Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Are We What We Eat?

This is a cross-posting from my own blog Quid Nunc?  I've gotten two responses there, but I think a lot more people read this blog, so I thought I'd give it a try here.  The two responses I got were interesting, and I know there's a lot more great ideas on this subject out there.  

Just want to point out for those of you who may be unfamiliar with Deborah Madison, that she has a little article in the current AARP magazine bearing the title of her latest book: What We Eat When We Eat Alone.
The subject of the book, and the article, is what Madison calls "personal foods" and describes her own in this lovely paragraph: 
Weird foods notwithstanding, when Patrick and I started posing the eating-solo question to friends, we discovered that most people have one or two dishes (what I call "personal foods") that they cook for themselves alone. Personal foods do more than satisfy hunger; they nourish us in a deep and even spiritual way. My personal food is toasted rye bread covered with a thin layer of cheddar and marmalade, a treat my grandmother enjoyed daily with a cup of dark tea. We shared this toast when I visited her as a child, and I've always been drawn to its pungent flavors.
One of the reasons Deborah Madison has become my food guru shows up in the above description - she recognizes and is not afraid to talk about the "deep and even spiritual" dimensions of food. Her cookbooks speak to that need within us all to be nourished by what we eat at exactly that deep and often spiritual level.

Deborah's  husband Patrick's personal food is shown, in an improved form over the Arkansas original, in the photo: grilled pimento cheese panini, which the couple sometimes has for dinner, with a glass of French champagne.  My current eat-on-my-own food, what I often have for lunch before leaving to teach my afternoon class, is a flour tortilla with strips of roasted green chile, a shredded Mexican cheese sprinkled over them, then grilled in the toaster oven until the cheese melts and I can smell the chile.  It's a sort of quesadilla, I guess, though much less trouble to make.  I don't know how spiritually fulfilling it is, but it's mighty good, and keeps me going through an afternoon of trying to get across the difference between direct and indirect objects to my adult ESL class.

Anyone have some personal or solo-dining favorites to share?  I'd love to hear them.


Lisa :-] said...

Needless to say, I don't really cook for myself anymore. When I'm at the restaurant, I can usually whip up a nice little salad or something, and TRY not to eat the French fries...

When I'm home by myself--and you all are allowed to laugh--I usually like "Lean Cuisine" meat loaf or spaghetti. I USED to make up a pan of tuna-mac (tuna, peas and mac and cheese) until I found out how many "points" (in Weight Watchers lingo) are in a serving of mac & cheese. That's when "Lean Cuisine" made it to my personal menu...LOL!

emmapeelDallas said...

I have a spicy tomato soup that I make. I used canned tomatoes and Rotel, among other things. It only takes about half an hour. I make it winter or summer; in fact, I made a big pot of it last night. Like all soups and stews, it gets better as it sits in the fridge. I always keep a block of Parmesan in the fridge and I grate a little of that on top of it before I serve it to myself, with a salad on the side. I always feel good when I eat that soup!

JACKIE said...

Ground beef, ground turkey or diced chicken mixed with BBQ sauce or Hawaiian style sweet and sour served on a home made bun. Totally great sloppy Joe by yourself dinner.

marigolds2 said...

Emmapeeldallas - gotta ask for the entire recipe for the soup. Rotel, think of that - you ARE in Dallas, aren't you? haven't thought of Rotel for years. But, really, please email me the recipe or put it in a post or comment here.
Lisa, when we had kids living at home, that very tuna mac was one of our frequent meals, they loved it and would come home on time for dinner when we made it.
Jackie - sounds great, but as a nonmeat-eater, I'll have to give it a pass. And I used to love sloppy joes.

alphawoman said...

Like tonight, for the first time in a long long time I am alone and I cooked a chicken pot pie in my 10inch skillet. It took several hours but the moment I dug out that first wedge....Oh my my. <u hubs does not like me to cook the pot pie. He thinks its full of empty calories...let alone the devine pie crust! And I am topping it off with vitimin D milk and Rollo cookies. He'd have a fit if he were here. lol!