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Old 09-09-2011, 12:16 PM   #21
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Thanks, all. I live in the country, and not having enough food is a 25 mi. roundtrip to the nearest town, so I do worry about someone showing up.

I have several Cooking for Two books, and some I enjoy (ATK's books seem to be the best) but even they make more than we can eat.

DH will not take sandwiches for lunch, so one day of leftovers is fine, but not on-going, and it seems wasteful.

I am trying to cut portions, and I think the 4/3/2 idea is good. I'll start trying that.

I just seem to be stuck on "it's just as easy to make for 4 or 6, as it is for two......"

Thank you all for you ideas and comments.
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Old 09-09-2011, 02:14 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SherryDAmore View Post
...I just seem to be stuck on "it's just as easy to make for 4 or 6, as it is for two......"

Thank you all for you ideas and comments.

Sherry, in a lot of cases it is just as easy to cook for 4 or 6. However, if DH won't eat leftovers, you're wasting food if you don't freeze the extra for another meal. It also costs more to cook for 4 or 6 so you have to consider your budget.
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Old 09-09-2011, 03:02 PM   #23
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as various folks have chimed in on the "For Two" issue - there's more than one factor to the whole idea.

I personally don't like to accumulate lots of left overs. There are exceptions - stuff like lasagna and (some) stews - we think - "improve" with a bit of aging. gives the flavors more time to blend. something like a roasted chicken does well for "chicken salad" - nice for the third day on lettuce with cottage cheese - also does well for sandwiches - but some cooks can't sell a sandwich (g)
home made mac&cheese is another which we do intentionally "with planned leftovers."

broiled fish does is not such a good candidate for leftovers.... we fortunately have a 'fish counter' where I can get them to slice off what I want - for two, I go for something on the order of one pound fresh fish. rarely I see domestic fresh never frozen shrimp - it's immediately on the menu. but I've got a bag of frozen shrimp where I can count out 12 or 20 shrimp & thaw at home - aside: one day I saw the fish people opening frozen bags and putting them on trays in the counter....so what's the diff if I just keep the bag frozen at home? (well, other than often times the 'was frozen' stuff under glass is on sale and cheaper per pound than the shelf price.....win some, lose some...)

I'm also a familar face at the butcher counter and/or the local independent butcher shop - I can get a small roast cut - don't need a 20 lb roast.... steaks - one big one, cut for two... pork chops - often difficult to find 2-3 chops in a package - so I go to the counter and ask - it's about the only way to get bone in chops comma anyway!

there's no question that I could save $/lb buying "the family / economy pack" - but if it winds up being tossed.... where's the savings?

on the lasagna thing - if you haven't, do try the "no boil / pasta precook" method. I can make a 9x9 pan - dinner and a left over - much easier / faster / simpler than the pre-cook pasta route - break the pasta strips as needed.... it's kinda' like "dump pasta" - add 1 cup water to 1 jar of pasta sauce to provide enough moisture.

mashed potatoes - not a bad leftover - but easy enough to 'do for two' - I use a hand ricer vs. dragging out the mixer. also means no peeling - quarter/cook the potatoes, the skins don't go thru the ricer....

I should have taken a second pix of this one - out of the oven, on the plate, cleaned out to the last crumb, not even two crumbs left (g)
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Old 09-09-2011, 03:51 PM   #24
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certain things lend themselves to proportionate planning.

i was just prepping 2 racks of spare ribs to be put on the smoker tomorrow. 1 rack per person (actually we get 3 portions out of 2 whole racks as dw and my boy more or less split a rack). but with 2 hungry adults, 1 rack per person.

another thing is small whole fish, either baked, broiled, or grilled. again, 1 fish per person. whole trout, red snapper, or whiting are good for a single serving as many markets sell them fairly small.

all you need to do is make the sides such as mashed or nuked potatoes, steamed veggies, and a small salad to accompany the protein.

if someone drops by, make a much bigger salad and top with cold cuts, let everyone share the ribs or fish, or hit the freezer for all of the aforementioned leftovers.
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Old 09-09-2011, 04:07 PM   #25
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another proportionate meat is cornish game hens. they sell them in two packs near me.

if 2 guests show up, halve them (the hens, not the guests) and double up on the mashed potatoes and gravy.
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Old 09-09-2011, 04:37 PM   #26
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SherryDamore

I was half kidding when I said to pick up the phone and order a pizza.

I spent many years in the country and we always maintained what was referred to as the emergency shelf. It contained some tuna, canned meat, cream soups,canned milk, sauce mixes, noodles, nibbles and nuts. Enough food to make a couple of TNT meals that most people will eat. If we got caught by a blizzard or if someone dropped in at least we could pull together a tuna noodle casserole or some such item. Today we have so many options in the stores that it should be easy to put together a couple of shelf stable meals to keep on hand. Just remember to rotate your stock and replace anything you "borrow".

Any big change involving a life long routine is hard at first. It takes some time but, we all find our own unique way of dealing with it.

Good luck!
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Old 09-09-2011, 04:47 PM   #27
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salad is an interesting side bar - - - I very much prefer a mix of greens. iceberg lettuce rarely makes it into a salad around here. romaine, loose leaf, spinach, boston bibb if I'm feeling rich, arugula, maybe a touch of endive, etc.

and the problem is, a head is a head and what does one do with 0.3567 of a left-over head? so I construct the ingredients "dry" - that is to say, no wet sloppy stuff or stuff that wilts when you look at it in "the big bowl" - greens, celery, onion, (seasonings/salt/pepper) perhaps green/red pepper - but no tomato/cukes/mushrooms/dressing. the "dry mix" will keep several days - covered - in the fridge. I just add in the "wet stuff" as we eat (a portion of) the "dry stuff"
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