I have a number of “cooking for one” type cookbooks from when I lived alone right after college. I’m just generally fascinated by the different types of food that we cook for just ourselves when we don’t have other people to feed. A couple of books actually examine this topic, including “Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant” (one of my favorites!) and “What We Eat When We Eat Alone.” We all have those weird things that we eat all by ourselves, that perhaps don’t make up a proper meal. I tend to adore breakfast for dinner, so I’ll make myself an omelet or French toast or some truly killer hashbrowns when I have no one else to feed. On the weirder side, I love a baked potato with cottage cheese and sharp cheddar melted inside the potato jacket.
The brilliantly named Ms. En Place recently posted her own single girl food, and then followed it up with a “good wife” meal that she cooks for her husband. I loved the dichotomy. I’ll eat a giant bowl of salad for dinner, but J needs something with a little more oomph. I realized this the first time I told him we were having kale salad for dinner and he said “kale salad and….?”
J has been traveling more lately, so I’ve had more opportunities for single girl food. One of my favorite things to have is something I refer to as “picnic dinner.”
Raspberries, feta-stuffed olives, sourdough bread with homemade plum jam, green beans with hummus and extra sharp cheddar cheese. I could make an entire meal of extra sharp cheddar cheese if we’re being honest, but I tried to round things out a little. This cheese is aged four years, and practically crumbles as you cut it. Californian’s don’t seem to adore their sharp cheddar quite the same way that I do. Since moving out here I’ve found all sorts of mild cheddar, and even some medium and the occasional block of sharp cheddar. But extra sharp cheddar is hard to come by, and something as stellar Cabot’s “Seriously Sharp” cheddar is just lacking.
Not to go on too long of a cheese tangent, but I really miss Cabot. After one particularly epic camping trip, six of us stopped at the Cabot factory in Vermont and proceeded to sample every kind of cheese they make. Several times. The Seriously Sharp cheddar is far and away my favorite, but I love all of their cheeses. We left the factory so full of cheese, it was ridiculous! As a result, my picnic dinners always need to have cheese, preferably extra sharp cheddar. I have to keep an eye on it though, or else these trouble makers will make off with a piece of cheese when I’m not watching. At least they have good taste!
Do you have a “single person” meal? Something you look forward to making just for you?