You might also like

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Out of left overs

               
I am not the cookerer in this house, and that is a happy circumstance. I don’t care for cooking, and people don’t care for my cooking, so it works out all around.

The cook of record likes to eat, as does her grandmother, but the cook has discovered one does not become a chef overnight and learning to cook is the same process as any sort of education, not always interesting to achieve.

We would eat pasta in cheese sauce every night, if the grocery procurer would allow. Her second go to is soup, and we do have a lot of that. Soups are adequate; a box of broth, some diced meat, some ready at hand vegetables like spinach or broccoli, onions, carrots.

The opportunity for disaster occurs in the spice cupboard. The cookerer has most every spice known to men. She fancied herself the master of their use, but we ate so many spice disasters, she’s retreated to minimal seasoning.



I hoped to find her some cooking classes this summer. But, the national park is not offering cooking camp again. There are two cooking schools in the area, but the summer camps are geared to a much younger age, and guarantee perfect hot dogs or mac and cheese. Beth probably can rustle up some classes for the summer, and it’s only February, so I can let this one go for a bit.

There is a considerable absence of dishes I like. If the cookerer doesn’t like it, it doesn’t happen. But I can be persistent, and then amused when, months later, I find mushrooms, for instance, appearing regularly.  

We’re  open to anything that features bacon. I found a recipe for pasta with bacon and peas. Because I would not put bacon in the cart unless the peas came too, I am pleased to say not only did peas cross the threshold, they probably will continue to do so.

My sister made a little casserole I loved; cottage cheese and noodles. I’ve been promoting it for several weeks, but it hasn’t materialized, though the recipe languishes on the kitchen table. Today the cookerer is off with her mother, and I announced I would make cottage cheese and noodles for myself.  I asked if we had everything. “Probably,” on her way out the door.

Only noodles were in house. I went out for cottage cheese, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce and tarragon in order to proceed. It’s in the oven now, and smells wonderful.


I have to admit, if I were the cook, it wouldn’t happen. My fingers fumble to open anything, spoons fly from my hands, and by the time I was through standing for twenty minutes, my back was screaming. Time to knit and watch TV.

33 comments:

  1. Hari OM
    Yes it's the spine-ache which gets me in the end... used to spend whole days working at the stove, testing and tasting! Laura has the ability, but as you say, the guidance needs to be there. Dang, if it weren't for an ocean......... YAM xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm not a cook either, never been a good mixer or followed directions very well. I can put anything on a pan at the right temp though

    ReplyDelete
  3. Plenty of baking powder I see. Chuck some in a glassfull of vinegar. It's fun.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I just said, at lunch which was fixed by hubby, that the cook gets to decide what we eat. I dislike garbanzo beans, but they show up in Minestrone soup, which is what we had for lunch, so I had to eat them.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love to cook, but had never cooked anything when we first got married and my poor husband endured some pretty awful meals as I learned. But he never complained.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's sadly true that the cook decides the meal. That's why I do all the cooking!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Do the usual, tried and true: "Joy of Cooking". any Julia Childs, "The vegitarian cookbook' vols 1&2, etc. Look up combinations of spices on google, learn how cinnamon, ginger and garlic can complement each other, etc.
    Most important, don't let her let herself get caught in grooves, where she isn't trying new things.
    Eat anything....I've eaten raw fish, bbq puppy in Hong Kong, every fowl on earth, and even chitlins...and I'm the better for it.
    Dining, eating, is one of the last expressions we have to indulge, don't waste it.
    Cheers,
    Mike

    ReplyDelete
  8. Replies
    1. 1 T butter
      1 medium onion, diced small
      1 garlic clove, minced
      1 c. creamy cottage cheese
      1 c. sour cream
      1 t. worchestershire sauce
      1/4 t. pepper
      1 t fresh tarragon or 1/4 t dried
      16 oz. fine noodles, cooked and drained

      Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease a 2 qt. casserole
      Saute onions & garlic in butter. Mix all together, and bake covered for 30 min.

      See Carol, below.
      :-)

      Delete
    2. 1 T butter
      1 medium onion, diced small
      1 garlic clove, minced
      1 c. creamy cottage cheese
      1 c. sour cream
      1 t. worchestershire sauce
      1/4 t. pepper
      1 t fresh tarragon or 1/4 t dried
      16 oz. fine noodles, cooked and drained

      Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease a 2 qt. casserole
      Saute onions & garlic in butter. Mix all together, and bake covered for 30 min.

      See Carol, below.
      :-)

      Delete
    3. Looks good. Thank you, Joanne.

      Delete
  9. Being a bachelor for a few years taught me that garlic powder, onion salt and salt and pepper are the only essential spices. Of course you eventually need chili powder and turmeric. Oregano, basil if you want to eat Italian. I will never be a gourmet but I can stir up something eatable when I need too! They should teach cooking in high school and make boys and girls take a couple of classes.Of course, they should teach a lot of stuff in my opinion. When you get hungry you can't lick the computer keyboard for nourishment! ha ha ha ha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Back in the 1960's, they did teach cooking in high school. Girls took that, in Home Ec class, and boys took Shop. One year was required, but I think it was possible to take Home Ec for all 4 years of high school. Sewing was included, too.

      Delete
    2. I remember high school cooking classes. We learned to make sponge cake, apple crisp..My dad was disgusted, why can't they teach you how to cook a dinner?

      Delete
  10. Mmmmmmm, noodles and cottage cheese!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love cottage cheese, HeWho does not. I worked outside all day, so we had Chinese take out. If HeWho had his way, we would have that every day. Good thing I enjoy cooking.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Maybe buy her a cookbook of simple but tasty recipes 30 minutes or less to prepare? I get overwhelmed if there are a lot of ingredients and it takes a lot of time to prepare a meal. Keep it simple, thus 30 minutes or less. I'm not the cook in the family. I can prepare and follow a recipe but basically I absolutely am not fond of the whole ordeal. Hubby enjoys cooking. Unfortunately his commute these days is a long one so I find myself doing most of the cooking through the week. The solution, a meal that can last 2 days. Thankfully he'll cook on the weekends and we go on Friday nights. That's usually only 2 days of meal preparing I have to do :)

    betty

    ReplyDelete
  13. I used to love to cook, even if things didn't turn out quite as expected, it was still edible. Baking was fun too, apple pies, cheesecakes, brownies, cakes.
    Now that I have an electric oven and hotplates, I hate cooking and do it only because I like to eat.

    ReplyDelete
  14. These days, you can watch any number of cooking / baking videos on the internet. Even an old hand like me has watched the odd video for something I wanted to try out. I actually don't mind cooking. Some of the best meals were what have been called over the years, "Mom's Throw Togethers". I like following a recipe, but I don't have to. Your "cook" will develop her skills on a need-to-know basis and she'll learn which spices and herbs tend to go with what. I take my hat off to her. Neither one of my kids showed (or are showing) an interest in learning. -Jenn

    ReplyDelete
  15. We had one year of compulsory cooking lessons at school. Eventually i managed to blow up the oven and was banished to the library.
    I learned to cook a a student - poverty and desperation - and love it now. My only problem being that my husband likes to choose what we eat....everlasting Indian recipes. Fine in themselves, but day after day I would like a change.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I taught myself to cook and do so for 40 years. I no longer enjoy it. I did learn to use spices sparingly. Just a hint of the flavor.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I cooked pretty much three meals a day for five people for decades and enjoyed it. Still do, but do it much less. I sit to cut up vegetables nowadays and find a slow cooker a blessing. Your cottage cheese recipe is a lot like Hungarian turos Csusza which we always liked. It can also make a stuffing for crepes, but considering how long it took me to learn to make them properly, the with noodles version may be best. There are a lot, thousands of cooking videos online. Jacques Pepin on YouTube is great. Crustless quiche is also a good thing to know because it can use up the veggies you want to have used up, just like soups can.

    ReplyDelete
  18. after being the cook while the kids were growing up and for many years after I decided I was done with that so the husband became the cook. he would get hungry before I would. but his meals are very plain though nourishing. lately I've been making some casseroles with plenty left over for the freezer to perk up the occasional meal.

    ReplyDelete
  19. She/he in the household who is the cook, holds the power.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I don't like to cook, but the other resident likes to cook.I don't often like what he cooks, but I keep my voice out of it and eat what is put before me. Baking is my thing, but neither of us eat baked goods (I'm also gluten intolerant)...

    ReplyDelete
  21. I like cooking simple things. I hate fussy recipes. Husband cooks on Saturdays.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Could Cookerer find new inspirations in Fave recipes of Celebs or some such? More formal books and magazines can be intimidating.
    Golden rule on spices is that none should stand out above the others. That and "taste as you go".
    I enjoy cooking as a creative outlet, combining recipes in my own way, also as a sharing, caring act.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am the main cook in my house. I am so happy when my son decides to take a turn I am thrilled. I also keep things handy for those times when there is no time or I just don't feel like cooking. I sometimes think that if I lived alone I would eat nothing but cereal.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Your recipe sounds good! I am the cooker in this house. The girl hasn't shown an interest yet!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh I so understand. At one time, I cooked, enjoyed it sometimes. Pie I loved to make. But now? My husband is pretty darn good now.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I like to cook and have had 2 original recipes of mine published in the newspaper. Lots of fun.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Was it good? It sounded good. I wish I had a cookerer. I like to cook but I'm like your cookerer-I prefer to cook things I like. But I'm also the mom, so I have to be more fair. I think. Do I?

    ReplyDelete
  28. THere's a little restaurant near us that does cooking camp for kids in summer, and they do such imaginative stuff! Hope you can find something like that near you. :)

    ReplyDelete