Thursday, February 3, 2011
Dinner for One
So (one of) the (many) downside(s) of being single (1) is having to cook dinner for one (1).
I'm thinking of it like a math equation. Cook + 4 + 1 = BIG TIME BUMMER.
I try not to eat fast food. I certainly have a love affair with Chick-fil-a... but all those waffle fries aren't doing a thing for my "wobbly bits," as Bridget Jones would say. I try my best to eat healthy and include lots of colors in my daily diet. Not to wane esoteric, but do all the colors of peanut M&Ms count???
Sidenote: Tim Hawkins has written an extremely clever ode to the world's best fast food restaurant. Check it.
Anyway, I also have a lifelong hatred of leftovers. I'm not gonna make a casserole that I have to eat 3 meals a day for the next 10 days. Uh-uh. Not gonna do it. I always admired my old roommate Darsey (shout out! miss ya girl!) for making big pots of Brunswick Stew and eating on that thing til the pot was dry. She's a fan of leftovers. Me....not so much.
So, back to the idea of today's post. My quest to make myself dinner tonight.
I come home after a FANTASTIC arts integration workshop at 7:00 pm, wearily open the refrigerator door.
Close it. Open the freezer. Poke around at ancient bags of frozen vegetables. Gross.
Open the refrigerator again.
Since there is nothing to my liking I go for the canned goods. I notice towards the back a large can of Progresso French Onion Soup covered with a thin layer of dust.
I don't have any real bread to go in it, so I get out a stale bagel-thin from the refrigerator, tear it up, and find an almost-expired piece of sliced provolone cheese to put on top!
As I settle down on the couch to take my first bite, I nearly spit it out. The broth was watery and weirdly sweet. It also tasted like a can. I have a weird thing about canned soup tasting like a can. (Definite food issues....I know.) The bread was soggy, but not in the right way. It tasted like a yellow dish sponge. The cheese was also old and tasted musty. Like goat cheese - which always smells like gym sneakers to me.
Not to be defeated, I head back to the fridge for another look. Don't see a thing. Notice a bag of rice in the freezer that you can steam in the microwave. I take it out and also notice a bag of frozen grilled chicken pieces that have been in there forever. Perfect! Some protein!
Just in the nick of time I remember a bag of dusty can of black beans that was near the soup in my other cabinet. "Excellent!" I thought. "Black beans with chicken and rice. Totally carby, but at least it will be hot and filling. Just what I need after the soup du jour disaster."
So I put the chicken in a pan with some olive oil. It smells weird. I look at the date on the bag. Expired 5/2010. Oops.
The result was a bland beans and rice mixture that had me feeling like I was back in Nicaragua for breakfast. I ate about three bites and gave up.
Now I'm going back to the kitchen for a bowl of cereal.
Now I know:
Growing up eating mom's insanely delicious homemade meals really spoiled me.
I need to clean out my freezer more often.
I can't wait to have a family to cook for. :)