Monday, March 4, 2013

Can you live off pizza and beer?


Any college student or fraternity house would say “Sure!” but what about a 64-year-old grey hair guy living with a toaster oven and a microwave?
Now remember this is winter. Those long dark, gray and windy days of winter that drag on and on. Working out in my studio in the winter isn’t really conducive to thoughts of fine cuisine.
“Keep it simple and quick” has been the motto for meal preparation. Sandwiches and soup out-of-a-can and heated in the microwave or those pre-pared stuff heated in the toaster oven have been the norm.
Now building a kitchen I’ve started thinking about cooking again. Real cooking, not the stuff that I have left over in the only cookbook I retained, my mother’s “The Art of Cooking Vol. 1”.
I was privilege with a wife who loved cooking as a hobby and I was the taster Guiney pig. From oriental to homemade pasta to stews and soups and a vegetarian diet every meal was an experiment. All the necessary appliances and cookbooks and classes were provided and each dining experience was a wonder. I should not have been surprised because all her hobbies were intense.
I haven’t spent the time or had the space to prepare a meal other than taking it out of a box or having it previously cooked for several years. I have most of the utensils but not the cooking pots and pans and mixing bowls of a fully equipped kitchen.
I already knew Southern cooking from my grandmother but never from my mom. Most of our food was simple or cheap or from the club. Grew up on greasy eggs in an iron pan, meatloaf, cream chip beef on toast, peanut butter on Wonder bread, and green beans out of a can.   
I’ve seen as many cooking shows as anyone else and understand how to apply most of the spices and ingredients but learned at an early age the pallet is trained.
So now I start to think of spending more time in the kitchen and preparing fresh food for consumption. Even with a large recipe and all the ingredients, with only one plate or bowl to fill, the leftovers will have to be preserved.
The prep work is all the fun with food. Like some chemistry class the mixing of flavors to achieve the brief necessity of feeding your face can be a chore or a reward.
Now the daily trip through the aisles of the grocery store takes on new observations. Most meals have certain similarities. A base of starch seems to be the basis to begin with. Rice, Noodles, Potatoes, or Bread seem to be the basic start to any recipe. Sauces of tomato or beans seem to come next. If the sauce is thick it can be poured over the base, if the sauce is thinned it can be a soup or stew. Roots and peppers can be added to taste.
Then there are those spices and herbs that make the flavor to the individual delight of the taster. Grow them to pick fresh or store them on the occasional need?
Haven’t looked at anything that had a face, no matter how well they disguise it. The roughage is wonderful fresh seasoned with sea salt and course pepper. Good for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert.
Cooking takes a lot of thought. Cooking takes a lot of time. Cooking leaves a big pile of dishes and pots and pans that must be washed and put away.
I’ll just have a pizza and a beer.
What? It has some green stuff and some red stuff and some mystery meat for protein and can be made in only a few minutes.


Art said...

We only cook once a week, and have leftovers for the rest of the week. It can be fun.

TripleG said...

Cooking for one can work well, because as Art said, you can have at least two more meals with little work. But you need a hubby to do the dishes.