Never quite follows the recipe. Doesn't really measure. Tastes with her fingers. Somehow, it always works.

Alone in the kitchen

Posted: October 1st, 2009 | Author: johanna | Filed under: Johanna | 18 Comments »

Laurie Colwin has an essay in Home Cooking about cooking for one. It’s titled, “Alone in the Kitchen With an Eggplant”. In it, she details all the crazy things that she ate when she lived in her studio apartment in the Village. She only had a glorified hot plate, and a mini-fridge, no kitchen sink, so she made a lot of soup, and a crap-ton of eggplant. She muses on cooking for one, and what people actually eat when they’re alone.

It’s been at least 2 years since I’ve been faced with truly cooking for one. I never do it. Suddenly, over this past weekend, I was faced with the prospect of cooking for one, for 3 whole days.

Jesse was called away to Tulsa, on a fambly emergency. He left painfully early Saturday morning, and I was left to my own devices. Faced with the concept at 5am, I quickly decided that rather than cook myself something, I’d settle for a cup of cold coffee, and a bowl of left-over Chickpea-Leek soup. Then, Bakezilla rescued me from having to try and fend for myself for dinner, by inviting me over and plying me with wine and pumpkin desserts. Sunday and Monday were kind of sad, food-wise. I’m out of the habit of making food for one, as evidenced by the fact that the absolutely BITCHIN home fries I made for myself on Monday night were far too much for just me. Expect a recipe soon, although as a teaser, let me mention that it involves 1 baked potato, 1 red bell pepper, 1/3 of an onion, and….. BUTTERNUT SQUASH! It is joy. On a plate. Get excited.

I worked my way through Caccio e Pepe, pasta with chickpeas, and Spicy Sesame Noodles in Broth, home fries with fried eggs, and the rest of the soup. And finally, Jesse came home on Tuesday to his very late birthday dinner, and his little birthday cake.

For me, it’s nicer to know that there’s a whole pork roast in the oven, and mashed potatoes and full-sized cake layers, and all sorts of things meant for more than just one. Besides, have you ever tried making bolognese for one? I mean, steaming a bit of broccoli rabe, while boiling some noodles (you DO have a combination saucepot-steamer, right?) and mixing up a soy-sriracha-sesame oil dressing is all well and good, but you shouldn’t eat that 3 nights a week, or you’ll have hypertension and bags under your eyes.

So find somebody, and cook for more. Or, get some really, REALLY sturdy, label-friendly tupperware. :)
Tell me, friends…. what do you eat when it’s just you? What’s your eggplant? Can of cannelini beans with Italian dressing? Tons and tons of Toast? Spaghetti with chili sauce? Spill it – if character is what you do when nobody’s watching, culinary character is what you EAT when nobody’s watching.

Mine? Cold leftovers of any type. Mashed potatoes. Polenta. Steamed greens. Fried chicken. Doesn’t matter. Cold left-overs all the way.
Or chickpeas out of the can.
Or Cannelini beans with vinaigrette. I’ll admit, that one’s all me.


18 Comments on “Alone in the kitchen”

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