Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Friday Chat ( about this & that )

I can't cook for 2 people.
I try - I really do - but I just can't do it.
And personally it doesn't bother me at all.
I freeze the left over portions - or plan a meal around left overs - or Soda gets it ( I don't feed Soda dog food but that's a story for another day - I actually cook her meals alongside ours )

BUT overcooking - more often then not - means overeating.

I come from a an era where food was heaped on plates - where second helpings were not only encouraged but insisted upon..............( still to this day 1 pork chop on a plate looks like the saddest thing to me )
We ate until we were about to burst AND we did it quite gleefully.

It was a sign of " making it " in the North America of the 60's.
Our parents were of the war years generation - where food was NOT plentiful - where standing in line with food stamps was the norm - where memories of going to bed hungry still lingered somewhere in the back of their minds - and  mountains of food on a table meant they'd risen above it - that they were finally in a " safe "

I don't think Europeans rose above it in the same way - they must have found other, healthier ways to
" make it "
We once had a Mill owner come from France on business and they came by our home before we went out -
Upon seeing the oversized fridge in the kitchen they were astonished -
They opened it and gasped.
Literally gasped at the contents inside.

" why so much food? " they asked

I couldn't even answer the question

Why so much food?  Well because it's there
And the fridge is large
And it must always be FULL FULL FULL

Like our stomachs...............

They then asked why everything was so large in North America  ( they didn't say why was every " one " so large because that would just be out and out rude - but surely they must have been thinking of it.

BUT - everything IS large here.  I remember thinking what it must have looked like through their eyes.
Cars that looked like boats
Homes large enough to accommodate 20 people - with 4 people living in them
Back yards that could host gala events
Shopping centers that go on for miles
Grocery stores that are the size of football fields

And I'm still sitting here today wondering why?
I know we've gotten better -
Cars are smaller and that's a beginning at the very least...................apparently the younger generation are looking at smaller footprints when buying homes and that's saying a lot considering most of them grew up surrounded by too much space.

BUT there's still that little problem with the food.
I look in the fridge - and sometimes even I can almost gasp.
It's too much -
( she writes as a pot of spaghetti sauce is cooking downstairs - large enough to feed 20 people )
Of course I'll freeze batches of it - but why make so much in the first place?
And why on earth does it feel so good to me to know it'll be in there when I need it?
I was not a part of the war years.....................just a product of parents who were.

AND since we're on the subject of food ....................
The days of yore  ( my childhood ) were not filled with fast food - they were non existent in my world -
Fast food was a bologna sandwich - or a bowl of cereal.  Period.
Add the above mentioned mentality to the world of fast food and it's game over.
Take a visit to Europe -
Especially Paris -
Where people are eating tons of bread - and butter and desserts - and take a long look around.
The city is overwhelmingly filled with very slim people.
BECAUSE they move................they walk - they climb stairs - the carry groceries ( not dump them in a cart and throw them in the trunk ) which is DO-ABLE because they don't buy so much blasted food !!!

AND since we're on the subject of fast food
(see how all of this has a domino effect in my thought process? )
While everyone is complaining about it - and some have even threatened to sue because of obesity - I have a simple solution.
Stay away from them.
Isn't it up to us, as parents, to keep our children out of them?
I know we can't do it forever - but by God, we can do it during their childhood, can't we?
Are we such an incredibly stupid pack of people that we have to sue because we didn't know that allowing our children to eat fast food at an alarming rate would cause weight gain?
Especially when we're too terrified to let them out of our sight and so most of this generation does NOT go outside after meals to play with friends.

Which brings me back to this..................

I love food.
I love everything about it -
Buying it
Preparing it.
Cooking it.
Presenting it.
but mostly I just love eating it.

I can't cook for 2 people........................
I try - I really do - but I just can't do it.

Oh and here's a sneak peak of the vanity - just a little tweaking left to do on it.
( I feel so vain offering sneak peaks - who do I think I am?  I'm just a Suzan, after all )
That's me praying that it turned out ok

This week's chat ends on a sad not -  my deepest condolences go out to Pamela from
Playing With My Camera who lost her brother last week.
They were close and now she must learn to live without him in her life................the highest price we pay to know love is to grieve over it's loss from our everyday lives.
May he Rest In Peace.
and may you, Pamela, find peace in your memories.

Have a wonderful day everyone -
And an even more wonderful weekend.
Much love,
( think I'll bake a cake )


  1. Love your Friday posts! I can't cook for 2 either, but that means I can have one or two days off from cooking while we eat up the leftovers. And some sauces and such always taste better the second (or third) time around! Have a great weekend! The dresser is looking good! Linda@Wetcreek Blog

  2. Oh, my DEAR!!! I loved LOVED loved your chatty post!!!! I am sitting in my mother's hospital ICU room as I read and write - in the middle of the night!!!- as someone must stay with her! Your article describes my mother to a T! She LOVES food! While we were poverty level and below growing up as children - we always had FOOD! Our fast food was, indeed, a bologna sandwich or a bowl of cereal. Or a dill pickle .....we ate all kinds of FOOD.
    Thank you for brightening up my 'night' with such a fun read!

  3. So much of everything is available that common sense is sorely lacking. One thing this reno has opened me too is the essentials of what we need. Hmmm .... there may be a post about that. Have a great weekend. Patty

  4. How sad for your blogging friend, Pamela and her brother's passing. And how sad that we have so much - and waster so much too - whether it's food or other stuff. Last night I strolled into HG to revisit a little throw rug I was thinking about. The trip there served me well. I came out with empty hands. Just walking the aisles and seeing SO.MUCH.STUFF everywhere - glitter on the floor, merchandise thrown in the aisles - I just decided I already had enough, and didn't need more. It actually felt good to leave with nothing.

    1. Such a continent of over indulgent - self entitled people we are - it's embarrassing really, isn't it?
      Especially to see things tossed all over the place - pathetic.
      My heart breaks for Pamela - she's such a lovely lady and this must be such a difficult time for her - thanks for your kind words.
      Have a wonderful weekend Rita - ( I'm going to have another TOO LARGE slice of lasagna right this minute LOL

  5. I need more than a sneak peak, missy, lol!

    1. I know LOL - really, who do I think I am ?
      Monday - I promise !

  6. Ah yes, I agree. We don't know a right size portion of food when we see one. Everything is super sized. And really? Blaming fast food places for our stupidity? Rant on, sister!

    Love the sneak peek. Can't wait to see the whole thing!

    My sympathy to Pamela. Hugs and prayers for her.

  7. I'm so sorry your riend has lost her brother, so hard, so sad.
    I agree completely with you n our over abundance, and as I type this my husband is in the kitchen making a list, he' stocking up for winter.We live ten minutes tops from 4 major grocery stories and 3 minutes from another, we will not starve but since he retired he has taken it upon himself all kitchen shopping, well my blindness does make this job his now anyway but man oh man we will never starve , crazy! Oh and I can't cook for two either, I thought it was just me had that trouble!

  8. Yes, you should bake a cake.
    Bake all the cake you want- and eat it, too.
    My condolences to Pamela.

  9. Oh how I love the Friday chats! I'm afraid although other European countries may take a more sensible approach to food, the UK takes it's 'special relationship' with the US very seriously and bearing in mind how much smaller our homes/fridges/freezers etc are on average, we share similar attitudes to food. Admittedly our parents suffered very badly throughout the war and into the 1950's with food rationing so I can't blame them for wanting to stock up and eat well. Trouble is most of them had a lot of catching up to do in the weight department as a result, so it didn't affect them like the next generation. The only reason we escaped for so long is because we were ACTIVE, if you wanted to see a friend who lived a mile away you walked or got on your bike, not asked your parents to drive you! We have a growing problem with child obesity here and it's hard to educate parents, who are often overweight themselves, as many of them are in denial that there IS a problem. You can blame McDonalds and KFC all you like but no one put a gun to your head and made you eat there....Funny how the people who want to blame fast food outlets, tobacco companies etc etc for making them unhealthy are the first to complain about the 'nanny state' and health and safety regulations gone mad, you can't have it both ways!!!

    1. Thanks so much Gerry!
      I haven't been to England in 5 years - but we used to go yearly and I'll tell you I could always pick out a North American by their weight.
      Sad - but true..............
      I always felt overweight when travelling - always ! ( I'm not that big by North American standards though )
      BUT if I open a bag of chips ( a large bag - not a single sized bag ) I'll eat almost the whole thing - no control whatsoever ( I mean " crisps " not fries )
      I lack self discipline terribly - I'll blame my Mother for that one - since I really don't want to blame myself LMHO

    2. You're talking to someone whose lack of self control is legendary, I can polish off a family size pack of crisps without blinking:-D I've seen pics of you and trust me you're not big by anyone's standards! Like I said I got away with having a 'hearty appetite' for years because a) I was obviously not designed to be big and b) I was always on the go, so you can imagine how hard I'm finding it now that the pounds are piling on (damn you menopause). I think I'm allergic to dieting and I probably get through my daily calorie allowance on wine alone LMHO. You need to visit again, a trip to one of the less salubrious shopping centres here would make you feel like a supermodel....

  10. I'm an "over cooker", too, Suzan. Like you we never had fast food growing up. I do occasionally indulge the grands with McD's.....if you check my blog today you will have caught me red-handed. lol

    We ARE a country of excesses and it is a sad look at who we are and how we feel we "need" so much...and I am as bad as the next one. Scary! xo Diana

  11. This rings very familiar bells to me, Suzan. My parents grew up during The Great Depression and that carried over into how we were raised. I can't believe how different it is for us, different in the size of plate we use and different in the quantity of food we put on it. I think that even good restaurants (not that I would know) are adjusting and downsizing the amount of food put on a plate. It is obscene to have food piled high on a large plate. Really, when we see photos of people around the world starving, how can we continue to do that? BTW, I noticed at Heathrow, after being in England for 16 days, I was struck by the obesity of those waiting at the gate for the plane going to Chicago. I had been among pretty slender people for more than 2 weeks and no kidding, it's as though airport officials had made all the fat people head for the U.S. It was embarrassing. ANYWAY, I know what you mean about cooking for 2 people. It is not fun. When I buy a package of chicken breasts (4 in a pack), 2 of them are used for a dinner of baked chicken breast and squash, the other 2 are used for a chicken stirfry. It's just a different way of cooking - way different than how my mom cooked.

  12. Oh, an interesting post Suzan. And I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said. With my mother, growing up, she made enough for 6 people and that was that. My MIL made enough for 12 people and always had leftovers. I am more like my mother but will sometimes cook extra for another meal. Times sure have changed and I think we do eat way too much and not in a healthy way either. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Hugs. Pam

  13. Please pass on my condolences to Pam for the loss of her brother ~

    When I watch HGTV's "House Hunters International", I am always struck by how the Americans gasp in horror on being shown the small fridges so common in Europe... but it makes so much sense!

    Hubs has gotten the hang of cooking for 2 down pretty pat ~ especially now that I plan out our menu about 3-4 weeks in advance. He shops twice a week, and I include leftover meals.

  14. I loved this post, Suzan! After years of cooking for 4 (our nest has been empty for over a decade) I've finally learned to cook for 2. I do still occasionally cook for 4, but I portion off the extra before I serve dinner, and it's served as leftovers later in the week.

    We were filling our car up with gas at a local Holiday station one day, and I sat and watched in shock. Everybody there that particular day was THIN. It's so out of the ordinary that I sat in the car and watched in awe!

    Have you read the Wheat Belly? If not, I think you'd enjoy it. It's written by a cardiologist in the Midwest and he writes about our morbidly obese America. It's hard to quit the junk food (after 6 months I'm still battling sugar addiction), but I started eating a modified Paleo diet and for the first time in decades I'm no longer suffering from IBS!

    Thanks for the fun post today!

  15. My grand-father had nothing to eat during the war as he was a worker in Poland... And all my childhood he kept telling me to finish my plate and he would never have left anything in his.
    Still, I'm still wondering at the "hugeness" of everything in America... I just read a post about a beautiful kitchen remodel with two sinks and three ovens...

  16. I have the honor of living in one of the heaviest cities in the U.S. (I'm not kidding) I worry because I'm not sure people even know how to cook or eat at home and I worry about the impact of that on the health of our kids today.. Restaurants are busy every night of the week around here. I am thrilled when I see the kids out playing in the neighborhood. Great post!

  17. Suzan, you are a hoot! Personal response-ability... I have the ability to respond and to choose. I can, today, choose to NOT clean my plate AND make different choices. I've learned I cannot bear the response-ability for others' choices... or judge them. They do enough judging of themselves or so many wouldn't appear so doggone angry.
    My deepest sympathies to Pamela and my support to Linda in her mom's room in the ICU.
    ~ Christina in Cleveland

  18. What an enjoyable post.
    Thank you for sharing!
    diane @ thoughts and shots

  19. I found it hard to cook for 2 once both my girls got married and moved out of the house, so I understand that problem. I still seem to always have a little something (sometimes a bunch) left over. Thankfully, my husband and I both like left-overs and I, too, freeze larger amounts and it really is nice to pull something out of the freezer(when I remember it's there before it gets too old and frost-bitten)on one of those days when I don't have time or inclination to start something from scratch! So there is something to be said for the problem, I suppose!

    1. I DO enjoy the break from cooking when I just take something out of the freezer -
      But now I've done some thinking about it and it's dawned on my that every single item we own is bigger than Europeans - T.V.'s that look like small theaters - king sized beds - dining room sets that can seat 12 - wow it goes on and on !

  20. It's very hard to cook for two or for me one. I always over cook and have it for 2 days, then freeze the rest or the dogs get it. Of course they LOVE table food.
    Being from farm people, we always had full course meals - never fast food. Mother canned everything from the garden and that would last all winter. We had chickens so our eggs were free and at least chicken once a week. They would buy a 1/2 side of beef and pork. About the only thing we bought at the grocery store was bread and milk. A lot of the time mother made home made biscuits. things are sure different now.
    Have a great weekend.

  21. I know what you mean about the houses. So many times my sweetie and I say "Who needs that much". We will be looking for a house, hopefully soon, and we have tried to determine how much space we need. We have a studio and a sewing room right now plus all of the essential rooms. We feel that we don't exactly live like everyone else in the sense that we don't particularly need a living or dining room. We use the rooms we have and don't entertain, except for having a friend over every once in awhile. We decided that we can use a living and dining room for a studio and sewing room. We only need one bedroom, which must have a door. A bathroom and a half would be serviceable, and a kitchen. A screened-in porch would be gravy. When we investigated the square footage of our previous house, we were amazed at how little square footage it was - 1100. I was looking at houses that had much more square footage, but have since looked at much smaller houses. We just didn't know. We don't have that much stuff, and there is a lot of stuff we can get rid of, and our lives will still feel complete. I like looking at websites about decorating and such, and the excess I see is amazing. Many women live in houses that are way over-sized and always seem to acquire more stuff to fill them. They must paw through their belongings staging and changing and staging and changing constantly as if they have no other purpose on earth. Maybe they don't. It is a sad state of affairs. What causes this restlessness and the nagging feelings of not having enough? I can't wait to down-size from this rambling abode...less stuff to worry about, insure, touch, find a space for... As far as food goes...I don't especially care to cook, so when I do, I over cook and have leftovers - one more for tomorrow and plenty to freeze. I do this a couple of days until the freezer is full, then my sweetie is the heater-upper. I cook, she heats. It works for the two of us. We eat out, but usually that creates another day of leftovers, too. When I was a kid, there were 5 of us to feed. If mom miscalculated our hunger, there was always PB&J to fall back on and fill up on. (I have grown fat through the years, but that's another topic!) Overall, we don't require a lot. We are not big consumers. My sweetie just bought 10 bras. We hate to shop for them, and they will last for years and years. We buy most of our clothes that way, along with TP, feminine and personal care products. We aren't swayed by commercials or Christmas, although we watch out for prices when it comes to grocery shopping and we can usually wait for a sale when we need things. If we need something, we buy it, and we don't need much. It's time to get rid of some things around here...craigslist is probably in our future or maybe a yard sale will occur in the spring. Oh, we quit drinking soda a month ago, and our grocery bill has probably been cut by more a third. We used to be a slave to those prices and bought scads of it on sale. No longer. I enjoy your chats, so thank you for including us.

  22. Very thoughtful post. It is true -- I was looking at our stuffed refrigerators this morning (yes, we have two large ones in a house with two people) and thinking that we have an obscene amount of food. It is a first world problem. I was born just as WW2 was ending, and for the first years of my life, I never went hungry, but I don't remember a lot of food either.

    I, too, can't cook small, but I do freeze things which is nice to have on hand when I don't want to cook.

    So sorry about your friend's bereavement.

  23. I have the worst time cooking for two also. It's why my freezer is so full. Not a fan of fast food either. I'm with you....stay away from fast food places and keep your kids out of them as well.

  24. So sorry for your dear friend Pamela. How sad for her and her family. My heart goes out to her!---
    Looks like an awesome vanity you have created the sneak peek! I hate cooking and don't miss it at all. I just like eating and hubby likes cooking; the perfect match!

  25. Your post really got me thinking about my OWN frig, Suzan. I actually got up and opened up those doors and gasped at what I saw there. Yep. Waaaay too much food. How in the world am I supposed to drop 20 lbs before March when I'm surrounded by this much food?? lol We are a "foodie" society, aren't we? Although I must admit, as my hubby and I have gotten older, we don't cook as big as meals as we used to. We don't pile up our plates like we used to. We are so much more aware of what we put in our mouths. Although I'm still waiting for my body to realize that it's not receiving as much food as before as it continues to fight with my menopausal hormones. :) Thank you for sharing with us about Pamela, too. I will certainly keep her in my prayers.....

    xoxo laurie

  26. People are always looking for someone else to blame, that's why they sue, makes me sick. Things are big your way, I was reading that a North American small pizza is the same size as our large pizza and that the same applied for most fast food meals, however we still have a ver similar obesity rate.

  27. Oh my goodness you are so right. We do have a choice though...but its not easy to choose what 'no one else is doing'. We have four children that we raised in small houses...they had to share bedrooms. We really tried to live with just what we needed. It wasn't always easy because our children wanted what their friends or cousins had. We have never had cable or dish, only free tv! ha ha People think its weird but guess what? Our children are all now in college and making similar choices. They like that we do not over indulge. We really try to live with less...but I still feel like we have way more than we ever need. I admire how people in other countries live. They inspire me. I even hope to one day return to not having internet or an iphone. I like living without these things and I do believe it is better for our health. We have always had a garden and cook our meals from scratch. All my children know how to cook and garden and they enjoy healthy lifestyles. We camp and hike...we could live in a tent if we had to. I cannot change the world, I can only change myself. And even though it can be disheartening how greedy our country has become, I choose to live peaceably with everyone. To love one another is still what is most important to me. Enjoy your big meal...I bet you are an amazing cook! xxo

  28. Suzan - My deepest sympathy to your friend Pamela. Many years ago I lost my brother to Cancer and just a couple weeks ago lost my Dad. My Mom and Dad were raised during the Great Depression and we were told to clean our plates of food too. If I remember really hard, our plates weren't completely covered in food like they are now, so maybe it's the different types of food we eat now. I agree about trying to keep kids out of the fast food places. The temptation is great because they're quick and they satisfy immediately. Maybe if we learned to wait patiently for a delicious home cooked meal that would help some. (Now I'm craving home made meatballs! LOL)

    1. Oh Sharon - I'm so sorry for your losses -
      I DO think the difference is the types of foods we eat now - we didn't have all of those processed foods back then ( although I do remember when sliced cheese came out and thinking it was like eating plastic even then LOL )
      Go make some meat balls lol

  29. I love your thoughts and that you got so many responses. Your friend will be in my thoughts as the 5 year anniversary of losing my mom to cancer, her 3rd battle creeps up
    But I grew up on lots of stories both funny and sad, from my dad about growing up in the depression, He had 13 brothers & sisters. And if you were not at the table on time, well those who were late rarely it goes. So I learned that was why when I was a girl and we were eating at the dinner table, my dad would always pick off my plate. Or eat what someone did not finish. He was child #11... He still to this day has a garage pantry filled with food and cans he could ever eat. It's just him now.. But he loves a family get together. He may complain about prices of anything any day of the week, but say were having a BBQ or company is coming over and he makes sure there is plenty of everything. Thanksgiving is gonna be big this year. He passed this on to me. I too keep a large stoce pile of food. At one time I had 3 refrigerators, when all the kids and friends were home. No I am down to 2 and it's just my husband and I, but we entertain a lot. But hording all that food and such paid off these last 2 months. Money is extremely tight and we had plenty to eat. Maybe not what we would have liked, but we ate fine. Never hungry. We are a nation of over eaters. We make bad choices, and have too much available to us. we dont have to walk to the bakery, butcher or farm to get our needs. We can get anything we want, even if it is out of season. I have grown critical over the years. Excess as a way of showing ones prosperity. People always ask what they can bring. I always say Nothing...but they bring food, often too much and mostly items not needed. And it goes to waste. We cant eat it all or it goes bad. What a do we change this do we eat less when it is all around us...there are many ways, make menus, create grocery lists and stick to it. But a lot of this waste go's to our waist...thank for letting me vent, too...little steps and we and change....prayers to Pamela..

  30. Hi BarbaraAnn - My Mother always ate what we didn't finish too !
    I just figured that what parents did lol ( although I have to say I made my kids finish what was on their plate ) 2 fridges - so you guys have one each LOL !!!
    I'm always aware of every single bite I put into my mouth - but still keep putting it in - it's ridiculous - I'm not even hungry half the time and still I eat ( I'm going to blame that on menopause - since I blame every single thing that I shouldn't do on it anyway !!! )
    Thanks for dropping in ( and participating ) in my Friday chat
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving


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