Friday, July 17, 2009

Book Recommendation: Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant

In Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone, Nora Ephron, Ann Patchett, Steve Almond, and others provide essays about the experiences of eating alone, along with a scattering of recipes designed to feed one.

I read this on vacation, which was unfortunate because the book made me want to go out immediately to buy ingredients to cook myself a fabulous meal. In particular, Phoebe Nobles' Asparagus Superhero made me sad that the asparagus season is over for the year.

The thread that connects all the pieces in the book is that feeding yourself, when you're by yourself, is an acceptably selfish act. When you don't have to worry about the needs and wants of another person, you can cook whatever you want. Whether you choose to treat yourself to a nice place setting and garnishes, or eat straight out of the pot, it is all about what feels best to you. (Personally, I tend to run the gamut between cooking lovely dinners for myself with fancy ingredients to having cornflakes for dinner.)

I didn't connect quite as much to the section on eating out alone. I've done it and I'd do it again, especially when traveling, but I think that restaurants are fundamentally a social experience for me.

1 comment:

bethh said...

"restaurants are fundamentally a social experience for me" - thanks for putting that so well. Ninety-nine times out of one hundred, I'd rather throw something together at home, but every now and then I'll choose to eat out.

I've got the book on hold!