Cooking for two

I’ve always intended to cook for two, but somehow always managed to cook for about 20. Unchecked, I cook large. I cater. I cater for parties larger than I have friends.

This was from Christmas. It was more than enough to feed the 4 meat-eaters at the table. As was the turkey. As were the 8 tuna steaks I made for the single pescatarian. As were the side dishes. As were the mini quiches. As were all of the various 'bits' I had just in case somebody wanted something different.

As a side note, when I do have additional people here, I cook even larger. My fear is not having enough, that somebody will want seconds or thirds or seventeenths and I’ll have to say no. The massive amounts of food I prepare has become a standard joke amongst our friends. If we have a party that involves food, there will be enough. There will be more than enough. There will be too much.

This is the same when it comes to cooking on a smaller scale. Our everyday dinners are for two. There are only two of us. So what compels me to take out the giant stock pot purchased at Ikea (to some confusion on the part of Adam, who sensibly wondered what I’d possibly need something that big for seeing as how there are only two of us) when I’m only making dinner for two?

Maybe it’s some idea that there will be ‘leftovers’ that we’ll have for lunch the next day, and maybe for another dinner later in the week. That’d be great, but it doesn’t ever happen. (Well, that’s not entirely true. It happens in the case of lasagne, but that’s more because Adam’s kinda like Garfield with lasagne. And sometimes chili, because that’s always better after it’s sat for a day.)

No, there’s no taking a packed lunch to work, and there’s no reheating it later in the week. As we both work from home, lunch is whatever grabs our ‘nads in the moment (usually a Pot Noodle for Adam and some sort of soup or peanut butter sandwich for me). It’s rarely the same as what we had the previous night. And because I like cooking, I don’t go for the reheating option.

I also don’t tend to remember to freeze things (again, except lasagne) for even later reheating. I put things in the fridge and then, come Thursday night, it’s the shameful dumping of plastic containers into the compost bin.

I’ve started getting better about it, though. It’s been an inadvertent upshot of the whole diet thing. Because I’m measuring everything to work out the calories — and know I won’t be doing seconds, thirds, or seventeeths — I end up doing just enough for the night I’m cooking. There’s less waste, which is good, too.

And I’m not actually saying that in the whole hippie bullshit ‘let’s care about the earth to pretend like we’re better people than we are’ thing. Because I’m not a good person (at least not that sort), I don’t really give that much of a shit about the earth, and I don’t think that the environmental impact of me having a full compost bin instead of a half-full compose bin is going to tip any scales towards imminent destruction.

No, as far as I’m concerned, the less waste is good because it means less of a chore on Thursday. It’s good because it means less mental gymnastics in trying to remember just how long ago I made something. It’s good because I don’t feel obliged to eat something because it’s still there.

Tonight was a victory in all of this. I made a sort of chicken cacciatore type thing with some pasta, and made just enough to fill our plates. We had a reasonable amount, and that was it. There’s none for later, there’s none for tomorrow, there’s none for next Thursday’s bin.