Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Cooking for 4...

So, I grew up in a family of four. One older brother, my mom and my dad. You would think that I just MIGHT be able to cook for my family of four pretty easily!

Tonight, I managed to cook just enough food for the four of us (okay, Charlotte snubbed her chili...but ate cornbread, cheese and apple juice...that's balanced, right?)

See, my mom is an AWFUL cook...she thinks that she is a pretty good cook...she's just not. She is very good at making salads...and I think she might confuse that with cooking...

When we were first married and in college, at one point my mother started cooking a week's worth of meals on the weekends. Since she was doing this, she very lovingly doubled everything and brought it to us. We ate most of it...but there was this meatloaf (I think she must have made us a couple of them) that just sat in the freezer...and sat...and was just dry and tasteless and horrible (okay, the first one of them was...we were unwilling to try the second...and THAT is saying something, because hubby will eat ANYTHING!)

So, needless to say, I needed to learn how to cook after we got married. Fortunately my MIL is a very good cook (at least when she is not setting things on fire...) but she had 4 kids and a farmer husband to cook for...she cooks (STILL, and right now it is MIL, FIL and a very skinny German exchange student who doesn't eat very much) easily for 8 at virtually every meal. This is how I learned to cook!

When MIL gives us hamburger or other meat, it all comes in 2 lb-ish packages. She often uses 2 packages...I only use one, so I guess I cook generously for 5-6. Normally when I make chili, I put in 5 cans of beans (I really should switch to dry, but I'm just too lazy!). We almost always have leftovers of something.

So, tonight I used a 1 lb package of organic all beef chili from SHARE...but I didn't think that would be quite enough for us. So, trying to be conservative, I added one can of beans, 2 T of leftover tomato paste and about 1/2 c of water. I also made an 8 x 8 dish of cornbread. After I filled the girl's bowls with small portions, and our bowls with larger, but not excessive portions...there was nothing left in the pot! I was shocked!!!

Now, if only there had been some cornbread leftovers...but for some reason, there never are!

I told hubby that I really should learn how to cook for 4, but I guess I kinda do like having leftovers around so I can tell everyone to fend for themselves!

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