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BS: Cooking for one

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Irene M 23 Oct 10 - 11:20 AM
John MacKenzie 23 Oct 10 - 11:27 AM
Ann N 23 Oct 10 - 11:49 AM
gnomad 23 Oct 10 - 12:15 PM
GUEST,Jon 23 Oct 10 - 12:25 PM
Bat Goddess 23 Oct 10 - 12:35 PM
JohnInKansas 23 Oct 10 - 01:12 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 Oct 10 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,Jon 23 Oct 10 - 01:32 PM
wysiwyg 23 Oct 10 - 01:40 PM
pdq 23 Oct 10 - 02:01 PM
Richard Bridge 23 Oct 10 - 02:03 PM
GUEST,Jon 23 Oct 10 - 02:37 PM
Penny S. 23 Oct 10 - 02:56 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 23 Oct 10 - 04:40 PM
wysiwyg 23 Oct 10 - 05:44 PM
GUEST,mg 23 Oct 10 - 08:09 PM
Richard Bridge 23 Oct 10 - 08:15 PM
Hrothgar 24 Oct 10 - 03:40 AM
JohnInKansas 24 Oct 10 - 05:08 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 24 Oct 10 - 09:22 AM
pdq 24 Oct 10 - 09:49 AM
GUEST,Jon 24 Oct 10 - 10:20 AM
GUEST,Jon 24 Oct 10 - 10:33 AM
Sorcha 24 Oct 10 - 10:55 AM
Richard Bridge 24 Oct 10 - 11:06 AM
dick greenhaus 24 Oct 10 - 01:00 PM
VirginiaTam 24 Oct 10 - 01:12 PM
Irene M 24 Oct 10 - 01:46 PM
JohnInKansas 24 Oct 10 - 04:28 PM
GUEST,Jon 24 Oct 10 - 04:58 PM
GUEST,Jon 24 Oct 10 - 05:18 PM
GUEST,Jon 24 Oct 10 - 05:29 PM
open mike 24 Oct 10 - 05:48 PM
Richard Bridge 24 Oct 10 - 06:31 PM
GUEST,Patsy 25 Oct 10 - 04:39 AM
GUEST,Jon 25 Oct 10 - 08:27 AM
GUEST,Jon 25 Oct 10 - 11:40 AM
open mike 25 Oct 10 - 07:13 PM
GUEST,Patsy 26 Oct 10 - 03:29 AM
Penny S. 26 Oct 10 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,pattyClink 26 Oct 10 - 04:05 PM
Irene M 27 Oct 10 - 02:42 PM
The Fooles Troupe 27 Oct 10 - 09:07 PM
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Subject: BS: Cooking for one
From: Irene M
Date: 23 Oct 10 - 11:20 AM

A friend in the US was widowed this summer. He hasn't much idea how to start cooking for himself.
Can anyone suggest a basic recipe book aimed at single people published in the US (in cup measures, not pounds and ounces)?

Thanks in advance.

Irene


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 23 Oct 10 - 11:27 AM

Cooking in a bedsitter used to be the UK bible for that, but I'm pretty sure it's all in UK measures.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: Ann N
Date: 23 Oct 10 - 11:49 AM

Delia Smith's cookbook 'One is Fun' might be useful if there is an American version :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: gnomad
Date: 23 Oct 10 - 12:15 PM

Man Alone C/B is one possibility How to boil an egg another.

Peg Bracken's I Hate to Cook books (of which there are a number) have some sections devoted to the single life, and are written by an American so the cultural references will be right. It is worth mentioning that one doesn't have to only cook one portion at a time, cooking for four and a handy freezer is a great labour-saving combination.

If you can get hold of William Rushton's "Superpig" this has sections related to cuisine, and a number of other relevant household survival tips which may prove helpful. It is also a humorous work, with some eccentric illustrations, which just might lighten your friend's load a little at a trying time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 23 Oct 10 - 12:25 PM

Not sure that one really needs to be that concerned about measuring systems?

But are things similar in the US as the UK? And I don't know about cups.

Our own digital scales seem to do g, oz, and try fluid oz and litres! A measuring jug would have at least ml and pint graduations. The tools would work with both measuring systems we are most likely to encounter.

Also, some of my own, when I was alone are not measured. Wouldn't work with say bread making but take some mince, some onion some carrot, etc. and put in a pan can work. Just use qtys that look right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 23 Oct 10 - 12:35 PM

There's a lovely little cookbook that an acquaintance put together with another nutritionist and is published by the University of New Hampshire. I think it's still available. It's "quick and easy food for busy college students" -- aimed at inexperienced single cooks with somewhat limited facilities and equipment. A lot of it is for two servings, but it's good, simple, nutritional stuff that can be frozen for later or eaten for another meal.

"Good Eats: Quick & Easy Food for Busy College Students" by Suzanne Sonneborn, RD, LD and Cynthia W. Harriman. Published by the Office of Health Education & Promotion, Health Services, University of New Hampshire (USA), Durham, NH    Good Eats

You can plan meals around available ingredients, etc.

It's available at Amazon fro $15.998 new or $9.95 used. I bought a new copy from Cynthia Harriman to send to my sister, but got my own copy at a yardsale for about a quarter.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 23 Oct 10 - 01:12 PM

The recipes are no particular problem if the person has the curiosity to learn the basic principles of catch, kill, (skin when needed), cut, burn, eat.

In the US, it is exceedingly difficult to find cooking utensils appropriate for cooking for just one person (or even for just two). The "sets" of utensils that are the most economical way of getting the basics are invariably aimed at MWC families with delusions of hosting large banquets. The recently widowed probably has cookware of this kind.

A person cooking just for one doesn't need a 16 quart rendering (soup) pot, or even two quart (the most common size) sauce pans, and it's virtually impossible to find a sauce pan smaller than 2 qt that has a lid that will fit, even if you search for "individual item purchases."

A particular factor that needs to be considered is that most markets in the US package virtually all meats in "family size" units, so it's a good idea to break down the packages and freeze the (uncooked) individual portions for storage. This means the freezer, especially if it's just the unit in the 'fridge, will likely be needed for the supply of things waiting to be cooked, and there won't be a lot of space for leftovers.

Cooking larger portions and saving what isn't eaten at the first sitting does not work well for most singles. The tendency is to just try to eat it all within two or three days, which results in a monotonous diet, or to stuff them in the "experimental lab cooler" (a.k.a. refrigerator) to see what color they'll be when (if) you get around to tossing them.

Preparing portions in advance for cooking one meal at a time, with choices at hand in the freezer, works much better for most. This comes fairly easily for some, but may be a very difficult concept for others.

In most cases, it's best to let the single person choose what to do, since the advantages of "your" system aren't sufficient to justify attacking the independence of another person. Ask if (s)he wants help before foisting a bunch of recipe books on him or her. Most elders are a lot more capable than the kids think they are - although it usually doesn't hurt to pay some attention to how they're doing and to provide help when they request it.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Oct 10 - 01:17 PM

There is a big difference in UK vs US cooking. Here in the US we use cups (8 ounces per cup) to measure dry or liquid, not weight. And the small measures are Tablespoons (two Tablespoons in an ounce, 16 Tablespoons in a cup). Three teaspoons in a Tablespoon.

I have a scale that would work for UK recipes, but it's pounds, not grams, so I'd still have to convert, I imagine.

I'm also cooking for one (different reason, though - long since divorced, but my youngest went away to college this fall). I don't try to make too many things for just one meal; my goal is to have enough leftovers for another meal or two, I don't want to eat the same thing every day for a week. If you keep that in mind, you can find recipes that serve a few people, or you can halve a larger recipe.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 23 Oct 10 - 01:32 PM

Hmm John, Interesting post.

Not my only way but I didn't get on too badly with a boil a couple of times a day pot which saved each day cooking but and I think some things taste better second day round, but if I'd had a freezer I may have gone more for the batch approach.

Not sure now living with parents we could really call it the same (gardening excess really) and more than one person but to use an excess of tomatoes as a ratatouille, apples as a pie mix, and sensibly divide into qtys seems to work for us.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: wysiwyg
Date: 23 Oct 10 - 01:40 PM

One of the best resources is not a cookbook, but a panini press. Adjusting to cooking for one is easily done with any sandwich items dressed (in salad stuff) and pressed, plus a can of soup. A hot meal, great nutrition and great diversity of foods and tastes while adjusting and exploring other stuff inspired by the ever-changing paninis.

Show him how to shop, before you show him how to cook, and take the results home to press into a panini.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: pdq
Date: 23 Oct 10 - 02:01 PM

If somebody is really starting over, I would recommend a trip to a large discount house such as WalMart to buy bulk (5-10 pounds) of the following:

          rice
          onions
          pasta
          dried beans
          potatoes

Then move to another row and grab an assortment of...

          Top Ramen (13¢ a packet)
          Rice-a-Roni (99¢ a box)

Add a few jars of Classico spaghetti sauce, flour, corn meal and some pancake mix.

Make sure you have enough pots, pans, skillets. Jars and various plastic storage containers to hold bulk item and leftovers are also needed.

Tools such as cheese grater, potato masher and measuring cup must be there before you break out the cookbook.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Oct 10 - 02:03 PM

Panini is poncey little bread, right? I don't get that. I mean a sandwich can be nice for lunch but you want something real in the evening and anyway why not use real bread?

I've gone pretty much entirely the other direction - cook, say, spagh bol (the recipe has mutated to what I call "commando bol") or a curry modifying a commercial paste, or a stew done in the slow cooker, and eat for 4 or 5 days. Much less hassle.

The "one meal" things tend to be a lump of meat or a lump of fish (I usually bake fish in foil with oil and herbs) plus spuds and veg. Or frozen "single portion" pies.

Of course everything gets chili or garlic, sometimes both.

I can't be arsed with puddings.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 23 Oct 10 - 02:37 PM

I can't be arsed with puddings.

May disagree with you there but I'm not sure I cooked many when alone.

.

Of course everything gets chili or garlic, sometimes both.

I'm tempted to say exactly. At least with something like the spaghetti bolagnase mixture. Why not if it ends up as what you want.

I was talking to mum again on this recently and I suppose we both decided there can be too much exactly one half standard carrot and one real looking red onion, medium size and if the recipe did not call for say coriander or (I like this) celery salt, you must not use it...


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: Penny S.
Date: 23 Oct 10 - 02:56 PM

I have copies of books by a British nutritionist called Louise Davies, aimed at just such people, suddenly finding their way in the kitchen, and rising from evening classes with recently single non-cooks. The first book was "Easy cooking for one or two", the second, probably, "More Easy ......".

Much of the book did not depend on measuring. E.g. mix the contents of a tin of sardines with an egg and grill on toast.

I tend to make large quantities of casserole and save in "Pour and Store" zip bags in the freezer in single helpings. If I have a visitor, I can thaw two. I also make multiple shepherd's pies etc. It gets over the same thing day after day situation.

Measures are important for baking, not so much for the ordinary day to day meals.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 23 Oct 10 - 04:40 PM

"One Pot Cooking" - http://walkaboutsverse.webs.com/#93


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: wysiwyg
Date: 23 Oct 10 - 05:44 PM

RB, "panini" is a cooking technique, not a type of bread. We always use crusty wholegrains, here. With soup and salad it is hearty meal.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 23 Oct 10 - 08:09 PM

Unless he has a very lucky metabolism, that proportion of carbs, rice, pasta etc. will put him on the road to diabetes..depending on his metabolism...

I use a turbo-oven..round, clear glass, little rack to go inside. It cooks frozen meat in about 20 minutes. Just put a little pyrex pie plate in there on the rack (I bent the taller rack to be shorter..there was one too tall and one too short)..put in frozen meat, fish, etc. Set the timer. Good for forgetful people because it shuts itself off. You could also bake a potato in their, put in some fresh or frozen vegetables.

Also, get used to stir fries..get your vegetables in that way...just chop up, cut up some meat, throw in some oil, add soy sauce when near done.

They also recommend finding a good Chinese restaurant that is not too expensive and does not use MSG and eat there frequently. Good idea for those who do not like to cook. If ou are watching carbs, leave out the rice. Get pretty much the stir fries and leave the sticky sauces alone. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Oct 10 - 08:15 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panini_(sandwich)


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: Hrothgar
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 03:40 AM

I had a book many years ago called "The Impoverished Student's Guide to Cookery, Drinkery and Housekeeping". It was more about sutvival than epicurean delights, bit some of the things in it I remember as being valid - have a good range of spices and herbs, get a good big cast iron frying pan. This might not apply to your friend, if they are mature and financially sedure, but it's a good start.

Where to find the book? Don't look at me. This was forty-odd years agp.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 05:08 AM

Lots of good suggestions here, and no arguments that any of them can't be perfectly appropriate. It's largely a matter of finding what matches the lifestyle of the one using them.

The "problem" with recipes by weight vs by volume is largely academic in the US now, since cooking scales are easily available ($3 to $7 US, at last look) with dual scales, ounces and grams. (Since every dietitian we've consulted has different preferences, we have several.)

I go a step past the "bulk stock" items listed above by skipping Walmart and going direct to Sams, where I buy rice in 18 to 28 lb bags, and dried beans usually in about 15 lb packages. Sugar and flour, for those who use enough, are available in packages up to 30 lb, but careful shoppers may frequently find that a couple of 5 lb bags of either, also usually available, is priced at less per pound than the big ones. (Sugar lasts forever, but flour can "go stale" without careful storage.)

My "staple food" is coffee, and the cans (even if plastic) make reasonably "vermin proof" storage containers for other dry staples once you finish the coffee. You do need to mark them clearly so you can tell which one has the lima beans and which is the navvies.

Canned beans, peas, and corn come in six-packs (or 8 can flats) and store well enough. Sams has less selection of frozen vegetables than retail stores; but mixed veggies in 32 oz (2 lb) bags are usually available, and there's no need to break them down if you have a good freezer since you just pour what you want in the pot and fold the top over the rest to go back to the freezer. The fresh fruits/veggies selection is a little less broad than at the retail stores, but we usually find what we like.

Surprisingly, perhaps, buying in bulk is more appropriate for one or two people than for a larger family, IMO, once you learn to break down the bulk and store appropriately.

Nearly all US refrigerators have a separate freezer section, usually about 1/4 or 1/5 the size of the 'fridge, so almost everyone here has some freezer space unless they need to stuff it with enough ice for a cocktail party for 30 on a weekly basis(?). I don't know if the fridge/freezer combination is the normal configuration elsewhere.

When helping an elder with menu planning, I'd suggest the possibility that "special preferences" are not unlikely, and may not be apparent to younger "helpers." Even those lucky oldsters who have some teeth left or have relatively good dentures may be less comfortable than you'd expect with foods that require more than a little chewing, or that have "gritty bits" in them. It may be hard to find out how many good teeth many elders don't have since some don't like discussing the subject.

Some may also have "deviant digestive processes" that you don't know about. With some, discussion is the appropriate approach; but some may be reluctant to discuss, so "sneaky observation" may be needed in order to be helpful. Sometimes, deliberately discussing the meal, with minimal reference to the subject's liking for it, is more effective; if you can listen closely. But one must be careful. Sometimes an "offhand comment" has real significance, and sometimes it's just an offhand comment - so be careful about leaping to conclusions.

For most "parents" of people here, some understanding of the general health of the person you're trying to help is probably essential, since maturity and wisdom often go right along with physical peculiarities not well understood by "the kids." (My kids are both charging hard on 50, and still don't understand me.)

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 09:22 AM

"Also, some of my own, when I was alone are not measured. Wouldn't work with say bread making but take some mince, some onion some carrot, etc. and put in a pan can work. Just use qtys that look right."

Yeah, there's a lot of unecessary mysticism around cooking (I blame all of these TV chefs). Get yourself a good stout pan with a lid. Start by adding a couple of teaspoons of cooking oil (ordinary supermaket own brand vegetable oil will do). Chop up an onion, heat the oil in the pan, chuck in the chopped onion and stir it round until it just begins to brown. Chuck in some meat and brown that together with a few chopped vegetables (mushrooms, peppers, carrots - whatever)and chopped garlic . Stir a bit more (try not to burn anything). Hurl in a can of chopped tomatoes and the same volume of water (use the tomato can as a measure). Add a pinch of salt and a few dried herbs. Put the lid on the pan and simmer on low light for no more than an hour. Serve with rice or pasta. Easy! Even I can do it.

You may need to experiment with a few of the variables - but it's usually edible first try.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: pdq
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 09:49 AM

I didn't intend to suggest an all-carb diet. I was pointing out the merits of bulk-buying at a discount house.

Once you have the basic stored foods plus an assortment of pots, pans, tools and storage containers, you need to get only fresh items at your local market.

I shop only one time per week and buy milk, eggs, butter, meat, beer and vegetables.

Each rice or pasta dish has some meat or veggies with it.

My garden produced tons of four kinds of summer squash this year for lots of all-veggie dinners.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 10:20 AM

Nearly all US refrigerators have a separate freezer section, usually about 1/4 or 1/5 the size of the 'fridge, so almost everyone here has some freezer space unless they need to stuff it with enough ice for a cocktail party for 30 on a weekly basis(?). I don't know if the fridge/freezer combination is the normal configuration elsewhere.

Various designs of fridges (with small freezing section) Fridge freezers (eg with say approaching a 50 50 split) and freezers here John.

The UK under worktop/counter height fridge one I had may have been 5th for freezer section but say a packet of frozen peas and maybe sweet corn and maybe as a treat, choc ices and it would be about full. It did not hold a lot.

Something like the (say) 6ft fridge freezer in the kitchen here gets closer to 50/50, the fridge section above the freezer and with separate doors.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 10:33 AM

Each rice or pasta dish has some meat or veggies with it.

Thinking of rice. Here is a really simple one to go with it. Get a can of soup (I like the condensed type and use mushroom) and a can of tuna. I'd prefer not to cook the tuna but add to the soup before pouring over the rice.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: Sorcha
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 10:55 AM

Watch the salt/sodium content in pre processed stuff like soup, RiceARoni, mac and cheese, etc. It's ALL overloaded with sodium.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 11:06 AM

Gosh Jon, that sounds absolutely vile!


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 01:00 PM

Cooking for one is easy. Shopping for one--especially if you don't care for processed food--is the hard part.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 01:12 PM

I would say be careful of the salt and sugar content in processed foods.

When he starts making soups, chilli, stews, sauces I would advice doubling or even quadrupling and freezing portions so he can reheat at convenience. when making try to steer clear of adding salt. If there is a Kroger in his area, Zesty Blend original is a fantastic salt substitute. Just a blend of dried herbs and orange zest. Love it on fried potatoes, onions and bell peppers.

Eggs once or twice a week, omelet with brocolli and cheese or as we did yesterday with sauteed onion, red pepper and mushrooms and a dash of soy sauce to make our own foo yung.

pre-made crepes or flour tortillas filled with anything (couple of spoonfuls of chilli or stew) is quite easy.

best of luck and healthy eating to your friend.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: Irene M
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 01:46 PM

Wow.
You went to town on this one. Thank you.
The person in question is 79, has had a heart attack, is used to home cooking and has a kitchen that is so stuffed with things that there is no room for scales. Hence sticking to cup measures. I have pointed out the benfits of batch cooking, but he lacks motivation and doesn't really know where to start. This is why I want to find him a book that doesn't assume knowledge of technique and isn't aimed at a large family.
It is frustrating that I had to leave so soon and was unable to give a few basic lessons. I wrote out some simple soup recipes including leek and potato. He said "What's a leek?". Now I am worried that he wont know that the leek will need de-gritting!
I know I am at the end of a phone, but I am 3,500 miles and 5 hours away.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 04:28 PM

For the recently widowed, it probably is a good idea to "eat out" on a regular basis, since some have a tendency to hibernate at home and lose "social contact" that really is helpful.

"Socializing" your recently lone(some?) one can be a rather delicate matter, but even if it's just encouraging their going to a nearby greasy spoon on a regular basis it may let them at least see other people, even if the personal interaction is minimal.

An ideal situation would be to find a compatible "victim" to trade off cooking for both. With someone occasionally available with whom insults (about the food) can be exchanged, the learning process can be greatly accelerated. There's no need for the victim(s) to be "intimate," and often there are good reasons why they should not.

Some "senior clubs" I've heard about have had "cooking parties" for which each person is given a simple recipe to prepare for a (preferably small) pot-luck session. In small doses, these might be helpful.

While it's essential for all, especially for elderly cooks and most especially for inexperienced elderly ones - MAKE SURE THE SMOKE ALARMS WORK. For most stove-top flameups, a box of baking soda actually works about as well as a fire extinguisher, but it would probably be a good idea to have at least a small BC1 extinguisher near at hand just in case.

1 In the US at least, fire extinguishers are rated A, B, C depending on whether they're suitable for "paper and wood," "fuels and oils," or "electrical" situations. The BC is good for oils and electricals and is what you'll want in the kitchen. The A class is better for flaming walls and curtains; but if used on a hot stove the "A class" material leaves an impenetrable fused-on residue that's extremely difficult to clean up. Common retail outlets often have only the ABC rated ones, but a boat or RV seller likely will have the BC rated ones better suited to kitchen use. Put the ABC in the bedroom/bath and garage areas. Your elder should be able to clean up as easily as possible, so that the "what fire?" response can be used for anything really minor. (experience applied here...)

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 04:58 PM

John UK fire extinguishers are also rated by class of fire - may well be the same code as yours and "International" on this?

I think a kitchen item that may be forgotten though is a fire blanket. Never had to use one but we have one in place.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 05:18 PM

PS, since mum got worried over fires, there is also an extinguisher - AFFF foam. It's label says for A, B an F (which I think includes cooking oils) fires.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 05:29 PM

Found a UK one here John


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: open mike
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 05:48 PM

crock pots are great tools.

and so are freezers..

i would NOT ever buy food at wal-mart..
i am lucky, there is a buying club here
where i can get large bags of rice and beans...10-25 pounds..

and a case of tomato sauce and some tortillas....

I often make big pot of rice (they make cookers for rice now)
and beans which are easy to do from scratch in the crock pot

jsut soak over night then simmer and add onion, garlic, chili powder
and maybe some tomato sauce

and then have lots of tortillas, cheese, salsa, avocados, sour cream and celantro...burritos--i think i could live on burritos...with the giant tortillas (some have sun dried tomato, some are spinach...)

you can always freeze or refridgerate rice and beans..

also a pizza dough....boboli or another (I like the whole wheat or sprouted wheat ones) can be easily made into a meal by adding tomato sauce, peppers, olives, mushrooms and cheese...parmesan and mozzerella

i also have recently discovered making hummus in the blender or food processor....using canned garbanzo beans, sesame tahini, lemon juice and garlic...no cooking required if you use canned beans....

it is great as a spread or dip

the book Diet for a Small Planet is very helpful in learning to combine food to make sure you have complete protein,

also there are lots of online recipe collections..
google cook or recipe or food


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 06:31 PM

Are you trying to poison the poor man? All these things that only women eat!

Meat - grilling is easy. Watch it all the time and then if it catches fire it's a small enough fire to blow out. Line the grill pan with two layers of tin foil and throw it away every use - saves washing up. For pork, remember to finish the side with the crackling on at VERY high temperature (still watching) to make it scrunchy. Lamb, put some crushed garlic on and pour some mint jelly on before grilling.

Parsnips roast nicely and are probably easier (and sweeter) than roast potatoes.    Enough meat to roast nicely will feed one old person like me for days and days so grill a little bit of meat and roast some parsnips if you fancy them.

Veg - shit, anyone can boil veg! Courgettes are nasty. Aubergines are nasty. Boiled cabbage is almost wholly free of calories and if not boiled too long can be nice - but the amount of fibre in it (and in therefore coleslaw) can be - er - motivating to an elderly digestion.

Pulses are mostly vile and poisonous if not soaked. Avoid until expert.

Salad is mostly nasty, but raw onions and sliced tomatoes are nice in a ham sandwich. I like watercress but it does not keep well.

Slow cooker will cook anything. Pepper, chili and garlic will make anything nice and tasty (even veg on their own). Pearl barley is good for thickening. A useful cheat for thickening is instant mash. Go easy on mushrooms, they can overwhelm.

Tomato sauce is full of sugar and salt. Avoid.

Spagh bol is easy.

Almost instant is spaghetti al'olio arrabiata. Spagh, boil, olive oil, chili, garlic. It's all she wrote.

Porridge at breakfast is cheap easy and keeps you going - with hemp hearts if you can afford them. Little bit of milk, little bit of demerara sugar - nearly as easy as toast and far more sustaining.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 04:39 AM

One pot meals whether cooking for one or a family is the best way of getting a tasty hot meal especially with winter coming. Vegetables can be disguised and all the nutrients stay in the dish. If the base is minced beef it can be divided, frozen and with italian tinned tomatoes will make a decent spag bol one day and maybe chili con carne with rice another time or go Mexican and make burritos for yourself. All dishes can be served with a little bit of side salad. It is tempting to spend out on quick ready meals or send out for the odd take-away but one-pot meals are versatile and economical and probably have more nutritious value.

A supply of multi-vitamin supplements is also a good idea.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 08:27 AM

All dishes can be served with a little bit of side salad

I have a sort of dislike of 4 big limp lettuce leaves with a slice of tomato to look pretty.


For salad this year we three have taken to putting a "air tight" box in the fridge using home grown stuff. I roughly 1/4" cube things like tomato, cucumber and onion (but beetroot didn't work the time I tried it) and chop up what leaves are to hand (I quite like little gem as a lettuce btw) lettuce, mint, parsley, chives. Again, pretty much a whatever you think makes sense apple would cube, I'd missed celery, etc.


Seemed to be liked as a sandwich filling - perhaps with a slice of cheese.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 11:40 AM

Btw for kitchen scissors, We now have these heavy maybe but so well made.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: open mike
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 07:13 PM

what are "pulses"?

microwaves are helpful

so are frozen thnings..
veggie burgers, mixed veggies, fruit

blenders help
smoothies are good - yogurt and fruit and juice
freeze bananas and put them in a smoothie

you can freeze strawberries in an egg carton..
they do not get alll clumped together then..

get seasonal fresh foods at the local farmer's market
it is a good way to support growers, meet neighbors
and get good exercise.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 03:29 AM

Blenders do help to woosh up ingredients like peppers onion and herbs to make the base for sauces and add it to minced or diced meat.

I agree that a limp lettuce salad can look unappealing but lettuce isn't the only thing to make up a salad. Shredded white cabbage and grated carrot is nice with a honey and mustard dressing or vinagrette. I like cubed cucumber, apple and diced red pepper and it looks a bit more colourful than a limp lettuce. You can even toss through a few cubes of cheese or chopped nuts (if no allergy problems of course) to make it a bit more tasty or interesting. Coz lettuce is the best of the lettuces because it's crunchier and doesn't have the metally taste of an Iceburg on the otherhand an Iceburg lettuce will keep fresher for longer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: Penny S.
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 12:56 PM

Pulses = peas, beans and lentils. Good for protein when combined with cereals.

I forgot what my Dad did. He had a biggish freezer in the utility room, and kept in it a collection of different frozen veggies in old icecream boxes (the two litre sort). (After trying out the shop version, he would buy fresh carrots, blanch and freeze them, as he did not like the bought frozen ones.) It meant he could have a good selection of veggies with his main meal without having fresh ones go off.

I am doing the same, with the same freezer, and bags, not boxes.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: GUEST,pattyClink
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 04:05 PM

Can't vouch for what's in it, but it has a memorable title:
A Man, a Can, a Plan : 50 Great Guy Meals Even You Can Make [Board book]
David Joachim

Along the 'cook once, freeze lots' theory, there is a big guide to cooking ahead and freezing that might appeal if he doesn't long to stand in the kitchen each and every night: "Frozen Assets".

If I was a single guy I would want to grill once a week with friends and beers, making a lot of assorted meats and sausages and slapping the remainder in the fridge for later.

And pass along to him your favorite recipes for simple roasts in oven or crock, these often do not show up in cookbooks because they are 'so simple', yet non-cooks do not have the slightest idea how easy it can be or what exactly to do so that one does not end up with a $19 piece of tough leather.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: Irene M
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 02:42 PM

Thanks folks


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 09:07 PM

"tin foil" - actually 'baking paper' is much better, and you can't get powders/herbs, etc.

Couscous is brilliant, just add the same volume of boiling water, stir and stand for a moment. Add stock to the water alternative, frozen veges, dried fruit, nuts, cheese, spices/herbs etc.

Fresh fruit andscraps of foil in the fillings ... (electrical ouch!) also less environmentally wasteful!

Make rice with 'soup stock' - available in 500ml/1 liter packs, or just add a 'stock cube' - can also add diced frozen veges, spice veges is good, but for the single, modern frozen veges are almost the same in vitamin etc content, especially if the 'fresh stuff' is more than a few days old.

I've previously in other threads given a lot of tips about using various simple 'bench-top appliances' (toasted sandwich makers, etc) in unconventional ways, they even save washing up of pans, etc.

Regular eating out is good for company, (just watch cost!) and can be fun and mentally stimulating, and here in Australia, 'counter lunches' (steaks, chicken, etc) can be had at pubs (hotels) for around $10 - good value and nutrition - they make money from the booze and poker machines. Once a fortnight, or week, as the budget allows - if you can find a compatible group of friends to meet up and try different places, all the better. One can always start such a local 'lunch club' group if motivated, even ring radio stations, etc to get one started. No fees, just turn up on a regular date at a notified place - the organisation can also keep one's mind busy.

Don't forget fish as an occasional meal idea, fish and chip shops can be much more expensive than doing it at home - a small piece of fish grilled in a 'sandwich plate thingy' (see my other ramblings!) is very cheap and nutritious and quick.

A small collection of bottled spices and herbs can add cheap lift to cooking. Also give you something new to learn about - the more the brain, the better for mental health!

In Australia. we now have compulsory comparative 'cost per unit' notification labellings on shelves - $X/vol or weight.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 09:12 PM

ooops...

"tin foil" - actually 'baking paper' is much better, and you can't get scraps of foil in the fillings ... (electrical ouch!) also less environmentally wasteful!

Make rice with 'soup stock' - available in 500ml/1 liter packs, or just add a 'stock cube' - can also add diced frozen veges, spice powders/herbs, etc.

Couscous is brilliant, just add the same volume of boiling water, stir and stand for a moment. Add stock to the water alternative, frozen veges, dried fruit, nuts, cheese, spices/herbs etc.

Fresh fruit and veges is good, but for the single, modern frozen veges are almost the same in vitamin etc content, especially if the 'fresh stuff' is more than a few days old.

I've previously in other threads given a lot of tips about using various simple 'bench-top appliances' (toasted sandwich makers, etc) in unconventional ways, they even save washing up of pans, etc.

Regular eating out is good for company, (just watch cost!) and can be fun and mentally stimulating, and here in Australia, 'counter lunches' (steaks, chicken, etc) can be had at pubs (hotels) for around $10 - good value and nutrition - they make money from the booze and poker machines. Once a fortnight, or week, as the budget allows - if you can find a compatible group of friends to meet up and try different places, all the better. One can always start such a local 'lunch club' group if motivated, even ring radio stations, etc to get one started. No fees, just turn up on a regular date at a notified place - the organisation can also keep one's mind busy.

Don't forget fish as an occasional meal idea, fish and chip shops can be much more expensive than doing it at home - a small piece of fish grilled in a 'sandwich plate thingy' (see my other ramblings!) is very cheap and nutritious and quick.

A small collection of bottled spices and herbs can add cheap lift to cooking. Also give you something new to learn about - the more the brain, the better for mental health!

In Australia. we now have compulsory comparative 'cost per unit' notification labellings on shelves - $X/vol or weight.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: Penny S.
Date: 28 Oct 10 - 06:36 AM

Odd bit of synchronicity - last night I was tidying out a box of stuff from Dad's house, and found his bit of card on which he had written out the instructions for preparing the carrots.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Cooking for one
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 28 Oct 10 - 08:00 AM

And there is the good old standby eggs to make a quick meal. Vegetables, bacon or left overs can be added to an omelette to make a simple nutricius meal. Or baked in the oven in a bed of spinach for eggs benedict.

The beauty of cooking for one is that you can be as experimental or not as you want.


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