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mashed potatoes n gravy

chow lineI can’t cook for one.

Okay, a bit strong, but I am rarely inspired enough to cook for one.

Two. Now that’s okay. Cooking to share a meal is good.
However, I’m a lot better cooking for 4, 5 or 6.
A whole onion.
A whole red pepper.
A pound of meat.
Maybe a pound of another meat.
A jar of tomatoes.

Well, you get the idea. By the time I have put in JUST ONE of everything I am inspired to add I might as well call the neighbors over to share the results.

A little-known tidbit from my distant past: I went to Cook School in Fort Lee, Virginia for 8 weeks, where we learned to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for 1,800 GIs. But, of course, that has nothing to do with this.

In addition to the inconvenience of portioning a much smaller fraction of each ingredient is the very real psychological hurdle of knowing full well that after the meal has been consumed, my tummy will be full. Whether it is a can of beans with shredded cheese on top scooped up with GMO corn chips or a handsome filet mignon 4-course meal.

The objective is one full tummy. Achieving it with the least time expenditure is simply the most efficient way to reach that goal. Then on to building, creating, inventing things that last longer than a meal.

Wonderfulness is to share the meal. I could not serve semi-warmed filler to anyone but me. I do prefer to fast before I’ll stoop to sawdust fried in canola oil or a fast food burger’n’fries, which is nutritionally indistinguishable. But for a shared meal I can turn on the creative juices … that is, when I’m cornered.

Missy owns the kitchen. She earned her way in, elbowing me out over a decade ago. But once in a while, fate tosses me back in (to HER kitchen). However, she is under the weather. My turn in the kitchen.

Breakfast was diced natural ham steak, onions, garlic, fresh-ground black pepper, sage, diced potato, fresh-range-eggs, whole-wheat sourdough toast.

Lunch was skipped. The chef was in the woodshop.

Dinner was mashed red potatoes with nature-raised-beef hamburger gravy… and onion, garlic, oregano, mushrooms, butter, garlic salt, fresh-ground black pepper.

If you noticed a somewhat spicy theme, that’s cuz I was making medicine for Missy along with the meals. But it sure was good for me, and our taste buds.

Why can’t I cook for one like that, and just fill the fridge with great leftovers?

No good reason.

But the un-good reasons just get me in and out with something occupying my stomach in the least amount of time possible. I’m not bragging. I’m not complaining. I am sure as heck not saying it is smart.

Maybe someday I will outgrow this silly pattern and take the time to enjoy the process and results. I just don’t recommend betting on it.

Meanwhile, I look forward to the chief chef resuming her role cooking well for two.