5 Hours + 1 Savvy Single Cook Equals . . . ?

2 Nov

Made my last trip this past weekend to the Parkdale Market for the 2012 growing season. The choice was amazing, even though some of my favourite stalls were obviously running down their stock. Naturally the pumpkin stall was busy, but there were still several choices of winter squash. There were cabbages, Brussel sprouts, potatoes, beets, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, apples, blueberries, onions, and even some tomatoes.

Rustic Apple Galette with Apple Sugar Glaze

With Sandy storm warnings reaching all the way up to Canada’s Capital, I began to fret on Monday (October 29, 2012) about all the fresh food I had in the refrigerator. If we lost electrical power — a good bet in high winds in our beautiful, tree-rich, Ottawa — all that food would go to waste.

So began a frenzy of cooking on Monday afternoon. I also considered this cooking spree a test of my theory that savvy single cooks can wisely use a few hours each weekend to set themselves up for a week’s worth of nutritious, fresh and tasty food.

How much food can a single cook (working in an average kitchen) prepare in a five-hour span? Here’s what I accomplished during my Sandy-fuelled spree:

Roasted beets (for 2 dinner plates and future beet salads)

Rustic Apple Galette with Apple-Sugar Glaze (4 – 6 servings)

Immune-Boosting Broccoli Soup (4+ servings)

Thyme Roasted Root Vegetables (2 servings)

Piquant Dijon-Herb Crusted Sirloin Tip Beef Roast with
           Easy ‘Au Jus’ (4 main course servings + extra beef for sandwiches)

Lemon Brussel Sprouts (2 servings)

Beets: easy to roast.

Even I was amazed. And while the beef roasted, I managed to stow my summer furniture, BBQ and gardening tools into the shed (so they wouldn’t blow away in the predicted fierce winds) and to grab a steaming hot shower.

This is NOT a strategy I would suggest for someone with a chronic health challenge like mine. (Afterward I was in zombie-land for a few days.) But if we had lost power, I would have been well-placed to eat — and feed others — for several days.
If, however, you are a healthy working person or you share your kitchen with a partner or roommates, weekend cooking sprees can be both fun and stress-reducing. With two people on the job, you could clean and prep carrot, celery and pepper strips for work-day lunches or stir fries. You can pre-slice or dice and package fresh chicken or pork portions to speed up a week-night supper of fajitas, wraps or enchiladas. Clean and spin-dry lettuce for your salads. Add a batch of cookies or muffins to the agenda and your menus will be well in hand for the coming week.

Piquant Dijon-Herb Sirloin Tip Beef Roast

The foundation of any weekend cooking spree is planning. Know what you have on hand or what grocery sale items you plan to buy. Select enough recipes for your needs in the week ahead, factoring in leftovers for lunches and healthy snack items. Post the recipes somewhere in the kitchen so when you get home from a long day, you don’t have to think about where to start your dinner preparations. Your biggest decision will be which bottle of wine would best match my delicious and savvy supper. And, “Where did I leave the corkscrew?”

After Note:

In Ottawa, Canada we escaped much of Sandy’s storm effects. More southern regions of Ontario had some rough weather, but none of it was as serious or tragic as some of our American neighbours have experienced. I pray you will have your lives returned to normal very soon with roofs over your head, heat and lights to warm you and nourishing food in your bellies. Peace and strength my friends.


One Response to “5 Hours + 1 Savvy Single Cook Equals . . . ?”


  1. Rustic Apple Galette — with Apple Sugar Glaze « Savvy Single Suppers - November 20, 2012

    […] a thrill to have a trusty reader remind me to post the recipe for Rustic Apple Galette. Mona, this is for […]

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