Eating Alone In Half The Time

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Impatient Cooking

December 12th, 2007 · 2 Comments

 

This is a pea/carrot (tried to separate them from the pea/carrot frozen mix but was not entirely successful) and schnitzel (vege) pod. Made with flour and water of a consistency which does not stick to the spoon and then flattened by hand on a plate with flour on it to make the shell which is just wrapped around the stuffing. Again, cook the internal stuff first because in the frying pan it doesn’t cook – no not even with the cover on. Did two so I won’t have to photograph tomorrow. Sauce is  instant mushroom sauce. With grape and banana salad. Not entirely successful – took 30 minutes. But then I have to keep  reminding myself that success in life is made up of hundreds of small failures.

 

These are the left over dough from the schnitzel in a pod dish which I just fried along with everything else. My favorite strawberry jam on top. The one without the jam is to be used to finish off what falls off the others. And the cup? Coffee with whipped 3% milk/sugar on top. The painting? It’s by a famous artist. He must have done a lot of cups. Subliminal messaging. When you see one of his originals “Hey, I’ve seen this before but I can’t quite place where”, and you associate it with warm soup on cold evenings, hot coffee just the way you like it, ice cream (I use my cup for a lot of things). “Yeh, he must be famous”.  The truth is that he was famous before they asked him to do their cups.

I’m running out of things. Have to make a grocery run. So, there I was standing in the middle of the kitchen – the only place it’s possible to stand, and wondering what I was doing to do. You see my decision. If you can’t tell, they’re onion rings. The gray/orange stuff is hummus (mashed chick peas with sesame seeds (a complete protein) – very popular Middle Eastern dish to be eaten with pita. I my case tonight, its crackers. I have been using a lot of olive oil lately, but do you see anything about healthy, or weight reducing in the title? Thought not. Oh, and instant vegetable soup in my famous painter mug.

 

This morning I made something so good that I didn’t have the patience to photograph it. This is what it looked like afterwards. Sorry.

 

RANDOM THOUGHTS
I stand back and look at this and think “What am I doing? I have other more important things to do.” And then I tell myself that I needed the down time.  We must always allow ourselves down time just to mess around or we will end up at the end having done everything and feel that we never really lived. You owe it to yourself to just be you every once in a while. I guess this is me. I feel ashamed, but then I enjoy it. 

 

Photos for some of the next dishes will come when I can get the time. 

Cold corn fritters with maple syrup, cold pan broiled apple with raisins and nut (ate the nut), and parmesan cheese.  Fixed this after taking pictures of the Mediterranean and clouds on a cold day. Figured that anything warm would be too great a shock to the system. Took 4 minutes to prepare and 14 to photograph.  Finally got it on the last one. I had told myself that this was the last, and it came out perfectly. Happens a lot. You decide that you can’t take any more and suddenly everything is o.k. There must be some cosmic law here. I don’t think that the instruction manuals which we do have cover this one.

 

crepeI did not intend to photograph this morning. Thought I would just do a pancake (the one from the batter left in the jar from yesterday), and well, once you’ve seen one…  I looked in the pan and it was just sitting there looking like a crêpe (you will have to imagine that there is an egg in there), so I put butter and syrup inside and rolled it up. Then you see the rest. And seeing is believing, and believe me, it was good. Sometimes it’s the little touches in life which make it all worthwhile. Like the touch from someone you love, or the bit of encouragement given when you have done something well, or someone’s smile when you see them.
 

This is instant mushroom soup but with whipped 3% milk in it with zatar sprinkled on top. Tastes great on a cold winter evening. Great start for supper. The whipped milk gives it that smooth feeling and taste (is there is a taste to smooth. I think yes.), and the zatar is a spice mostly used in the Middle East but available most places I assume. Microsoft Word also doesn’t know what it is. According to Wikipedia, it is  variably called za’atar, zaatar, zatar, zattar or zahatar, and is traditionally composed of dried thyme, toasted white sesame seeds, and salt. Some sources also include savory, hyssop, oregano, cumin, and fennel seed. Great on meats and vegetables, and on my soup in this case.  

 

I wasn’t going to put this up, but I looked at it and it looked so healthy I couldn’t resist. During the photographing, I felt there was something missing – so imagine two beautiful cherry tomatoes on the plate, which is what I put on after the photos. The part you can see is mixed salad with lemon cream sauce topped with my granola (raisin, nuts, and wheat) which has been fried in brand new freshly-pressed-today olive oil a neighbor gave me. Topped it off with walnuts for Omega3 and just a touch of the “very old” wine. That’s hummus (ground chick pea sesame seed) on the side for protein. I just finished it and feel healthier already.

 

Only one comment on this. Has olive oil and vinegar dressing on the salad. Instead of mixing it separately, I just poured it on. One word of precaution. Pour the vinegar into the cap of the bottle and then put it on. Do not pour straight, unless you believe in miracles. Then put salt, pepper, a little bit of sugar – or better yet, do it as it should be done.

 

 

Add this to the little touches in life which make all the difference. A chocolate when you are depressed.  I received a gift of a box of chocolates. It seems that I have been depressed a lot the last couple of days.

 

 

Open face omelet – unless you like runny eggs, be sure to cook the eggs on one side and turn over before putting anything on top.

 

Two hotdogs (vege) with sauerkraut, and the vegetable pod (reheated from two times ago). In the end, the tomatoes got to spend an additional day in the refrigerator. The pod was a little dry but that was quickly solved by pouring a little sweet red wine over it. Reminds me of when I was very young and in Paris. Walked into a small wine shop and asked the proprietor in my best fractured French if he had any sweet red wine. He just stood there looking at me and I was beginning to get the feeling that he had not understood me, when he said in perfect English “Where do you think this is buddy, California?”.  I had dry red wine for my supper.

 

Mid-morning. Just had the urge. My allotment of potato for three days, and oil for the next two weeks. See those small things on the side? Sliced bananas – the rest are underneath. Did not have any paper toweling and tried to drain the oil off with the spaghetti strainer but it didn’t work. One thing – do not hold the strainer with some of the done fries in it over the floor while you are watching the rest of them cook.

 

This is a whole-kernel-corn dog. Cooked the frozen corn and added it to my self-rising-dough (wish I had some of that). Great with mustard.  Zatar  sprinkled on the salad. When you do not have what is called for, you improvise with what’s available. Done a lot of that.

 

Besides  plate, bowl, cup, kitchen knife, knife, fork, spoon, these are all of the utensils you need:
1. That thing in the middle? The cutter? It’s dangerous. Start thinking of someone and you lose a finger. If you have never concentrated before, now is the time to try it.
Prefer the old fashion kitchen knife. Not as quick but then you get exactly what you want, the size you want, and get to keep your fingers.
2. Stainless steel skillet.
3. Strainer for spaghetti/rice/washing salads.
4. Grater for parmesan cheese and other things.
5. A hot water boiler for instant coffee, and to speed up cooking.
6. A board. I got tired of hearing the kitchen knife cut things on the glass plate.

 

Done under 15 minutes with the “meats” boiled with the spaghetti. (this would not be necessary if you used more than one pan). One thing which is nice about vegeprotein is that they make it look as good as possible before you even start. So the grill marks on the cutlet were already there. I was going to enhance them with my own frying for some minutes but there was the time constrictions. On top is instant mushroom soup and a vegeburger with grated parmesan cheese. Another nice thing abut soy products is that you do not need to actually cook them as they are pre-done – just defrost and heat. And if you have not tried it, they are really quite good and do give you the protein you need.

 

This is a list of one week’s food. I am going to try to cook with this list only and see how much I can save. So let the fun begin. You may see a lot of blank spaces this next week. I am going to see if it can be done under $40 (some of the frozen may have to be replaced with fresh).
Dairy: milk-1 quart, powdered coffee creamer-1/2 jar/pac, yellow cheese-1 1/2 pac, hard cheese-1 large slice
Protein: soy base burgers-1 box, soy based hot dogs-5, eggs-5
Oil: oil olive-1/8 bottle, oil cooking-1/8 bottle, butter-1
Fruit: bananas-3, grapes-bunch, apples-2
Vegetables: lettuce-2, tomato paste-2, stewed tomatoes canned-1, fresh tomatoes-5,
potatoes-3, peas-1/2 pac, broccoli-1/2 box, onions-3, corn-1/2  bag frozen,  spinach-1/4 frozen bag, squash or other-2, instant vegetable soups-3, instant soup broth-1/8,
Beans: pinto/black-1 sac, humus-1
Breads & Pastas:  spaghetti-1 pac, rice-1/2 pac, bread-1 loaf, pita-3, trailmix/granola-1 pac, large pasta-1 pac, crackers-1, flour-1 large sac
Condiments: mayonnaise-1 small, syrup-1/8 bottle, saladdressing-1/2 bottle, ketsup-1/2 bottle
Sugars: cheap cookies-1/2 box, treat-1, sugar-1/2 small sac, jam-1/8 jar 
Other:  soap-1, soap hand-1/2, baggies-1, floor cleaner-1/16, laundry soap-1/8, shower soap-some, toilet tissue-1
Omega3 some flax, walnut-1 pac, peanut butter-1/16 bottle

 

corncrumblesCorn crumbles. Wasn’t meant to be but had to made a decision to save an otherwise disastrous fried corn-cake-fritter which would not come off the bottom of the pan – I had used oil again. Finally saved it with butter. I will have to find a better substitute. I’m using up all of my butter allotment (what I happen to have left at any one point in time). This is straight under-the-bridge-cooking. Used the last of the fake maple syrup on it, and mixed up a grape (seedless – after I took the seeds out), banana and apple salad in mayonnaise. And Humus which I explain below if you do not know what it is. Some failures can be quite delightful if you just give the right spin to them (in this case it was an open mind (what else can it be other than what it is beginning to look like), and necessity – I had nothing else to eat). But each instance has its own rules. You just  have to search for them.

 

pan cake with french fried apple slicesBreakfast: Pancake with deep fried apple slices , topped with whole oats/walnuts/sugar fried in a little granola oil. Talk about heart attack special but very good. So, what do you want, a long life or quality? I know – long life. But if you top this with a little bit of whipped 1%-3% milk with sugar, you will have to try it at least once in your long life.

 

RANDOM THOUGHTS
Humm… Don’t have any. All of mine are focused. And when was the last time you heard that and believed it? End of 20 minutes sitting here. Must get up and walk for 10 and then when I come back maybe I will have one ……………….. was gone 20 minutes (count them). Got caught up in washing insect eggs off of the leaves of my miniature hardwood – actually inherited hardwood. This is interesting. I came in the other day and found a perfectly good leaf of the tree lying on the floor. It was covered with tiny eggs which by
the way, weight next to nothing. The parent plant had just decided it was too much of a risk and had apparently let it go. Talk about decision making or am I just reading way too much into this. Life is a complex decision making process no matter what level or species you are. Ask any plant.

 

ANOTHER RANDOM THOUGHT
This having to get up every 10 minutes (self imposed) is actually very good. It provides an opportunity to do all of the things which you should do and normally just do not have the time for. Like cleaning the floor, visiting the plants (house is full of them), make a really good cup of coffee instead of the slap-dash ones I normally make when I’m in the middle of something. Perfect my idea of exercises while lying flat on my back. Making call backs which really should not be ignored…for too long, answering emails with a word or encouragement which normally would not have been answered. Quality life is about giving. 

 

vegetable podLunch: I put half of the pea/carrot/schnitzel(vege)pod left over from yesterday  on the plate and it looked very lonely. So I decided to add a burger  which I cooked and that also did not look complete. Never eat a lonely or incomplete meal – your stomach will know the difference – it’s just sitting down there waiting and down comes “THIS?”. So I put the rest of the grapes I had on with the salad dressing I now really like (some things take time). What with all of the de-loneliness/completing of the incomplete, the time far exceeded the 15 minute limit.  But with this evaluations and decision stuff, there is no limit on time. These things can even take years and you wonder where the time went. I am in a constant state of wondering.

 

dish12This one needs some explanation. Those are vegetarian hotdogs. The cheese is high grade hard goat cheese which is way better then the yellow sliced stuff. And the red are cherry tomatoes. I have a niece who gave me all sorts of tomatoes, red and yellow peppers from her garden. I am eternally grateful to her for all of the red color in my meals – as well as the nutrition. Bland was starting to depress me. What it is sitting on is a frozen flour crust I get in the frozen section of the supermarket and then fry. After the photo, I just rolled it up.

 

Tags: alone and surviving · cooking for singles · eating alone · food · impatient cooking · Uncategorized

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Nodin // May 9, 2011 at 3:27 am

    It was dark when I woke. This is a ray of snushine.

  • 2 Darence // May 9, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    What a joy to find such clear thinking. Thanks for psoitng!

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