The joys of solo cooking

Cooking for one person has not enjoyed a positive reputation, but that seems to be changing. With more bloggers writing about the joys of solo cooking, and with the release of chef Anita Lo’s recent cookbook dedicated to the subject, making meals for just yourself is being seen as a nourishing event, not just for your body for also for your soul. Over at indexed blog Food52, food writer Eric Kim has a regular column called Table for One where he discussed the satisfaction he gets from cooking just for himself

cookbook collage

Kim says that he finds “in this realm of the solo dinner that there are the best stories.” He did an unscientific survey of people to find out what they liked to cook for themselves when no one was around to judge what they ate. The results were eclectic, but pointed to a lot of carbs and comfort food. The answers included:

  • “One giant pancake.”
  • “7 eggs with an avocado and ketchup, 6 if someone’s watching.”
  • “A whole head of broccoli, roasted, and eaten on its own with a fork (it’s not like I’m doing this for anyone else).”
  • “An extremely loaded baked potato: roast beef, caramelized onions, butter, sour cream, chives, horseradish.”
  • “Leftover pasta, fried in butter with bread crumbs and ketchup.”

Dining solo doesn’t have to be a tale of sadness and loss as it has frequently been depicted, says Kim. He likes eating by himself because it gives him time to be alone with his thoughts, in the company of his dog and with a plate of delicious food to enjoy. Even though I’m married and usually eat dinner with my spouse, I like to dine alone at lunch for similar reasons to Kim (although unfortunately I am not allowed to have my cat join me at the office). Whatever reasons you may have to be cooking solo, remember that the EYB Library has a category for books dedicated to cooking for 1 or 2

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  • Jane  on  January 2, 2019

    Having had 25 years of cooking for my family of picky eaters I absolutely love that I now cook just for me. I can cook exactly what I want to eat, when I want to eat it. I enjoy the process of cooking as well as the pleasure of great food and I have never understood why cooking lovely meals just for yourself is viewed as odd or sad – shouldn't we value ourselves as highly as we do others?

  • annmartina  on  January 2, 2019

    A couple of years ago when I came home from my husband's work trip in Mexico a week before he did, my first trip was to the grocery store for decadent ice cream sundae ingredients.

  • averythingcooks  on  January 2, 2019

    When I find myself solo for dinner, Barefoot Contessa's spinach in puff pastry OR her pasta with sun dried tomatoes are my top 2 choices. My husband would never consider either on their own to be "dinner"!

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