Four Basic Challenges in Cooking for One: And Four Simple Solutions

Cooking for One

Cooking for one has a number of unique challenges, from not being able to finish a bottle of wine to passing up great super-sized deals. We've already discussed how to deal with a whole loaf of bread, strategies for using onions and keeping sweets in the house. We've even covered what to do when you get bored, as a solo cook. Now let's take a look at four common challenges for the solo cook and their simple solutions.1. Want to drink a glass of wine with your dinner? But not the whole bottle? Consider some of the (pretty darn good) boxed wines now readily available. The wine is held in a plastic bag which deflates as its being used, thus preventing oxygen from reaching the wine. I like Big House Red for my everyday wine.

2. Do you jealously eye super-sized items and their subsequent savings? Try splitting that extra large bag of flour or case of fresh peaches with a few friends and share in the savings. Or shop the bulk bins of your local co-op where prices can be cheaper but you can get the quantity you need. Sometimes the office or your church is a good place to share a well-priced two-fer that will net you more than you need.

3. Do your fresh vegetables start to go bad before you can eat them all?
Take the advice of Tamar Alder and do a little light prepping of everything right when you get home from the market. That way you'll be more apt to use it or to improv with some of the ingredients. It also will help a number of things last a little longer.

4. Is keeping dairy fresh also a challenge?
Try learning a few farmhouse wife skills. Turn a surplus of milk into ricotta or yogurt, use soured milk instead of buttermilk in baking, make your butter into ghee. (Of course butter freezes wonderfully, too.) For eggs, make them into a quiche, cut into individual wedges, and freeze.

What are the challenges for you in your solo kitchen and how do you deal with them?

Related: The Toaster Oven in the Solo Kitchen

(Image: Dana Velden)

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