Saturday, March 01, 2008

Blog Concept

Taking off from this post by ??!, and also following a conversation BM, Ludwig and I had at (or should that be 'in'?) Paradise, regarding Blogs We Wish Existed, here's a blog concept that someone can have for free.

What happened was this: the guy came to take the order and I asked for the Paradise Special Mutton Biryani. The guy looked at each of us carefully and then said, it will be enough for three people. Are you sure that's what you want to order? Considering that there were three of us at the table, this ought to sound weird; but my respect for these folks and their grasp on the Physiology of the Individual went up by several points. We quickly ordered a normal biryani and other veg stuff for me.

Which brought us to the endlessly interesting topic of, how do single people cook for themselves? Ludwig related an incident, with tears in his eyes, about the time he asked the vegetable seller for three green chillies and she laughed at him. Take them, she said as she dropped them in his trembling palm and he hid them in his kurta pocket.

We complained to each other about how hard it is to buy just two tomatoes, five onions, one quarter of a cabbage; how impossible it is to find bartans in which to cook miniscule quantities of food without either burning it or drowning it in oil. As we shared stories of fridges stuffed with old food that we didn't even dare to look at, we grew more excited and voluble. Ludwig - who clearly felt more than BM and I, said rather bitterly, that even dabbas were out, because the woman in his building was rather like an atomic reactor who could not be stopped once she was set off. Dabba after dabba would line every shelf in his fridge, and lie uneaten as he went and drowned his sorrows (and stomach bugs) in beer.

Label the dabbas, I suggested. Like expressed milk. That grossed Ludwig out.

So my point is this:

Can someone please start a blog that tells you where to get stuff enough for only one person; that tells you how to cook for one person eating one meal; ingredients, measurements, strategies?

Now restaurants have it easy: they can decorate one plate for one person, but they have large quantities of the stuff backstage. What does a person living alone do, who does not want to eat even vengaya sambar for more than one meal?

Great idea, no? Go to it (and, on second thoughts, send back 10% of the royalties).


Anonymous said...

- freeze unused vegetables
- buy veggies with other single friends (so two people can buy a cabbage)
- throw away leftovers

Although, I can never understand why anyone would not love the idea of being able to cook for 3 meals at a time :)

dipali said...

I personally believe that the fridge and freezer are very useful inventions, which make left-overs into a desirable commodity.
I do use a tiny, one litre pressure cooker to make as small a quantity as possible of the few veggies that my father is able to eat. But we still generate some left-overs. A great way of recycling is to knead
leftover dals and vegetables with atta, add a little salt and spices, and make yummy, nutritious paratha or chapathis. (As each of my kids left the nest, I really had to train myself to cook smaller and smaller quantities0. And raw veggies survive in the fridge for a few days. I've seen cut cabbages being sold in both Chennai and Kolkata, but at local vendors,not in supermarkets.

dipali said...

Cling film covered cut fruit and vegetables do stay quite fresh in the fridge for a longer time than if the cut surfaces are left exposed.

Rahul said...

These days, at quite a few shops in Chennai, it is possible to buy small numbers of tomatoes etc by weight (eg, 139 gms). But of course the quality is usually better at the subziwala.

Anyway, with a good fridge you don't have to consume the veggies the same day
-- they stay a week, if you don't suffer extended power cuts and don't leave the fridge open for minutes at a time while transporting things in and out. I never leave the fridge open for more than a few seconds.

When I was single I used to eat what I cooked for 2-3 days. As lekhni says, what's wrong with that? Even better, stagger the cooking so that you cook one dish every day, but it stays for 2-3 days: every day you get a slightly different 3-item meal, at least part of it fresh.

Space Bar said...

lekhni, dipali, rahul: yes, fridge; yes, cook and eat for two-three meals. but that's terrible! don't you get tired of earting the same thing over and over again? i did.

also this fridge thing. i found that i'd buy more veggies than i needed, strictly speaking, and throw them out once they'd shrivelled into some yucky looking thing. or give away the rest of the stuff i'd cooked once i'd tired of eating it more than twice.

the thing is, food for singles is often tedious to cook and difficult to buy in small enough quantities. it's also just too much effort. which is a pity, no? i'd imagine a blog that makes the process fun, easy and inventive must have an audience.

Ludwig said...

1. It is impossible to cook in 1 person meal quanta.

> on't you get tired of earting
> the same thing over and over
> again? i did.

I normally never 'eart' the same thing over and over again, if I can help it. I am not quite sure what it means to 'eart' something. Is it good?

Hee hee.

However: I have been frequently known to be eating the same thing on Thursday that emanated from the kitchen on Sunday. There is no shame in this. 90% of the time, the hassle of the cooking > the pain of the earting.

3. The question of maintaining a single person fridge full of perishables is of vital importance. The Single Person Cold Storage Supply Chain. I am writing a monograph on the subject.

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

My 'umble two-bits worth.

1 - Plan for the week
2 - Use the fridge
3 - Use the micro-wave

During my brief experience of living alone, I'd cook 5 or 6 different things at one go and store meal-combos for the entire week. (In Tupperware, but don't hold that against me.)

Worked for me.


Space Bar said...

van me man: not if it's left overs; not even earting will save it. look forward to the monograph.

jap: *somebody pinch me! Look who's here!* i have a deep prejudice against microwaves. my loss, i know. and 'plan for the week'? what's that?! (good to see you back)