Tips – Meals for One
Using Half a Package of spice.
When cooking for one, there are many issues which arise both good and bad that require flexible solutions. I needed 1/2 package of taco seasoning in my Salsa Chicken. As I was playing with the package, the solution became obvious. Play with the package until all the lump are broke up, smooth it out over the whole package so it’s fairly even; then fold the package in half and use a pair of scissors to cut along the fold line. Stick the unused portion in a zip-lock snack bag and return it to the refrigerator.
Knives for One.
Actually, I believe all knives are only meant for one person. Dolores used those cheap knives that she would toss when they got dull. I have two set’s of knives that I use on a regular basis. One is 130 years old and were hand made in Italy and used by her grandfather in his butcher shop. When I butchered for myself or cut up large pieces of meat those knives were indispensable.
The other set is imported German steel which I use on a daily basis. The only problem Dolores and I had with knives is she thought that knives should be in a drawer out of the reach of children. The problem with that is every time the drawer opened the knives bounced around and got dull or worse yet, nicks in the blade. I kept telling her there was a Darwinian solution to kids playing with knives but she never listend to me and the knives were always returned to the drawer.
Now that I’m cooking for one all knives are honed before use and immediately cleaned up when not in use and hung on the wall. Here is a picture of the knives as they came out of the drawer before they went for professional sharpening.
And here is a picture of the knives happy in their new home on display where I can always find the one I want.
Divide into portions Right Away
I am starting to get organized enough to divide the meat I buy into portion controlled packages as soon as I buy it. For example I am now buing one pound packages of ground meat and dividing them right away.
Step one smooth out the meat in the package while it is still wrapped so it’s not so messy.
Carefully unwrap the package so you can mark the bottom to identify the meat. You need to leave the clear plastic intact, so you can turn the package back over without making a mess. P is for ground pork.
Step 3 is to cut the package into quarters.
Step 4, Put the meat in a sandwich bag and freeze the portions you will not use right away. In my case, the markings are simple. V is veal, P is pork and B is beef.
Opening a Can with a Knife.
This is an old Boy Scout trick that works well for hotel cooking. Yes, you are allowed to carry a knife in checked luggage along with a cork screw and there is no way you can prepare uncooked food with only a plastic knife.
In step 1, you hold the knife between your thumb and forefinger with the blade away from your palm. Exert down-ward pressure on the can with your palm so the can doesn’t move.
You then give a sharp hit to the end of the handle with the hard part of your palm.
The next step is to use the knife as a saw exerting forward pressure on the down-stroke as you saw around he outside edge. This was a very cheep knife so anything above a dinner knife will do.
When the can is almost open insert the knife in the cut and pry up the lid.