Cooking Alone

I have been labeled single for thirty of the last thirty-eight years. It’s not a badge of courage or honor, simply the label that is my reality.

Married and divorced, twice, I have had to learn to adjust my habits to activities for one. Especially since I have, matured the last ten years. Most of my friends have spouses, children or grandchildren. I may have been married twice but neither connection produce any offspring. My friends live life on a different plane that I do, both personally and socially.

My kitchen, yes that is grease splatter on my stove. It’s a working kitchen.

I know what you’re thinking. You should get together with others your age who share your, let’s just say it out load, plight. But that’s the point, there aren’t any in my area who do. I live in a very rural part of the world and I am the odd duck in the population.

That leads us to the next question; why not date? Again, small population and not a huge selection. Plus let’s be honest, we are all broken and have jagged edges. Finding someone who is broken in a way that you both might fit these jagged edges, in a way that might fit? Well, sometimes those jagged edges of our broken souls are more shattered than broken. Like fine plate-china dropped on a rocky beach, you will never be able to mind it back to usable again. Broken, I am.

So, let’s turn from why I cook alone to how.

I hear people say it all the time. “I don’t cook at home, I hate and do not know how to cook for one.” I will grant them that, it isn’t easy to cook for one. The rationing and cutting of ingredients from a recipe, sometimes doesn’t lead to a tasteful outcome. Some ingredients just don’t taste right in moderation, they need the power of mass to bring out the full flavor or texture. So, yes, it is sometimes a recipe for failure.

My problem is simple, I love food, a foodie, am I. So I cook for me and me alone most of the time.

The key is to find ways to either, cook enough that freezes and reheats well, or find items that don’t require mass amounts of seasoning that don’t blend well in small amounts. I will use chili as an example. Cooking chili for one, this isn’t going to happen. You need to make a pot of chili. It freezes well and it reheats great! Soups, Roast, all these are great for, ‘left-overs’, as we say here locally.

One of my favorite meals are steak, lamb, pork, poultry and fish… okay I love all foods. But steak is by far my favorite meal. I keep this simple, steak and grilled veggies, a glass of red wine, maybe two.

I also love cream sauces with my lamb poultry and pork. Your basic white wine sauce can be tricky but with the proper technique and high quality ingredients, it is a worth learning.

Another secret to my success is the countertop toaster/convection oven. This great little cooking tool is a must have for the single cooking chef!

So, cooking to me is a self-entertaining event, not a task of drudgery. It is a way to spend quality time with myself and enjoy the best chef in town, me. It is an adventure into the unknown, a trip for the taste-buds.

So, I leave you here, to explore your own culinary experiences, cooking alone. Bon A-petite, or as we say locally… foods on!

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