by Just Lynne

# 1. 6/29/13 6:32 PM by Nick - Irondequoit, NY
The last year my mom's been in a nursing home and my dad hardly ever cooks for himself; in fact he lives on those red box Stouffer entrees. It's hard cooking for one for a few reasons, nice going giving it a try.

Editor's Note: I just hope your Dad doesn't get sick of those Stouffer thingees like I did, I was finally forced to cook a real meal!

# 2. 6/30/13 10:56 AM by little john - Mount Morris, NY
thumbsup.gif I can relate to your column. As I have kind of fended for myself when homeless, and now because my lady-friend has so many food allergies, I have found little ways to enjoy more foods without cooking up a storm, per se.

One is the amazing deli at our local neighborhood store, which has a weekly menu of different home cooked meal entrees, with specials on certain days. (Fish Fry on Friday, of course). Chicken and gravy over biscuits, on Wednesdays and liver and onions sometimes. They do manicotti and always have the fall back pizza and chicken wings. Barbecue ribs and whole roasted chickens or quarters. (this independent store eis within walking distance so I get a double benefit.)

Everything is reasonably priced, $2-$5, for a single fry is 8.99 though.

I also love Dinty Moore Beef Stew over Noodles, and the usual instant oatmeal, and salt rising toast with scrambled eggs.

I like cold cuts for sandwiches which with a can of soup makes a good meal for one.

I am not quite as frugal as I used to be, thanks to the VA; but I do appreciate the many tastes of simple things, which I had gone without for so many years...

As for cooking for someone else, someone you care about, the most important thing is; you did the best you could. Illness in the family affects everyone who cares, and probably the primary focus was not on the meals.

As I have learned in coping with my own PTSD, I had to stop distorting my thinking and awfulizing or magnifying all the negative thoughts that intruded. I have learned, somewhat?, to think about the positive aspects and all the good things that have happened in my life...

And I hope you can too. All the wonderful meals you shared. All the times you felt happy and at peace with the world. Our loved ones are at peace, and we should be too. We should be too...

God Bless;;; from an old codger myself...

Editor's Note: Thanks for the food ideas, lj, some of them sounded real good to me as I know I will get tired of what I am eating now. And thanks for reminding me of the many great meals Wes and I shared, on cruises, in casinos - and helping me to realize that I should be at peace because the end of his life was so hard for me to cope with so I probably should excuse myself for not wanting to cook.

# 3. 6/30/13 11:22 AM by Jim - Rochester
I've been trying to put this together for about 20 years. (unsuccessfully)

Fine 6 friends in similar situations, and host just 1 dinner a week. Tuesday you eat at your house, Wed, friend a, Thurs friend b and so on. Cooking for a bunch of people is more fun, more efficient, you will probably get compliments, the socialization is good for you, and you will eat better. You;re also encouraged to clean your house once a week.

With the right friends things should balance cost wise over time, and even if it's off by a little you're still ahead of the game. (Much better than Stoffers)

Someone is out of town, you go out for dinner and talk about them.

Editor's Note: LOL @ Jim, like the idea of getting together and talking about friends out of town. Seriously, I do like your idea of eating at one another's places once a week, hmmm, now to think of who might do that with me.

# 4. 6/30/13 12:03 PM by Tom Dey - Springwater, NY
My wife is an excellent cook to a fault but of course I dare not criticize too much of otherwise good fare! Too much, too rich and I eat it like a pig cause I have no self-control. But ultimately what I stuff in my face is my own doing, certainly not hers. I occasionally give her my short list of favorite foods: Canned pea soup, tuna sandwich, cold cuts sand, corn flakes, choc soy milk, bananas, apples. When she's on vacation overseas, that's what I eat. And I use exactly the same one fork, knife, spoon, plate and glass. We have two of the biggest side-by-side fridges PACKED with food; same comment cupboards...and just the two of us in this big house. I throw most of it out as it expires unopened. Well, I'm off to check for ice cream. Tom

Editor's Note: Hope you found the ice cream! That's one thing I can't live without. I, too, throw out a lot of food and when I do I always feel guilty because I hear my Mother talking about the starving people in China. But since I have no way to get this food to them I just toss it out. Sounds like you do, too...

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