Monday, January 3, 2011

Cooking for One

In general, I have very little motivation to cook for just myself. Why go through all the effort if I'm the only one around to enjoy it? I mean, if it's seulement moi doing the eating, my specialties are tuna melts and turkey sandwiches. Nothing fancy.

(My expertise also barely extends at scrambled eggs and Kraft mac & cheese, though I do make a mean french toast breakfast. I hate to brag, but it's the truth.)

So, with that said, I must admit that I feel a bit like a phony right now. All this week, my dad and I have been discussing ways for him to meal plan, store leftovers, and try out new recipes -- and I have no idea what I'm talking about.

I mean, only recently did I add something as gourmet as chicken curry to my repertoire, and that literally only takes nuking five ingredients, pouring the mixture over diced chicken, and baking it for an hour. Hardly complex.

So I'm not exactly a reliable source when it comes to cooking for one. Or cooking in general.

However, with all the meal planning and recipe hunting I've been doing for my dad lately, I've actually started thinking myself about which meals I can make when I get back to school. And-- brace yourself for the news-- I'm actually pretty excited to try some of these recipes out when I get back to Norman.

If it were possible to surprise myself more, I'd be peeling my jaw off the floor.

You see, only recently did I realize that I don't hate cooking anymore (and that I no longer consider it all that is socially backward and directly hindering progress for the female gender).

In fact, a new development in my life is that I've actually started to enjoy cooking (and baking. Gasp!). Part of this comes from the obvious fact that I now have a kitchen for the first time in three years, so I'm no longer an ignorant young'n. It's easy to hate something you know nothing about.

And the other part, I'll admit, comes from finally seeing the silliness in my long-held, completely unfounded (personally, at least), very intense dislike toward anything that even slightly resembled a "traditional female role." I probably used to believe that the only women who cooked were subjugated women forced to spend their entire lives in the kitchen feeding ungrateful children and hungry husbands (who got to run around and pursue fulfilling careers and whatnot).

I was quite the drama queen.

And I was quite wrong, obviously. But I think at the time that that particular opinion established itself, I was bristling from an ex-boyfriend who had very defined, rather chauvinistic views on women's "roles." I probably felt the need to swing entirely in the feminist direction before settling down comfortably somewhere in the middle.

So anyway, this whole interest in (and lack of aversion toward) cooking is a new thing for me, and I'm rather enjoying it.

What has been the most fun lately is helping my dad find a variety of different meals that he can make all at once on Sunday evenings (and then just heat up throughout the week). I think his thought process is that he's usually too tired after work in the evening to spend much time preparing food. So he'd eat better if all the food was pre-made and only took a bit of nuking to be ready to go.

And when I think about it, that's exactly the way my life is right now too. During the week I have only a little time to make food and even less time to eat it. So I think I'll be taking a page out of my old man's book this next semester and mass-produce my meals for the coming week. Sunday wont know what hit 'm.

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... A few thoughts to pass the time...