Dinner for 2, via one saucepan and a frying pan

dinner for two
For several years now, I have relied on my microwave for cooking rice and veg, scrambling eggs, and making instant ‘stodge’ puddings.
Not having a microwave has been a challenge.

microwaveWe aren’t exactly missing out by not having the stodges, in fact they will continue to be off the menu because it means getting in the ingredients like flour, sugar, sultanas and golden syrup when I’ve got nowhere to put them.

Yesterday, we had fresh tomato pasta.
tomato pastaInto my trusty frying pan, I chopped an onion and 2 tomatoes, added a stock cube, some italian seasoning and a tablespoon of water, then let it simmer.
In my equally trusty saucepan, I put about 150g of pasta quills and covered them with boiling water.
I did not have the tomato ketchup I usually use, but that didn’t matter (and is now unnecessary).
By the time the onion was transparent, the water had cooled but the pasta had softened and so by bringing it back to the boil, it was soon cooked.
Time to prepare and cook, about 10 minutes.

Today, we had chilli, (OK, out of a tin).
The saucepan got the rice, again covered in boiling water and left.
The chilli was emptied into the frying pan, and gently brought up to heat.
With the same principle, by the time the water had cooled, the rice had softened, and thus by bringing the water back to the boil, I could switch it off and allow the rice to finish by absorbing the water.
Perfect.
Time taken, about 15 minutes.

Last week, we had chicken in black bean sauce and pillau rice.
I cheated and used a pouch of microwave rice, but cooked it in the frying pan with a tablespoon of water.
The chicken mix (again out of a tin, sorry) went in the saucepan, and was brought up to heat.
Total time for this was less than 10 minutes.

The point I am trying to make is that although a microwave would have been used before, I didn’t need one, and the old I A O came into play.
Also, the meals took much less time to prepare and cook (OK, I cheated with the tinned stuff, but at the moment I can’t really do anything else), so whether that was because of the way I cooked it or the reduced portion size is unclear at the moment as I am having to cook to my pan size (small!) rather than our previous appetites.
Saying that though, we are not going hungry.

As for scrambling eggs, I just put a little milk in the frying pan, crack in the eggs, and stir it with my spatula. It doesn’t even stick like it did in a saucepan!

When we sort out our storage, the microwave is one of the few things we intend to keep. However, IF it should prove to be too big for the boat’s kitchen, you know what?
I won’t worry about it.
I will by then have more than one saucepan, and be able to cook our meals from scratch again with basic ingredients, but cooking my rice and pasta with my newly found skills.

Because I won’t be able to cook to the same quantity as I did before, the butcher here will be in hysterics when I go in and ask for just 50g of meat for my dishes instead of the previous 100g!
bon appetit

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! We have recently lost our beloved dog Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney, and now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of my GSD so had hers done too. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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