Saturday, June 14, 2008

Going solo

I'm not sure about this whole cooking for one thing.

So Jude's on his way home to Singapore right now- probably somewhere in the middle of the Pacific en route to Japan. He has a research fellowship at the university that starts on Monday and since I'm teaching until the end of June, there was no choice but for him to go home first. It's a little odd having the house to myself, and making dinner tonight was especially strange. I literally found myself standing in front of the fridge, wondering what to cook. I came close to giving in to the urge to just have cereal- I almost never say 'no' to Honey-Nut Cheerios no matter the time of day- but in the end just threw various things together and made some fried rice. I make it a point to try to make dinner every night, not only because it saves us money, but the leftovers are an easy lunch the next day. Plus, I truly enjoy cooking for the two of us. But it just didn't feel the same tonight- I'm not sure whether it's because of the long day at school I had, the weird storm and crazy humid weather outside, or I was just plain missing my husband only after 8 hours (can someone say needy and co-dependent?...)

But I have resolved, that I shall look to the next 17 days as a challenge- to enjoy cooking for myself. To make nutritious, tasty and interesting (or at least try...) meals, just as if I were cooking for two. Just because I'm alone doesn't mean I shouldn't take care of what I put in my body or that I should no longer enjoy cooking. And to make sure I steer away from the temptation to have canned soup three days straight or to buy a huge cherry pie to eat over a week, I'm going to start taking pictures of my Meals for One, starting here. Who knows? if I embrace this whole cooking for one thing enough, it might just help a little (just a little) to ease my co-dependency issues over the next 17 days... ;)


Noor said...

Being single, I find the biggest problem with cooking for one is controlling the portions of what I cook. On the one hand, I like having leftovers so that I don't have to worry about dinner for a few days. On the other, eating the same thing for a few days can get boring!

But it really is nice to just cool for yourself. And I find that if it doesn't turn out well, there's always a bowl of cereal as plan B! :)

Dark Orpheus said...

It's probably just the unease that comes from change. You are use to cooking for two, the idea of cooking is all mixed in together with you and Jude, so it probably feels odd.

Don't think it's necessary "needy and co-dependent" unless you're calling him every 2 minutes to ask what should you cook for yourself. :)

In fact Deborah Madison's (my newfound idol for cooking) new book is supposed to be "What We Eat When We Eat Alone".

There's also a book, "Alone in the Kitchen With an Eggplant" - a collection of different authors on cooking and dining alone. It has Nora Ephron, Haruki Murakami, Ann Patchett and MFK Fisher among the contributors.

(Amazing how I can always link everything back to books!)

This chronicle of your experience of cooking alone can be fertile ground for adventure and discovery. See where it brings you.

serene said...

i know what you mean about leftovers- it's always a struggle between making enough for several meals and getting tired of eating the same thing for three days straight. chicken salad gets boring after about two days... :)

yes, your ability to link everything to books never ceases to amaze me- i'm particularly intrigued by the Eggplant book. have you read it yet? is it any good?

oh, and i did my first headstand at yoga the other day! VERY exciting! i needed the wall for support though but it still felt like an accomplishment. i definitely need more practice, esp. coming down from it. right now, it's more a very ungraceful collapsing of limbs ...

Dark Orpheus said...

oh, congratulations on the supported headstand! headstands are the wildest pose - and so much fun.

don't worry about having to use the wall at the moment - that's where we all start.

as for the collapse: as long as you're having fun, who cares if you're dat glam?

when we observed children at play, often we can see that their toddlering motions are less than graceful. but they don't care.

may your yoga practice be free from self-consciousness like a child at play.

oh, just be careful if you feel any ache or pain on your neck. that usu means the neck is misaligned.

from personal experience. heh :p

Eggplant book - it's a collection from various authors, some non-fic, some fic. So the quality varies.

and you might have read some of the stories from elsewhere. They are not original works. Eg: They took Murakami's story of cooking spaghetti alone - and I read that story from The New Yorker previously.

My advice is to borrow from the library. Support your local library :)

A said...

All my meals are meals for, so don't feel bad.And cooking for yourself shouldn't diminish your joy of cooking. I still like to cook, for cooking's sake. Now you get to be really creative and try out different combinations that you maybe wouldn't try when someone else is eating your food.

However, I think you're missing the added aspect of using food as a symbolic gesture to show how much you care about someone else. What do they call that? Oh,!

Also, congratulations to Jude!