I Wonder How Chef Lonely Heart Does It

Tonight for dinner, I made this recipe. Well, half the recipe, actually. I didn't have any orange juice but there's still peach nectar hanging around from making cocktails, so I guess it's really "maple-peach chicken." I didn't use quite as much nectar as I would have O.J., to control the sweetness, and surprisingly, it turned out better than the last attempt, a year or so ago. I think the nectar helped the glaze thicken.

The usual problem I have when I half a recipe is soupiness. Maybe it's a chemistry thing, and I would need some sort of equation to show the real measurements I need to get half the servings. Halfing the recipe often doesn't cut it.

I'm glad I rediscovered the recipe, because I've been rethinking my cooking the last few days, and frankly it was starting to bum me out. I have been cooking up a storm since I moved here in March. It's great to have a kitchen that's pest-free, and has really flat burners. (It's not easy to keep from sloshing food everywhere when you can't get your pans to sit level on the stove.) But when you're the only one in the apartment, you're the one who has to eat everything. Hence the halfing, when it works. And sometimes it wasn't working, or I was trying recipes that were great because they were dairy-free, but not necessarily healthy for me.

I bought a scale yesterday, but I already knew what it was going to say before I found an even spot on the bathroom floor (again, something that my previous apartment did not have). And I just thought, how did I do this before, when I lost nearly 60 pounds? Then I remembered--I hardly cooked. I ate the same things over and over again, and there was hardly anything in my fridge. But these days I want to cook. I want there to be things in my fridge in case (please God) people come to visit. Also, and forgive me for sounding corny, but I want to be good at cooking for someone else. I did have a roommate at one point in time, but the one time I cooked for her (Thai-style chicken and green beans IIRC) she didn't feel well the next day and blamed it on me. Later I realized she was anorexic-bulimic (and trust me I am not just throwing that label out there; we're talking whole-package-92 lbs.-or-bust), and the problem was more like she wasn't used to eating more than a bowl of cereal or a cup of pasta for dinner.

I'll admit it: I do want to be able to cook for a husband, and for a family. I think there was a subconscious part of me hoping that if I became a decent cook, I'd be ready for a new relationship. A good one. The only time I'd cooked for someone I was dating in the past was the only LTR I've ever had. And even then it wasn't that often, between the time and money constraints, and the milk allergy. I know now that if someone can't respect my milk allergy, he can go pound sand. But has taken me a few years to find my way around milk-free cooking, and I'm finally starting to come into my own. I've also come into about ten unwanted pounds thanks to work, grad school, eating out too often because of the prior evil kitchen, and cooking like crazy in the new kitchen, but obviously it didn't happen overnight. And it won't come off overnight, either.

But it will come off, with one healthful recipe at a time helping.

(In case you didn't get the title reference, see here.)


Ashley said…
Kate, I remember my aunt who was 30 and unmarried. She had "no prospects" in her future, but was convinced that marriage was her vocation.

She was cheerful, faithful, and unhurried. I marveled at her trust in God. A freshman in college, I couldn't imagine being so peaceful about not having dated in ages, yet knowing marriage was my future.

I told my friends about her - she was a witness to us for trusting in God and having faith even in trying situations.

(She found a man that year at a young adults conference in the area, was married a year later, and has 2 kids less than 3 years after that.)

I'm telling you this because you never know who you're witnessing to in your time of waiting. Maybe God is using you to show others patience and grace. Maybe God is preparing your mate for you. :) (We all know it takes men much longer to mature, right?) You wouldn't have these longings if God isn't going to fulfill them. :)
Dave E. said…
The half a recipe thing generally doesn't work for me either. Outside of soup and sandwich meals, most of what I cook ends up being two or three meals(at least) and can be frozen or will keep well in the fridge for a couple of days. One of the things that I've gotten pretty good about is leftover management. It's been a while since I've had to throw something out because it wasn't good anymore.
Kate P said…
Ashley--I meant to complain about letting my weight creep up, but it turned into the single stuff again (sigh). In any event, you nailed it; patience is not one of my strong suits. But deep down (way down) I'm pretty trusting of the whole situation.

Dave--Leftover management sounds like a good skill. Have you ever frozen rice? That is the one thing I can't seem to freeze. It turns to mush when I reheat it. Frustrating.

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