Sunday, December 18, 2005

What Do You Eat When You're Alone?

There is a wonderful cook book called Home Cooking, by Laurie Colwin; this is one of those that can be read with pleasure by people who don't cook, because the true value of it is not the recipes (though the ones I've tried are good) but the pleasure to be found in its writing. The recipes are embedded in chapters that sometimes have titles like "How to Disguise Vegetables" or "Repulsive Dinners: A Memoir". I've read most of these chapters more than once, and occasionally find myself thinking about something from them. Like this, from the section called "Alone in the Kitchen with An Eggplant":

"Dinner alone is one of life's pleasures. Certainly cooking for oneself
reveals man at his weirdest. People lie when you ask them what they eat when
they are alone. A salad, they tell you. But when you persist, they confess to
peanut butter and bacon sandwiches deep fried and eaten with hot sauce, or
spaghetti with butter and grape jam."

Yesterday I ate lunch at home alone. I squeezed half a boudin (a kind of Cajun sausage, made of rice, meat, and spices; it's sometimes spelled boudain) out of its membrane, mixed it with an egg, dropped it by spoonfuls into a skillet, fried it, and ate the resulting patties with a tablespoon of ketchup that had two drops of hot sauce mixed in. This is possibly some sort of Cajun blasphemy, I don't know. But it wasn't bad.

What do you eat when you're alone?

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