Food and the Married Woman

I’m alone tonight. The husband is visiting his kids in upstate New York and so I have no one to cook for but me. And I’m boring, but in a good way.

After Larry and I said our goodbyes, I went to our local farmer’s market and bought A LOT of broccoli, A LOT of green beans, three red onions, one yellow zucchini, two dozen eggs, a huge bundle of beets, a quart of snap peas, an acorn squash, one yellow tomato (because it was pretty), a quart of Brussels sprouts, two purple peppers (they were pretty, too) and a pound of fingerling potatoes. Suffice to say my eyes were bigger than my stomach.

When I tried to find room in the fridge for it all I thought, “Now what?” I figured I’d make the green beans and potatoes tomorrow when the kids and grandkids came me up for dinner, but that still left me with a whole lot of veggies and just me to eat them.

I put some red onions and snap peas in my salad this afternoon, and steamed half the broccoli after a marathon writing session. I really wanted M&Ms, but I knew if I ate M&Ms I wouldn’t have room for the roasted beets and cooked beet greens I had in mind for dinner. I hate to waste money and since I hadn’t even bought the M&Ms, I stuck to my original plan. Now, with a few hours between me and the M&M craving, I realize I made the right food decision.

When Larry’s away, I indulge in my boring favorites: egg white sandwiches with Swiss cheese and ketchup, Boca burgers with pickles and tomatoes, tomato sauce with squash, and string cheese and lime Jell-O (which I know is not vegetarian, and I don’t care, and I don’t eat cheese and Jell-O in some kind of weird combo, either. I eat them separately.). I’m also perfectly content to eat yogurt and plums with a handful of almonds for dinner. How did this happen?

When Larry’s home, I willingly (and usually with enthusiasm) cook a variety of things. But cooking requires creativity which requires energy and some days, like today, I just don’t have it in me.

Back in the days of overweightness and obesity and if Larry was away, I’d have ordered a pizza and garlic cheese bread and then sat my ass in front of the TV and zoned out and ingested. I would have gone to bed stuffed and with heartburn, thinking that was normal. Today, microwave popcorn is an indulgence and I’ll go to bed knowing the scale will be the same tomorrow as it was yesterday and last month and last year. I much prefer that over indigestion.

I think I’ll have squash and some Brussels sprouts tomorrow – two things Larry doesn’t like. Acorn squash is a childhood memory. Mom would bake half a squash for each of us and fill it with butter and brown sugar. I still make acorn squash with butter and brown sugar because there’s simply no substitute. Splenda, stevia, I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not-Butter…I don’t think so.

I’m in “fast food” heaven here in my own house. My favorite foods don’t require much more than a toss here or a scramble there. If you’d have told me five years ago that I’d be so easily satisfied, I’d have laughed my 300-pound butt off.

When Larry’s away, I get food lazy, but in a good way. A mini vacation from cooking doesn’t have to entail large amounts of cheese, crust and sauce. Sometimes it’s as simple as an omelet or a roasted beet.

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