One of my New Year’s Resolutions was that I was going to love myself enough to cook well for just me. I may have gone a little overboard yesterday.
I have mixed feelings about cooking. Long ago, as a novice, I wasn’t so keen to cook. Things didn’t really turn out very well. But, as with everything, after practice and fine-tuning, I enjoyed making new recipes, and experimenting with foods. Then I sort of hit my stride, and I wasn’t afraid to tackle hard stuff. If it didn’t turn out, I would either work on the recipe a little or move on to something else.
There were years of being in a rut, cooking the same standard favorites, and being bored with cooking. Then, refreshed, I would perk up, and go about menu and meal planning with pleasure. When I became single, I didn’t bother to cook for myself. First, food was the last interest I had, and second, cooking for one is not that satisfying. Oh, I would make my favorite grilled cheese sandwiches, and my favorite fresh tomato sandwiches during the tomato season, but sandwiches and canned soup were about it.
This year, during the holidays, I regained the desire to cook, and promised that I would care enough to cook for myself. Now comes the second Friday in a row of being snow/icebound. What could be a better way to occupy a cold, icky day, but to make a pot of soup, I ask you? So, I cooked! I made potato soup. I made mashed potatoes with onions, garlic and cream cheese. I made a chicken, rice, and green bean casserole, and I made a batch of caramelized onions. Hoo-boy.
I slow cooked the chicken in my crock pot. I used my Pampered Chef slicer for the onions and garlic. I peeled potatoes, chopped celery, and I used my electric mixer for the smashed potatoes. I was generous with butter and salt. It takes over an hour to caramelize onions, so I set the timer, stood, and stirred. I heated the oven to a room-warming 350 degrees for the casserole. It was lovely.
As I was cooking, I knew that I would not be able to eat all that food. I didn’t even want any of it except the potato soup. I knew that I would have leftovers for weeks, possibly months. I knew that most of the food wasn’t particularly healthy, but all of the dishes (except the caramelized onions) were comfort foods. And I was comforted.