        7. To my mind, Bill, that’s how it should be. Also, I have always said, you can’t get too many tomatoes, either, but this year, I may have reached that limit. Husband planted twenty, yes you read that right, twenty tomato plants of I don’t know how many different kinds. It’s been a sure bet for weeks now, that tomatoes have been featured in every meal we’ve had, including breakfast. Because our oven is still waiting for that back-ordered chip, I can’t roast them, as I’ve done in the past, before freezing. The freezer is already full of tomato soup and sauce, and there are still lots of tomatoes on the plants. I know that a month from now, I’ll miss them, but at the moment it seems like a chore trying to keep up with them.

          Liked by 3 people

        8. What’s a garlic plate, vs? A plate with a picture of garlic on it? I’m assuming it’s not a plate that imparts garlic flavor to food placed on it, but what the heck do I know?

          Liked by 1 person

        9. It’s a little plate about 4 inches across, ceramic, with concentric circles of raised peaks. You take the garlic and you rub it across these peaks and you end up with a garlic paste. Fabulous toy!!

          Liked by 1 person

        10. And did I mention that it’s cute and decorative and it came with a little plastic stand. So it sits on the windowsill where it’s handy whenever I need it.

          Liked by 1 person

        11. I know a grocery store that sells a frozen vegetable blend that contains onions, peppers, and parsley. It comes in a bag that probably weighs 12 ounces or a pound. You can just pour out a portion for a tikka masala or a soup, and return the rest to the freezer. They call it Seasoning blend. I think the brand is Pictsweet.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t pay much attention to “best by” or “sell by” dates; if things look and smell good, I use them. During the summer virtually all of our produce come from the farmer’s market, so no dates on any of it. Eggs come from Melissa’s farm, so no dates there either. Where we get in trouble is with left-overs from dinner. I like to have certain things in a certain spot in the fridge, that way I know where to look them. Unfortunately husband shifts things around, and when you can’t see something, it’s sometimes forgotten. By the time it’s found it neither looks or smells good, and out it goes. I will say, though, we waste very little food. With some regularity I will go through the condiments and toss those that I think have been hanging out in the fridge too long for their own good.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We don’t actually have that much with all my dates on it at our house either. Mostly dairy and we don’t have any trouble going through that. My problem is the science experiments that show up in some of the Tupperware containers .

      Liked by 3 people

  8. The timing of this question is perfect! There are differences of opinion about food dates in our house. One of us goes by the ‘how does it look/smell’ test and one of us goes by the date. One of us gets grumpy about how much food is thrown out. Thank goodness we have chickens to recycle it through. I’ve always wondered how much flavor the eggs could pick up from our leftovers?

    And I was not familiar with ‘Adam Ruins Everything’. This was kinda funny.

    OT: we watched the movie ‘Cruella’ on Disney+ last night and it was very good. Great acting, great characters, wonderful costumes, great lighting, plot twists, good script… it had it all!

    Liked by 5 people

  9. I just flunked cooking for one. Robin is dining with friends tonight so I’m on my own. The best I was able to do was make dinner for two instead of dinner for four.

    Liked by 3 people

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