The Unexected Cook

Have you always had someone cook your meals, so that you've never had to learn to cook? Well, you aren't alone. When Mom died in 2001, I suddenly became Chief Cook and Bottle Washer, and I had to learn to cook supper for the two of us: Dad had had the Navy cook for him for a few years, then Mom for the next 54 years, he had never learned to cook and had no desire to learn. My eldest brothers learned early on to prepare some food; Dad's skills are *still* notorious 40 years later!

Well, I must have paid some attention to Mom's meals, as I quickly became quite adept at throwing something together in a few minutes. Granted, I did manage to survive on my own for 15 years or so, but I never prepared meals in all that time; I simply prepared some food to eat.

Since I have learned to prepare meals, have become quite efficient at it, and haven't yet produce something that Dad would "shnub", I thought I would share my simple recipes. Perhaps I can ease a little of the grief and confusion others go through when a large hole appears in their lives, but they still have to eat balanced, nourishing meals.

In some respects, we have it easy here. It's only the two of us, and we really only eat two meals a day: breakfast and supper. Dad is skilled at pouring cereal, and has been known to build a PB&J from time to time. He did take over making the evening salad, and produces a fine bowl o' greens 'n' such every day. That leaves cooking supper for me to accomplish.

What follows are not exactly recipes, as I do not measure much of anything any more. As I said, I throw things together! We generally stick to simple fare: rice or potatos, green beans or corn or peas, ground beef or chicken or pork, sometimes with diced Itailan sausage. I use a lot of cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup, and a lot of diced tomatos and tomato sauce.

Eh? What's that? Oh, duh! Silly of me to forget! Of course you can't prepare a meal when the cupboards are bare and the refrigerator is empty. Yes, you're right. I really should start there!

Stocking the cupboards and refrigerator

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