Cooking for one or two

I just spent the last six days eating squash casserole. Now I love squash casserole and when the pattypans were calling my name at the market this week, I succumbed. I love them prepared just about any way, but decided I hadn’t had my favorite squash casserole in a long time.

So, I pulled out my grandmother’s recipe and proceeded to steam 6 cups squash, saute a whole onion, and mix everything together with three eggs and a cup of shredded cheddar. Topped it with panko breakcrumbs and baked it. It was absolutely heavenly. But it was enough for four to six people.

Don’t get me wrong. I love leftovers (I get teased for eating last night’s dinner leftovers for breakfast), but there needs to be a limit. It didn’t even occur to me to reduce the amounts in the recipe. I could have easily cut this recipe down to feed two people.

I happen to have a lovely husband who eats my cooking readily (but not squash casserole). He and I cook together and often enjoy leftovers together. But sometimes, we just make too much food and I have to give some of it away. I don’t mind doing that, but I have to be careful not to sell it as “leftovers”. That kind of puts people off. So, I try to let people know that I simply made too much and am sharing with them.

One of my projects this winter when I’m housebound is to take all my favorite recipes and convert them for two people. I can do this when I’m actually doing the cooking, but sometimes (see squash casserole above) I get so enthusiastic about the actual cooking that I forget to reduce amounts.

This isn’t a problem when I’m just cooking from my head because I naturally lean toward cooking just enough for two of us. But I do use recipes and this can be a problem (see squash casserole above).

To end the story, after several days of leftover baked squash, I couldn’t face one more day of it. So my dog reaped the benefits of squash and cheese. She loves it when I make too much food.

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