Well I feel a bit of a rant coming on, I will try my best to temper my need to vent…
Yesterday I was referred to as a ‘work widow’. Yup a ‘work widow’. For those of you as naive as me, that is a woman who spends the majority of her time alone as her husband is away working or traveling, therefore placing her in a temporary state of widowhood.
Needless to say this left me feeling a little icky and a little sad.
Yes I am alone most of the time, lovely husband T. is only home 3 days a month at the moment. It is not ideal, most days it is really hard – even harder on garbage day 😉 But we do our best to make it work AND I would never ever compare or equate myself with someone who has lost their partner, who is an actual widow.
In my humble opinion putting the label of widow on someone temporarily is so disrespectful to those who have lost their loved one to an accident, illness, or even simply age. It is what I can only imagine to be a heart wrenching experience, that would change you in the most profound ways. My being alone most days in no way equates to that pain and loss, and to do so would be immensely disrespectful.
If given the choice T. would not be away working, but that is our current reality. It might always be our reality. Not everyone would choose that or understand it, however I do not believe it is something I or he should be pitied for. I think that is what I felt most offensive about the comment, like I was someone who should be pitied – that sad girl whose husband is never home. How ever do I manage?? Well no, I actually like my own company, I’ve always been fairly.. okay a lot independent, I have great friends, and work that challenges me. Not to mention how proud I am of how hard T. works, he has an amazing work ethic and is very good at what he does. He pushes and challenges himself, not happy with the status quo or just doing enough to get through the day. To me that doesn’t sound like a couple who should be pitied. Or labeled with the sad comment of being a work widow.
So I reject the comment and the pity. I reject the notion that I must be sad and resentful that I don’t get to see my husband every day. We probably talk more and communicate better with each other than most married couples who get to fall asleep next to each other each night.
And most importantly for this little blog I reject the notion that I must eat crappy food just because I am alone. Cue my ‘Cooking for One‘ project. That’s right am channeling this negativity I’m feeling to working on more ‘Cooking for One’ recipes, to celebrate the fact that there is nothing wrong with cooking and eating alone. That cooking for one it can be easier than wasting time reducing your favorite recipes or ordering take out. Then I’m going to cook some freezer meals for T. to have while he is away at work. And that is going to be my f*$k you to the idea of a ‘work widow’.
First up some comfort food…
Now that it’s Winter we all crave comfort food.. Scratch that Winter or not we all have those days when we crave comfort foods (aka when you are called a work widow). I know when I think about comfort foods I think about big amounts of food, a large pot of stew, a casserole. Not exactly conducive to cooking for one. Well I think just because you are cooking for one doesn’t mean those comfort foods should be off-limits. Nor should you have to eat said comfort food for a whole week.
Beef Stroganoff is one of my favorite comfort foods that I don’t make often enough. Even when T. is home, most recipes make enough to feed a large party. I’ve tried a few times to reduce the recipe, all fairly unsuccessfully. But after some trial and error I have developed an easy, two pot recipe that will have you enjoying this comfort food in about half an hour. Not to mention since you are just one, you can easily buy a nicer cut of beef that will be tender and flavorful.
Hope you enjoy my Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff recipe!
And dinner is served…
- 3 oz beef, cut into strips*
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 6 crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tsp butter
- ⅓ cup beef stock*
- ½ tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp sour cream
- 1 cup egg noodles
- fresh parsley
- salt and pepper
- Season beef with salt and pepper. Toss with paprika, garlic and olive oil and marinade for 1 hour.
- Sear meat over heat high in a hot skillet, then set aside.
- Reduce heat and add butter to skillet. Once melted add mushrooms and brown.
- Add stock, mustard and worcestershire sauce to cooked mushrooms, bring to a boil then reduce and simmer.
- In the meantime, cook egg noodles.
- Once stock has reduced, add in beef and juices and stir in one tablespoon of sour cream.
- Toss beef and mushroom mixture with cooked noodles, top with parsley and serve.
*Must be beef stock not broth.