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Cooking for one

With more of us living alone, Graham Sherwood has some tasty shopping and cooking tips for singletons

A recent survey of 1200 over-60s showed most of them didn’t trust the present government to help them through the ravages of the financial recession.

According to Age UK – the merged charities Age Concern and Help the Aged – many of the respondents were taking extreme measures to cope, some of which put their health at risk.

Many older people, particular the poorest pensioners, are among some of the worst casualties of increasing prices while on a fixed incomes.

For those on lower incomes, a far high- er-than-average inflation rate means they are struggling to afford basic household essentials such as food and electricity, the survey found. Some 40 per cent of older folk have already cut back on utilities but, somewhat more importantly, socialising has also been affected badly too.

Another significant recent statistic shows that 13 per cent of all households in Britain are under single-occupancy. With this as a general background, it has never been more important to be able to cook for one, both for economic and health reasons.

First, from the healthy and fresh viewpoint, it has never been easier to cook for one, as many of us live fairly close to the larger supermarkets, which have a wide variety and selection of loose fruit and vegetables. Many also have loose bacon, delicatessen and open fresh-meat and fish counters too.

Those lucky to be within shopping distance of these outlets can request single portions or smaller joints, or may even buy a single piece of fruit or one or two vegetables instead of a bag full of each commodity.

Bakery items – bread, bread rolls, bagels, croissants and crumpets – are also now sold individually, vitally important for such perishable items.

Without doubt a freezer makes life a lot easier for those living alone, too. Having the facility to buy one product and freeze another, or to cook larger amounts of a recipe which can then be divided into single portions for future use, is a godsend. I know of several people who seem happy to eat the same meal two days running instead of freezing a portion for another day because they do not own a freezer. This is certainly not happy eating.

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Dp ypu live on your own? What do you normally cook? 

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