I know that there are lots of people who live alone and eat alone all the time. To those people, I apologize for making a somewhat big deal about eating alone.
At one time, my sister said to me, “When the kids are gone and Ron and I are alone, I’m not going to cook anymore. It doesn’t make sense to cook for only two people.”
“But Mark and I are only two people and I cook all the time, “I answered.
“You like to cook, “she replied.
I know that as one of a twosome, I find some joy in being alone and eating alone. Whenever Mark is gone, I plan my meals so that I eat the foods that he doesn’t like. I also don’t cook. Yes, that is true. I don’t cook – I buy foods, eat out and graze for the time he is gone.
One thing that I always turn to when I’m alone is herring. As I write this, I can almost taste it. I love herring in every way: In wine sauce, in cream sauce, rolled up. Every which way you could think of. When I was young, I would watch my father eat lox and herring and whitefish. (Not all at the same time.) I was appalled! How could he eat that stuff?
And now, I love herring. How much life changes and surprises us!
I always try to buy (or make) some dolmas – cold rice wrapped in grape leaves – when eating alone. I could eat quite a few before I got tired of them. Sometimes when I know I’ll be alone, I make a pot of ratatouille. I could eat it for lunch and dinner for days on end. I especially love it on an English muffin, with some cheese melted over it. An instant pizza.
But most of all, I like to eat bits and pieces of things when I’m alone. Not exactly cooking, but creating a meal out of what’s around.
Mark, who almost never cooks for us, always cooks for himself when I’m not around. Odd.
My friend, Diana, who lives alone and eats alone a lot of the time, cooks for herself just about every day. During the summer months, she grows tons (I mean that literally) of basil and cooks it on pasta with tomatoes or in capresse salads.
In San Francisco, after I left my first husband and was alone, I hardly ever cooked. I heated tortillas over the flame of my gas stove and then slathered butter on it and rolled it up. Yummy! I also ate cheese with good bread every Friday night with my dog, Dennis. That was quite the treat for both of us.
In Reno, I often bought a jar of caviar (a very dusty jar!) and ate it with my cat, Lorraine. We were in heaven!
I guess I don’t really eat alone; I always eat with my pets.