Cindy Brison, a registered dietitian with the Douglas and Sarpy County Extension Office, taught a class of eight about “cooking for one or two” on Jan. 30 at the Sump Memorial Library.
Amy Wenzl, the library’s community engagement coordinator, said the program came about as part of the library’s new focus on adult programming and working with other community organizations and businesses.
“The ‘Cooking for One or Two’ class came out of the idea that that is a basic skill everyone has to learn at some point,” Wenzl said. “It may be an 18-year-old who just moved out or an older adult who suffered the loss of a spouse. We were able to be a resource and help them learn a necessary skill.”
At the event, participants were able to ask Brison questions as they went along, with Brison offering feedback on everything from whether organic food was really worth the extra money to how to tell if cereal has expired.
Brison recommended buying things in smaller quantities to avoid waste, making dishes that can be reused creatively as leftovers and storing everything from fruit to loaves of bread in the freezer to keep them from going bad.
On the subject of expiration, she said boxed or bagged foods are good for about three months, while bags of cheese or containers of deli meat only have a lifespan of about a week after being opened.
She also cautioned that time food spends out of a fridge adds up if an item comes out of the fridge multiple times.
“Botulism’s not good, and you really could die,” she said. “You don’t have to be fearful, just careful.”