Saturday, September 16, 2023

A Little Education In Our Bodacious Kitchen

At this time last year, Lisa was working for a company she had been with for over 20 years. Manager. Second shift. I use the term "second shift" loosely because she would be gone most nights for 10-12 hours. Sometimes more. 

During that period in our lives, I would prepare meals the night before for the following day. We ate our big meal around noon-ish. I never had to worry about making too much because Lisa took leftovers to work for "dinner." And, if there were more than enough leftovers, I would pack them up for her coworkers. 

When Lisa left that company the first week of January, she took a couple of months off. I had to quickly adjust to making smaller meals. Much. Much. Smaller meals. 

I will be the first to admit, it wasn't easy. For many years, I cooked meals without thinking about how much I made. I didn't have to. 

But. Suddenly, I did. 

Lisa didn't need work dinners. There were no coworkers to pass on the extra leftovers to. I had to learn how to cut down on what I made. Drastically. As in making just enough for us to have for a single dinner. Or. At the most, leftovers for the following evening.

This was important to me because I hate throwing away food. It irritates me to no end. 

A decent portion of making this happen was paying closer attention when I planned our weekly menu. This is something I have done for years. It makes our weekly grocery shopping a lot easier and I can plan meals around sales, seasonal produce, and our Farmer's Market hauls. 

Obviously, there is very little seasonal, and Farmer's Market produce in January. During the cold weather months, I made pots of soup and meals that I was able to cook in the oven. 

In small batches. 

We also had a mild winter. At least once a week, Lisa cooked out on the grill. Grilled chicken and steak freeze very well. I would freeze several batches to use throughout the week for salads, fajitas, quesadillas, stir fry, etc. 

The first week of March, Lisa was offered a first-shift position with a company at the top of her list. The big topic of discussion was what she wanted for her work lunches. Leftovers or sandwiches. Lisa wanted sandwiches. That worked out beautifully because I could keep honing up on my single-meal skills. 

It has been over 7 months since. I am fairly confident in saying that I have almost nailed it. There have been weeks when I have made too much salad or dinner. We've had to throw away tiny amounts of food. 


I'm not going to be too hard on myself. There was very little time to acclimate from one schedule to the next and the next. 

There is no such thing as perfection. 

Life is about living and learning. 

There is always room for improvement. 

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