BrokeAss Gourmet

BrokeAss Gourmet

Cooking for One

Of all reasons I've heard from people for why they don't cook, perhaps the the most common one is that they're a party of one.

"It's just me," they'll say. "Why should I bother when there's no one else eating with me? I can get takeout delivered to my door, and not have to do any prep or wash any dishes." Or worse, they'll make the case for a microwaved frozen dinner.

There is, of course, a litany of reasons why cooking for oneself is a good thing to do: it's healthier and more cost-effective than the aforementioned options; when you control what goes into your food, you control what goes into your body. Fresh ingredients are not only healthier, but also usually cheaper than take-out or frozen meals. Those are valid points. But they're not the main reason I do it.

For me, cooking for myself is one of the most deliciously indulgent, deeply satisfying pleasures available. It's "me time" in the best possible sense: I get to cook exactly what I feel like eating. I can season my food precisely to my liking. I get to take my time chopping, basting and roasting, not worrying about anyone else's schedule or level of hangry-ness. I can sip wine while I stir, and listen to whatever music I please. I can set a beautiful table and enjoy my dinner formally, or I can eat on the couch, while I watch Law & Order: SVU--it's totally up to me. After dinner, I can sit at the table and read for an hour, or, if I feel like it, I can abandon the dishes and go take a bath.

Don't get me wrong, I love cooking for others. Most nights, I cook dinner for Evan, and it's my favorite part of the day. But, on the nights we don't eat together, I relish my time in the kitchen alone. The importance of the quality of my dinner doesn't diminish because I'm the only one eating it.

I hope to have a family someday, and I hope to cook them incredible food every night. But I also hope that, occasionally, I'll find myself on my own for dinner. I'll pour myself a glass of Pinot, turn on some Smokey Robinson, and chop, stir, and nurture my body and soul with a special meal made just for me.

Why wouldn't I bother?

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What They're Saying

Ryley, on May 6, 05:45 AM, wrote:

I love this! I didn’t realize what a luxury this was until it became nearly obsolete. Enjoy!

Eileen, on May 6, 08:04 AM, wrote:

Oh man, I love cooking for just myself! It’s so nice to be able to make exactly what you want right at that moment, and to sit down to a plate of food that’s just for you. Yay!

Laura P., on May 7, 03:05 AM, wrote:

When my now-husband was deployed to Iraq and then to Afghanistan, I learned how very important it is to indulge in cooking good meals just for yourself. It helped keep me from feeling like I was just killing time until he came home—I felt like I was continuing to really live and enjoy myself.

Woodrow Wilson, author "The Champagne Taste/Beer Budget Cookbook", on May 12, 11:28 AM, wrote:

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I just recently moved out of my folk’s house (at 33 it was time… You can only justify a busy life, school, and working nights for so long), and this has been my biggest/hardest thing. I love to cook, but I know how to cook for an army not just me. And I hate leftovers. I’m having the hardest time trying to figure out how to do this and not have leftovers. And I can’t find any websites that give me how to cook for just me. I end up inviting a lot of people over and having dinner parties more than I’d like.

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