Monday, December 5, 2011

The Joy of Having a Neighbor Who Cooks for One

My neighbor Gloria and I occasionally share lunches out (we both love Indian food), trade samples of our favorite dishes with each other and, now and again, pick up an item or two for the other when we find good deals on produce at bargain prices. We're not bosom-buddy girlfriends, although we've known each other for many years. Instead, our admiration and respect for each other center first on being good neighbors (helpful but not intrusive) and second on loving food and cooking for one.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Meal Planning Habits: Does the Nut Fall Far from the Tree?

Like most behaviors, meal planning comes more easily to some than to others. What we see and experience as children probably has a lot to do with it. I know for sure that this nut didn't fall far from the tree: I plan and cook much as my mother did when she was raising me. As a result, meal planning is a habit, something I don't think too much about unless I'm telling someone else how I go about it, or unless I'm trying a different approach because someone in my life has a special need.

As I set out this morning for the grocery store with my weekly shopping list, which this week includes ingredients for my mother's black bean, tomato, and garlic salad, I got to thinking about my mother's shopping strategy. She is almost never an impulse buyer, always having in her head her list for healthy, or as she puts it, "proper" food. I think that as I go on through the years, I probably won't need a list either, but for now I do as I continue to refine the art of meal planning for one, something she's perfected over the last forty years.