When my parents became Empty Nesters, lots of things changed, as they tend to do. I noticed the changes a few years after they moved to Dillon. My brother got married and moved away, and for the first time in nearly 30 years, it was only them. Mom and Dad no longer owned a bakery, but they both worked for other people. My dad in particular loved the chance for someone else to have to make decisions, pay bills, fix broken machinery, etc. “It’s like I’m retired,” he often said, despite the fact that he put in 40 hours of hard work each week.
One of the things that I often think about is that my mother started buying tiny things. Whereas she had bought the big-sized laundry detergent before, needing to wash Dad’s baking whites every day, now she bought tiny little containers of Tide. Since she was only cooking for two, and had a nice dishwasher, her Dawn Dishwashing Detergent was the size of a small bottle of hand cream. Tiny boxes of aluminum foil and small packages of toilet paper and paper towels. I used to laugh at her tiny world. I’m not even sure where she found such small containers.
Well, Friends, I no longer laugh. I also hope that Mom in heaven has forgiven me for my jibes. Because now I am the one buying small things.
When I married Bill, I went from a family of Court and me to a family of Court and me and Bill and Allen and Dave and Heather. Oh, they didn’t live with us most of the time, but we saw them often, and I cooked them many meals. And the family continued to grow as people got married and had kids. Both of my sisters have marveled at my ability to cook for large groups of people and still stay relatively sane.
But now most meals are at our kids’ house. Ninety-eight percent of the time, Bill and I are eating alone. For the longest time, I continued to cook using my old recipes. This, of course, resulted in many leftovers. I’m sorry to tell you that Bill and I are not Leftover People. I have seen both of my sisters put the tiniest bits of leftover food into a container to eat the next day. Pshaw! on that.
Recently, however, I discovered a website specializing in cooking for two people. Zona Cooks is like a dream come true for this empty nester. Amazon is happy also, because cooking for two has required me to purchase small-sized cooking equipment. I now own a 6-inch pie pan,…..
…..two 6-inch cake pans, a 6 x 6 x 2 inch square pan for small batches of rolls, brownies, or coffee cakes…..
…..and individual dishes for two casseroles. All from Amazon. All taking up more room in my storage area. You will see the definition of irony if you read Wednesday’s blog post.
Yesterday, for example, I baked a 6-inch peach pie. I found a recipe for a appropriately-sized pie crust, and fiddled with my mom’s peach pie recipe to make it fit into a small crust…..
Technically, we could have eaten it in one sitting, half for Bill and half for me. I, however, cut my half into two and shared.
This phase might not last. In a year’s time, I may have moved my little cooking pans downstairs to live with my picnic wine glass holders that stick in the grass. But I’m enjoying it all for now.