Thursday, December 16, 2010

Why I Don't Cook More Often

I eat out a lot.  Prolly way more than I should, actually, but I do eat well.  I'll admit to making a couple o' runs a month to Mickey Dee's and I'm not unknown at our local taqueria, either.  But I generally patronize "real" restaurants when eating out and I do this mostly because I can.

That said, I'm no stranger in the kitchen and I'm a pretty danged good cook, if I say so myself.  I pretty much taught The Second Mrs. Pennington how to cook (remind me to tell you sometime about the first meal she ever tried to cook for me, the short of it being she fixed lasagna, without boiling the lasagna noodles first.  Yeah: inedible.  School commenced the following day.) and I had my regular turn in the kitchen when I lived a conventional, i.e., married, life.

But these days?  I'm lucky if I actually cook... as opposed to "nuke"... dinner more than once a week.  You might ask why and here's part of the answer:

Cooking is a major PITA when you have VERY limited space in which to work.  The pic above is about halfway through the process of dinner preparation, and I was making a salad when I took the pic.  What went before was paring the pork chops, cutting bacon into one-inch squares, and slicing the onion used in the dish.  All that stuff stacked in the sink (bread, etc., on the left) is the contents of my breadbox (aka the nuker), which was heating up a bowl of beets when I took this pic.  Stuff used in previous steps has already been washed and is in the drainer.

So what's for dinner?  This is the entree:

That's a couple of thick center cut pork chops smothered in sauerkraut after being browned in bacon fat for a minute a side... simmer for 20 minutes and serve.  There's also half an onion lurking in there, along with two cloves of crushed garlic.  And the bacon bits, of course.  We don't throw much away.

Dinner is served:

Yum.  Fixing this was a pain but the results were worth it!

I might be motivated to cook more often if I lived in an RV with a kitchen like this:

Just look at that counter space!  (Sigh)


  1. I have to tell you that I don't have much more counter space than you. My stove is a small apartment size. I do have a large table, but usually half of it is covered in art stuff or something. I long for the day when my new kitchen is in.

    Beets! Really?

  2. I might be motivated to cook more often if I lived in an RV with a kitchen like this

    Getcha one! Honestly, we only have about four feet of usable countertop in our kitchen...which gets quite the workout with a house full of males. BTW, they ALL know how to cook, and are good at it. Their Momma figured they'd all be bachelors, and she was right.

    That is a fine-looking meal, sir. I've always heard that it's hard to get motivated to cook for one, so I understand the reluctance. But sometimes, takee-outee just don't do it, huh.

  3. I know the feeling, sometimes. While our kitchen is large enough for your general run-of-the-mill dinner prep, when I do Thanksgiving... That's when I pile things on every available surface and have to be careful when I turn around so I don't knock something onto the linoleum with my elbow.

    Also, I empathize with the non-cooking wife thing. I do 98% of the cooking (by choice) because MY WIFE, while very talented in other areas, does only a couple of things decently in the kitchen (and one of them does not involve food, unless we're being very adventurous.)

  4. First, that looks delicious.
    Second cooking for one is almost more of a hassle than it's worth. You go to all that work and by the time it's ready you don't want it any more.
    When I lived out on the farm I had a rather large kitchen and a free standing cherry chopping block that were put to a whole lot of use (I like to make my own pasta for lasagne, canneloni, spaghetti, etc., spaghetti sauce and black bean soup for the freezer; kind of my own TV dinners) and then I moved in to town. With a kitchen the size of a postage stamp. Any of the enjoyment of cooking quickly went out the window.
    The non-cooking spouse? My Mother can't cook to save her life (though Lord knows she tries) and you're never quite sure what the heck she's going to mangle next when invited over for dinner!

  5. Delish!

    So I gotta ask - what stops you from getting the larger RV?

  6. Cooking in an rv kitchen takes organization and planning! I usually use my kitchen table alot (but yours is a desk, so not possible). Which is why I guess we do most of our camping in the summertime so we can do most of the cooking outside! LOL!

  7. I'd say yo've figured out a pretty good and clever system (breadbox = microwave).

    When we were evacuated for 9 months after Katrina we were in a one-bedroom efficiency with a kitchen just about that size (including an oven that repeatedly burned through the insulation and set off the smpoke alarm), so I can identify your pain.

    Dinner looks like Oktoberfest! Yum!

    We had center cut pork chops last night, too!

  8. Lou: I feel yore pain, then. My apartments after the divorce had fairly decent kitchens and appliances, so the RV is very different in this space (heh). as for "Beets! Really?" Hell Yeah! I love 'em.

    Getcha one!

    I'm NOT the fed'rul gub'mint; I refuse to take on debt, thank ya. Although I WILL admit I've been tempted, but when I move to larger quarters it's gonna be a fixed address.

    Pam is wise about teachin' the boys to cook... my father said the same thing when I was a boy; my cooking lessons began around age 13.

    Deb: I HEAR ya about the "cooking for one" thang. The worst thing is no compliments, LOL! (Although it's true that I talk to myself sometimes, and that includes giving the chef his props.)

    Also, I empathize with the non-cooking wife thing.

    TSMP turned into a pretty good cook after some practice. She did the lion's share of the cooking while we were married.

    Kris: See the Andy answer.

    Which is why I guess we do most of our camping in the summertime so we can do most of the cooking outside! LOL!

    Roger THAT, Jenny! My Weber is my friend!

    Moogie: I've used my oven exactly ONCE in the ten years I've been living in this thing. My oven doubles as storage, too, which is where all those casserole dishes I never use live.

    re: dinner/Oktoberfest.I usually add about a cup of white wine to this dish, as well, but we were fresh out last night.

  9. The counter space -- what about the floor space! That looks pretty good-sized, too!

    Maybe you could just "build on" to where you're living now! You know, enclose the lanai. (I'm kidding, but wow, I've seen some of those in North Carolina, believe me. :)

  10. ...what about the floor space! That looks pretty good-sized, too!

    The advent of multiple slide-outs has made most modern RVs quite roomy inside, Kath. I've often thought I made a mistake by not buying a fifth wheel-pickup combo instead of a motor home, if only for the extra room at roughly the same price. But I'm NOT a pickup kinda guy...

  11. Go for the bigger camper can't take it with ya...and time is short!


Just be polite... that's all I ask.