Cooking for divorced men and women

Good food for divorced people is no different from good food for anyone else. What you may find tricky are the practicalities of scaling down the shopping and cooking for one when you have been part of a couple for a long time.

Divorced cooks and cooking for one
Since getting divorced cooking can seem pretty pointless and eating alone can be depressing if you have been used to a companion facing you over the dinner table.  It is tempting and easy to follow the takeaway or ready meals route but that path leads only to boredom, over eating and unnecessary expense. 

It is also too easy to be lazy because, yes, there is a certain amount of effort involved in making even the simplest of meals, divorced or not, and a certain amount of preparation and clearing up is inevitable but making yourself something delicious to eat does not need to involve using every pot, pan or dish that you possess.

Shopping for divorcees
The key to eating well for anyone, not just the newly divorced, is careful shopping. If you have a choice then don’t do just one big shop a week at your nearest branch of Tesco or Sainsbury unless you absolutely have to.  The best way to buy food is as and when you need it.  It is all too easy to be seduced by BOGOF offers and bargain packs but only buy these things if they will freeze.

Frozen raspberriesFruit and vegetables do need to be bought regularly.  There is nothing worse than having to throw out stuff that is passed its Eat by State.  This is not the same as its Use by Date.  It's using your judgement and experience to decide if it is safe to eat rather than relying on the retailer to make that decision.  A lot of perishable food is fine to eat for several days after its stated Use by Date. 

It may seem old contradictory but you can eat really well if you practise thrift in the kitchen. By that I don’t mean going out and buying ‘value’ products or cheap as chips intensively reared chicken or pork but by buying the best quality food you can afford and using it wisely and well.

Storing food 
A freezer even a small one, gives you the ability to buy good deals from the supermarket or the butcher and store them safely.  Wrap each item in cling film before you put it in the freezer.  No need to  label everything before you put it in as it will be obvious which is chicken breast/thigh and which is piece of cod.  A date label is a good idea in case something lurks in the deepest recesses for some time.

Use markets and local green grocers to buy what you need for the next two or three days.  Visit farmers markets and farm shops. They have wonderful, local produce that is usually very competitively priced and is often cheaper than if bought at supermarkets.  It may take a little more effort but you will spend less in the long run and you will be supporting your local economy rather than seeing your hard earned dosh disappearing into some vast corporate coffer.

Lay the table
Try not to eat all your post divorce meals in front of the TV.  Sit at the table properly and pour that beer into a glass instead of drinking it out of the bottle.  You will enjoy your meal more than wolfing it down as quickly as possible while watching Corrie or the footie.  Clear away the dishes when you have finished.  There are few things more depressing (well apart from getting divorced that is!) than a kitchen littered with dirty dishes and pans.


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