Thursday, July 27, 2017

Cooking for one

I notice a distinct difference between how I cook for myself and how I cook for others. When A is around, I plan ahead and shop for fancy ingredients. I soak, ferment and stew. I make multiple component dishes and plate up on fabulous pottery. Not always, but often enough. I even take photos of the food in natural light, and post them on Instagram. 
When I eat alone, my food is brown. That is the colour it turns, no matter how it begins. On Tuesday, I spent an hour boiling dal into submission, first in the microwave, then in a pan on the stove. It turned brown. I added some stewed cabbage to it, and as much garlic as I could be bothered to peel. Then I left it to cool on the hob and went to bed without dinner. In the morning, I checked on it, half hoping it was spoiled enough to throw out, but it smelled alright and looked as unappetisingly brown as it had, despite the natural light. I couldn't justify throwing out perfectly good food, so I boiled it again, mostly out of spite, and then cooled it and shoved it into the fridge. It has lain in there ever since, judging me, every time I reach into the fridge for another ear of corn. That's what I've been eating mostly, microwaved ears of sweet corn, with salt rubbed into them. Except, the salt in my spice box has gotten into the turmeric and cumin sections, so it's become a spice rub all by itself. I remind myself of the anti inflammatory properties of turmeric as I gnaw on my corn and watch reruns of Master Chef. I even pop a vitamin pill every morning. 

Today, I felt fancier. I sauteed onions and mushrooms in a pan, and then cooked them up with Ching's Secret two minute noodles. I even scattered leftover pizza seasoning from a sachet over the top and congratulated myself over my thriftiness. The whole thing turned brown. I left it in the pan to cool and boiled up another ear of corn. 

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