Thursday, May 14th, 2009

title1I’m currently reading Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone.   (A particularly poignant read while eating my lunch alone today: a bowl of cereal.)  The writers who contributed to the collection confessed no small amount of loneliness and associated dark humour.  So many eggs consumed by people eating alone, so much pasta;  so many meals eaten over the sink or in bed; so many tables for one by the window, armed with a book.

Reading the stories, I am reminded of food to which I gravitate when unencumbered by anyone else’s tastes, or moods or presence.   Eggs figure prominently; homemade bean and cheese burritos, which, as ingredients get low, devolves into tortillas with melted cheese, and then just cheese; half an acorn squash roasted with butter and a little brown sugar- I could eat that every night for weeks.  It would seem that eating the same thing over and over again for long periods of time isn’t that uncommon: one woman ate asparagus every day for 2 months, one man ate spaghetti for 1973.  I doubt I could stomach any one thing for more than a few weeks, even if it is Nigella’s spaghetti carbonara with bacon and extra bacon.

Before I die, I intend to have one meal like the one I envy Olympia Dukakis in Moonstruck.   Wearing a suit and conservative heels, I will go to an Italian restaurant by myself.  When the maître d’ asks, “Good evening, who’s coming?”   I will respond with “Just me. I wanna eat.”  And I will sit at the tableclothed table for one in the middle of the room and order “a martini, no ice, two olives.”