I'm 60 years old and single. I'm an adept microwaver of frozen meals. I'm a disaster at pretty much everything else in the kitchen. This introductory post will present some info about me. The next post will discuss the cooking tools I've got around here. And future posts will discuss my cooking efforts, what I did and where I strayed from a recipe. I invite comments, suggestions, and guidance from people who know more about cooking than I do. (That's pretty much everyone.)
My favorite kitchen appliance.
I work from home these days. I'd like to eat healthier than I do at present. My income is severely restricted and since I'm just cooking for one, I will be looking for recipes that freeze well or otherwise lend themselves to leftovers.
I have a sweet tooth, but I'm trying to cut back on sugar consumption. (That's cut back on sugar--not cut out sugar.) I'm not planning to bake cakes or fancy desserts, though: I don't need either the calories or the expense. When I want something sweet to eat, I'll settle for a granola bar, for oatmeal with maple syrup, or for a popsicle.
I've been a heavy-duty consumer of Diet Coke for decades. I'm trying to cut back on it, and for the last ten days or so have been drinking instant drink mixes--iced peach-flavored tea, tea with lemon, lemonade, etc. They're sweetened with aspartame, which I know a lot of people don't approve of. But the last thing I need is a lot of real sugar on my teeth, I drink almost constantly (no, not diabetes--it's been checked), and even if I move to drinking herbal teas or something, I'm going to be sweetening those drinks with not-sugar. And if you were thinking of recommending xylitol as a substitute for aspartame, you should know that I won't allow xylitol in the house: I have dogs, and xylitol--even in small quantities--is fatal to dogs.
Cutting out the Diet Coke means I'm getting less caffeine. I just heard a doctor tell my mother that the caffeine in about three cups of regular coffee is good for a person's mental acuity. (You can't imagine what a relief that was to my mother.) But the caffeine in tea and soft drinks doesn't work the same way; it has to be from coffee, and I don't like coffee. I've tried. With lots of milk and sugar, it's okay, but that doesn't help. I can drink the cappuccino mix, pseudo coffees that have the merest trace of actual coffee, but I'm pretty sure that's not what the doctor meant. (The doctor also recommended less white flour and refined sugar.)
I don't drink alcohol. Like the taste of coffee, the taste of alcohol is not something I've learned to enjoy, and the smell can make me quite queasy. (But, given my dislike of coffee and alcohol, how did I wind up with a bottle of Kahlua in my pantry? Every now and again, I'll drink a glass of milk flavored with a bit of Kahlua.) Anyway, there aren't a lot of cooking sherries or wines in my pantry.
I've got a mental block about things that have a gritty texture: strawberries and pears, especially. (And tomatoes.) Love the flavor and the taste, hate the texture.
And no raisins. Really. When I was a kid, I was anemic, and raisins are a good source of iron. The doctor ordered me to eat a handful a day. My mother's idea of a handful and my idea of a handful were very different things. If forced (by politeness) to eat something with raisins in it, I swallow the raisins without chewing them.