While at Chapters last week I browsed through What We Eat When We Eat Alone by Deborah Madison and Patrick McFarlin. The book is both a study of solo eating habits and a collection of recipes for one. I didn't buy it, but I think I'll go back for it because I've been thinking about it a lot. I've always enjoyed cooking, but I have to confess that I only started doing it regularly when Boyfriend came on the scene. My single life was a parade of convenience foods and while he was away last summer I set a new record for tuna sandwiches. I cooked a proper meal once or twice a week, but from the same handful of recipes. I almost never experimented or tried something new. I suppose that I wanted something familiar and comforting when I got home, and now that I have that in the form of a person I'm looking for something different from my dinner plate. I don't mean to suggest that this is at all typical, but it was my experience. I still frequently eat alone, but rarely at home. It's usually while going from one job to another. (Ever eaten leftover beets under an umbrella at the bus stop? I have!)
As it happens, this week I did eat alone. Boyfriend picked up a nasty cold and didn't leave his house all week. (No, we don't live together. Seems like it sometimes, doesn't it?) With the book in mind I started the week determined to eat real food. I made the Braised Kale and Chickpeas I talked about a few posts back, except this time I actually used chickpeas. Tuesday I had an entire frozen pizza. Wednesday I can't remember what I had. At all. I'm here racking my brain. What did I do Wednesday? I know I watched Glee, I know I did some laundry, but I can't remember a single thing I put in my mouth. Yesterday was a collection of various leftovers.
It's clear to me: I love food, I love cooking, I love eating, but for me it needs that extra spice, someone you love to eat with. Boyfriend will be over tonight. I don't know what we're having, but I know I'm a lot more interested.