…Where 'La Gourmandise' is not a sin!

I’ve been trying to post the following on another blog and ran into troubles with their posting system. I’ll try again later when the phase of the moon might be better, and in the meantime I decided to post it here and expand a bit on the subject. I will come back to it in the future as it is an interesting subject that I have to deal with regularly.

Over the years I have found that the easiest way to handle cooking for two is to cook only what you need for the meal you are preparing. We always have a tendency to cook too much for fear of running out, but careful planning of portions can be done with most recipes. To do this successfully you need to know your level of appetite and roughly how much a recipe will yield. This can get tricky when you are very hungry, but after a while you can manage to gauge your appetite against your favorite recipes.

At times it is difficult to cook in smaller quantities, as some recipes cannot easily scale down, so then you should plan what you will do with the leftovers carefully ahead of time. Our normal routine in the kitchen here is to prepare larger meals on weekends when we have more time to enjoy them, and use the leftovers for our main meals during the first few days of the week. I always prepare my wife’s lunches, and normally for Monday’s lunch I use leftovers from Saturday, and Tuesday’s are the ones from Sunday. Whatever cannot be eaten within a day or two we freeze or give away.

As an example yesterday we invited my in-laws over for lunch, and I had prepared some Szechuan hot and sour soup and some chicken Cheng Tu style with some steamed rice. I had deliberately made more to use this week. After the meal, when they were gone, I put some rice in the bottom of plastic containers with the chicken dish on top. I also prepared some containers with portions of soup. There were still some leftovers so I froze some single portions for later use next week, and heated up a meal for a neighbor at lunch time today.

To recap:

1. Know how to gauge your appetite
2. Learn how to reduce the portions of your  recipes to yield less or no leftovers
3. If it is impossible to reduce the portions, then plan ahead to use the leftovers in the coming days
4. Whatever cannot be used in a few day, freeze or give away
5. Make sure that you use your frozen leftovers as it is not worth the energy to freeze them if they will not be eaten in the coming weeks
6. Get a huge dog that can become your ALDU (Automated Leftover Disposal Unit)

One of the things that is the most annoying when cooking is converting the recipes to the quantity of food you want to prepare. We are building our recipe viewer to handle this chore automatically, but since we have not decided when we will release it this does not help much right now. We are in the middle of finalizing a major new release of our business management and point of sales systems, and this is consuming all of our cycles right now. Hopefully in the coming weeks we will be able to assign some cycles to this project and announce a firm launch date. I will keep you posted.

Lucito

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