I was primarily raised in the Carolinas and Georgia, in the Methodist church, by Mid-western born parents with a dad that majored in hospitality management. My maternal grandmother was a spectacular entertainer-from the food, to the table setting, to the flower and candle arrangements, and somehow she managed to look fabulous while doing all of this! Why is this relevant? Seriously, why does this even matter?
Because I, dear friends, am a damn fine cook and throw a decent party or two. Six hundred square foot apartment with a 20 inch stove/oven combo and a kitchen space the size of my current closet; Thanksgiving for seven? No problem! I have recipes that easily serve four to forty, and the cook- and serveware to go with it. My husband and I love to cook together, and we love having the house filled. It can be exhausting and expensive (pot lucks are awesome!), but getting people together and building community is what its all about. When we were younger we were blessed with friends that believed this, and we really love carrying on that energy. But we have a family of two.
Just the two of us.
As I’m pulling all of my equipment out of the kitchen and putting it in tubs I’m seriously starting to wonder if we need all this stuff. Do I really need three Pyrex cooking dishes? Or six (maybe seven…) cookie sheets? And two Texas muffin pans, a 24 pocket mini muffin pan, two 6 pocket mini muffin pans, two regular muffin pans, a perfect brownie pan (which is just a 12 pocket square muffin pan), three bread pans, two heart cake pans, a 10 layer professional grade circular tiered cake pan (thanks Gram!), six mini loaves pans, four differing sized spring-forms, three crock-pots, two warming trays….and a partridge in a pear tree. Not to mention the really cool lasagna Pyrex (keeper!) Nate’s folks gave us a few years back, both the bundt pans (especially the really pretty Christmas tree one), and the mini bundt pans. Or the fact that when I ditched all the plastic tupperware (BPAs, etc) for the Pyrex snap-tight glass ware, you can bake and cook RIGHT IN THE GLASSWARE!!! (Happy dance!)
We prepared our kitchen to handle a tiny army, but it’s just the two of us. As we go forward, I am not so sure how that is going to change. And I am feeling suffocated under all of our stuff. Which doesn’t mean I’m going on a minimalist rant about over consumption, but more like I don’t like having stuff I have to dust off all the time. So a lot of this stuff is making a mass exodus. I am tired of storing the extra pans and appliances that we don’t use on at least a monthly basis. Does that mean I’m tossing all the party ware? Absolutely not! Who could part with professional cake pans owned by their grandmother? Not I dear friends, not I!
This also got me thinking about my recipes and how they cost so much. I buy ingredients for four or more when I shop-way above what I need. Leftovers are awesome-Nate loves them for lunch-but you can only eat so much veggie lasagna over a period of a week and a 9 X 13 serves at least 15. That’s 13 servings that have to be frozen (good for six months) or eaten within 5-7 days. Yes, 5-7 days. Anything in your fridge older than 7 days needs to be chucked. No matter how good your granny’s mac’n’cheese is, it’s a bacterial cesspool at seven days in the fridge. Nasty! So I can probably cut down my recipes to a point to fit two servings, but I went internet searching to see if other people had already done so. See, when we got married a friend gave us the Bride & Groom cook book from Williams-Sonoma. It’s beautiful, but most of the recipes are built for four or more. I don’t need to buy and cook a pound of beef if all I really need is a half-pound. Scouring the internet didn’t help much. Lot’s of recipes that have calculators built in, but end up with 0.1756842 tsp of X-ingredient. Looks like a pinch to me….but who knows? And how do you put in a pinch of an egg?
So my goal is to create some recipes that are truly two serving recipes. I’ve found plenty that are 4 servings, with the bonus of leftovers, but that’s not really what I want. It’s too tempting to just go ahead and eat two servings. I’m newly graduated, but that doesn’t mean I want to eat ramen made in my coffee pot (yes, you can do that). I’m an adult: I’m quite done with my college days, even if the broke part lingers on a bit. I also know that I have people that are in this boat with us. Amazing singles and couples that want healthy, fresh food-just not two tons of that healthy fresh food. So to make the separation anxiety from my pots, casseroles, and pans easier I got these little guys to help me along:
My goals for this up coming week are to get Tricia a new work schedule, start and stick to the 30 Day Burpee challenge with sit-ups, and create a couple of recipes to try that are really and truly built for just two.