Sunday, May 1, 2011

Kitchen Dysmorphia

This week, having a little more time on my hands since my book got published, I returned to my kitchen.

Not that I haven't been in there at all during the months I was editing the manuscript. I was in and out. When procrastinating my work, I'd grab something to eat in front of my TV, watching the stupidest shows I could find (Hoarders and Say Yes to the Dress). When not procrastinating, I'd grab something to eat in front of my computer.

This week I got ambitious. I started cooking.

My family looks on my cooking ambitions with some trepidation. For some reason, maybe it's coming from a gigantic family, maybe it's the deprivation my parents experienced during the Holocaust, maybe it's because I used to be much bigger and part of me wants to eat a house, but I can't seem to cook normal quantities of food. I only cook for armies.

When I make barley soup, I overestimate the amount of barley needed - the barley pearls are so tiny, who can tell how many is the right amount? Suddenly I end up with sludge-like soup, quicksand textured soup. A mallet is needed to stir.

This week I made a chinese noodle salad. I used twelve packages of ramen noodles. Twelve.

But then, of course, I panicked. What if twelve packages of ramen noodles weren't enough? Maybe I should put in an extra pound of spaghetti noodles? Well, I'm here to tell anyone who's curious about it that you can't actually boil twelve packages of ramen noodles and one pound of spaghetti in any normalish kind of soup pot, unless maybe you're a witch and own a cauldron.

So I'm the bane of my family. They're terrified to see me enter the kitchen, to see me hauling up my gear - three, maybe four, soup pots for the one dinner that night, bags of potatoes and onions - they're terrified because there always will be a lot of leftovers. Like for the whole neighborhood.

And tonight? I threw those noodles away.  

Does anyone else cook the wrong amount of food all the time? Cook for an army when there are many less than that living in your home? Worry about never having enough?

22 comments:

  1. YES YES YES YES!!
    and then I tease myself about becoming my elderly Jewish Aunts.

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  2. Oh yes. But sometimes it is the fault of my teen and husband who might one time eat tons of a recipe and the next time hardly a bit. Huh.

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  3. Do you know how much chicken i took off the bones from pesach dinner to freeze for the cats, (because i didn't do it soon enough to be safe for humans to eat)

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  4. Well when you said "twelve packages of ramen noodle" I was already a little concerned. I am giggling thinking of all those noodles taking over your kitchen! And the comment about freezing the chicken for the cats made me literally "LOL". That sounds like something I would do- can't feed it to the kids, but don't wanna waste it. Ha!

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  5. I am getting better but it has taken a lot for me to adjust my cooking as my children have grown and left. Just about the time I get it all under control, someone moves home. UGH!

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  6. Miz, It's worse than I thought, right? it's genetics and I can't escape it. some part of me thinks we really need this amount of food. The DNA part!

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  7. Karen, yes, it's great having a teenaged eater in the house! Mine, though, tends to be hungry a lot but for a variety of foods as the day wears on. Like I'm running a restaurant!

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  8. Abi, wait a minute. I can feed my cats all the meat that will otherwise go bad around here? This is good news!

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  9. Jennifer, I'm such an idiot in the kitchen that I think that's why they sell ramen 6 packages for a dollar, so you can buy hem in 6 package multiples and watch your house get flooded with noodles. I wonder if they ever did this on "Lucy?" :)

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  10. Nicki, what a thought - the difference between cooking for a literal army (and their friends) and having them all off to college. Gulp.

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  11. Ha! I used to cook "wrong amounts" (too many leftovers). However, that no longer seems to be possible. My younger son is a (skinny) bottomless pit.

    No matter how much I cook, he consumes. (What's up with that?) As for noodles, they seem to be soul food to hungry adolescents. (All ramen and/or pasta and/or kugel welcome in our household.)

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  12. Too funny. I've managed to learn how to cook the right amount for my little family, but when I was a newlywed, I would make a new, gigantic dinner every night. I would bring a salad to the table which would easily feed eight. We joke about it now.

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  13. BLW, all my "wrong amounts" used to end up inside of me! (Can't waste food, right?) But my kids don't seem to have my eating problem. They're willing to see stuff thrown away. They eat constantly, but they want a variety, like I'm a restaurant cook!

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  14. Rivki, good to see you again and thanks for the mazel tov!

    The salad you mentioned reminds me of the salads I make for our chavurah every month at our parties. Each month I make the wrong amount. Either too much or too little. Last week I came home with enough wilted lettuce to last a week. Of course, who wants to eat wilted lettuce?

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  15. Hi! Found you by the Follow Friday. New follower!
    http://gigglelaughcry.blogspot.com

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  16. Oh my goodness I so get this. Mine was buying way, way too much food. Molly, my oldest, would get so disgusted. There really was a lot of waste. Like you, my splurging at the grocery store has to do with the way I grew up...never feeling like I had enough and then my self-imposed starving myself in high school. Today my shopping is in check, although I still make food for ten people instead of three at times. Awareness is the first step...

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  17. Hi! Following from Java's hop!

    I used to make way too much food too, but I don't think I ever tried 12 packs of Ramen at once! I have lots of recipes on my blog that will feed a crowd, but not have too many leftovers. Stop by anytime and say hello!

    Have a lovely weekend!
    ~Mrs B

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  18. You are hilarious my eyes are watering.
    I know I tried making dumplings one time and they were terrible so I threw them out with the scraps and the baby chicks got their feet stuck in them and couldn't move. LOL. Bad hugh!

    I am a new follower to this follow friday blog hop. Please follow me.

    http://itsabouttimemamaw.blogspot.com/

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  19. New follower from java's blog hop. funny posts, love your blog title!

    laura@imnotatrophywife.com

    http://imnotatrophywife.com

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  20. Happens around here all the time! Maybe we should start an over ammount cooks anonymous...

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  21. Hi,
    I am visiting and following via Java's. Congratulations on your book it sounds very interesting to me I have 6 sister-in-laws...
    I came from a large family; had a sort of large family and now it is my husband and myself. It took so long to learn to cook for 2...

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