Monday, January 9, 2012

The Continuing Saga of Life on My Own

Due to all the other events that happened in the final three months of 2011 I think I really neglected talking about living on my own. Sure, I had a post or two, but I don't think I have really talked about it. Then again I don't remember what I write so I might. Regardless, today's post is about living on my own and food.

When I lived at my dad's I ate about two meals a day. I've never had a need to eat all day or snack as I would eat one small meal and then a lot of dinner. That was then.

Currently food is something that is becoming difficult for me. I do have food, but it is all in soup and other canned ready to be made foods like Chef Boyardee. The problem with this is that I can eat, but then 30-60 minutes later I feel worse than when I ate and then I get even hungrier.

So I'm in a pickle right now; I need to make better meals but I have no cooking skills. Rob sent me two books for Christmas, Where's Mom Now That I Need Her? and Food Network's How To Boil Water: life beyond takeout. I need to get reading on the cookbook, but the problem is that, just as I have no idea how to use tools of any sort, I too have no idea how to read a recipe. On top of that I have a slight phobia of cooking, well, not the cooking itself but the gray area decision making that goes into cooking. I panic when a soup can reads, "Cook 2-3 minutes or until warm." What is it? Is it 2? 3? Or before 2? Also, what constitutes warm?

The weekends are the hardest days for me to handle meals. Yesterday I think I ate five different small meals. I started with a bowl of cereal, then I had a frozen meal of five cheese rigatoni, after that a bowl of soup, then Chef Boyardee ravioli and after all that I had to have a cup of chili and then before bed another bowl of cereal and then a cheese tortilla. I don't think I ever had that many meals in a day, but I never felt as if I had had enough to eat.

So the saga will continue on. Since I started writing this I've started to feel rather ill and have sneezed four times so maybe I am getting sick and if that's the case maybe that explains yesterday's food issues. Regardless of that I know I want different meals that I can turn to. I have yet to turn on the stove or buy any meal that isn't in a can or frozen. It's something I want to do though even though I have no knowledge of how to do so. As it stands though, right now, all cooking is French to me (ha!) and I don't know my tsp. from my sliced, diced, and chunked.


  1. Hi Aaron,
    If you have no knowledge of cooking, you may want to check out this site: I find the recipes very logical and easy to follow. No 2-3 minutes here. It's all very precise.

  2. Thanks for the advice and link. I will have a good look at it.

  3. Next time you're in town, let's figure out some easy meals that will work for you and I'll give you some cooking lessons (it's not nearly as mysterious as you are imagining - but until I met Neaizy I too thought it was something technically advanced that was beyond me). Salmon is one of the easiest meals on earth to cook and there are plenty of other things that I think you will not find overwhelming to prepare that will not leave you feeling horrible. Most of the foods you are eating are very low on calories and nutrients, and mostly full of water, so that is why you are feeling poorly after you eat them. *And if you pay attention and do a good job, there just might be a game of Wheel of Fortune in it for you! :)

  4. If you have a question during the recipe,you may also call your mum.

  5. Maybe you can check with a local community college or something similar to see if they offer some basic cooking course.

  6. It doesn't look good for that game of wheel. After hearing "I'm never playing again" I brought it back to saint Louis and it currently sits on eBay.

  7. I have thought about a college like that. The plus side would be I could practice and if I set a fire it isn't my place in jeopardy.

  8. That's one way to look at it....LOL. Hopefully that wouldn't happen.

    Check with some of the organizations in the area. I'm sure there is some place that you would qualify for some type of services to help you with this. Maybe ARC?

  9. The way I'm teaching myself to cook is to simply ask my parents if they can teach me. I ask them if we can cook together and if they can explain me while we're at it. Slowly but surely I'm making more and more meals myself.
    So maybe that's an idea too, to ask your parents if you can stop by to have them teach you some cooking basics.
    Pro-tip: Pasta is easy as pie. (actually I never understood this, a pie is very difficult to make!) Buy a pack of pasta and some cubes of ham or spam and a pot of pasta sauce.
    Boil your water. Take the lid off and put the pasta in. Let it boil for as long as it says on the package (usually 10 minutes). While it's boiling, stir it every once in a while. (if you need a specific time, you can take every 2 minutes)
    When it's done, put the whole content of the pan in a... *uses a translator* colandor? strainer? It's a plastic thing with littles holes in them...
    Then poor a little bit (need a specific amount? One soupspoon full is more than enough) of olive oil over your pasta and stir it through the pasta. This will prevent it from getting all sticky.

    At the moment you put in your pasta, pour the pasta souce in another pan. Then warm the pan. (yes, in that order... If you let it get warm first you'll have it burned and get a vulcano effect... happened to me)
    Don't let the pan boil, so half heat is good enough. It simply needs to get warm. When your pasta is in the pan for 5 minutes, add the cubes of ham or spam to the saucepan. (I usually do it at this time, to prevent flavour getting out of the ham)
    Just like you stir your pasta every 2 minutes, do so with your sauce too.
    If your sauce ends up being warm earlier than your pasta being done, that's ok. Just let it sit on the heater, pasta sauce won't vaporise.

    This is the first recipe I ever learned. It only takes looking after 2 pans and has very minimum preparing time. Maybe this helps.

  10. My 17 yr old daughter is an eating machine. She has taught herself to cook basic foods because I only cook once a day. I have told her I'm not a caterer.