Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cooking for One and Eating Alone?

I had a very pleasant conversation with a guy in Sweden (via Skype) a few days ago. His question was why people don't cook, and it came down to people more frequently eating alone. So much of the experience of eating is indeed the sharing, the conversation, the social interaction. And of course cooking for others. It's more satisfying than eating, I think. But does eating alone really entirely preclude the possibility of cooking? Does anyone out there cook entirely for one's self? I admit, I forgo the formalities. I am eating what you see at this very second as I type, at my desk in the kitchen, right out of the pan. But why not cook for the sheer pleasure of pleasing yourself? I am normally cooking for kids, so it's rather like being a short order cook. And I end up eating what they want quite often. So I imagine my experience of getting to cook whatever I like for myself as a special treat is strangely unusual. But still, why would Lucullus not be pleased to dine with Lucullus?Is there anyone out there who says, AH, I get to cook for me. And I think I like what I serve on special occasions like this!

So what is it?? Simple: No particular name. You sautee some cavolo nero in oil, diced and minus the tough ribs, then add rice. Brown nicely. Then add fish stock. Pine nuts. Roasted red pepper. And some nice white fish filet (this is basa), with a sprinkle of zaatar at the end. I may have put some green chili sauce in there too. Yes. MAN this is good. But am I eating alone. I hope at some level, I am eating with you too dear friends.

6 comments:

lostpastremembered said...

I cook for myself all the time and enjoy it. That way I can experiment to my heart's content without anyone's eyerolling. If it's bad I never do it again. If it's great, it gets to show off for company. I think cooking for oneself is a very healthy thing. Why just pull out a package of something or order in when no one's around, we're worth the effort!

Michele said...

I don't equate cooking a meal to cooking anything elaborate. It could just be sauteed greens and fruit & cheese. I think the possibility of cooking taking a long time, making a mess, and not having enough ingredients deter people from cooking for just themselves. Besides, the fun of coming up with something with whatever you have laying around and figuring out how to make it into one or two meals for yourself can't be beat!

Ken Albala said...

I agree Michele. Defintiely not shopping and following a recipe or doing anything elaborate. But throwing everything in the house together just to suit yourself. These things just happened to be around and all went into one pan. And eaten out of the same pan!

Paul Neff said...

I relish the few chances I get to cook for just me. My Wife is very adventurous and likes it when I "play", but she's still not quite as open minded food-wise as me. When she goes out of town, that's my chance to really explore! Last time I cooked with eggs... for every meal. Just too really see what I could do with them. Loved it!

alan Ireland said...

Having been in both the hotel , as well as, restaurant business all of my life and now out, I truly enjoy myself quite alot and cooking is one the many joys I give to myself. Now having any good company is even better and when entertaining someone special is even better than that. So absolutely I enjoy being with myself!

tech.samaritan said...

I cook breakfast for myself almost every morning, and relish it.

But it is typically within the same range of ingredients:
eggs, cheese (something home made or aged), cured meat (salumi if I have it, otherwise ham, bacon, or sausage), butter, and sourdough toast. There are variations that primarily involve condiments like salsa, Sriracha, tapenade, caramelized onions, jam, greens from the garden, or avocado.