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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Ryley, on May 6, 08:45 AM, wrote:

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

Eileen, on May 6, 11:04 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, 06:05 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, 02:28 PM, wrote:

“Because I’m worth it” is reason enough to cook well for one when you’re alone. Besides, you can experiment with things you wouldn’t try out on company. That’s how recipes are born.

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Kim, on Jun 17, 08:50 AM, wrote:

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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