It is difficult to cook for one. Or rather, it is difficult to cook for one in the same way that you might cook for a group of two or more. Not only are most recipes formulated to serve more than one person, but there is often a natural sense of motivation that comes from cooking with or for someone else that just isn’t quite there when you’re alone. This is why a lot of “single” meals tend to be stereotyped as bowls of cereal and other quick-fix (sometimes no-cook) foods.
Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant is a compendium of short stories from writers like Amanda Hesser and Paula Wolfert that are all about cooking for one. Not only is it a good read, but it serves as a motivational tool to remind single cooks (whether they’re cooking for one on a regular basis or just occasionally) that you can – and often should – take the time to cook something elegant, delicious, gourmet for yourself because not only will you get a good meal, but you’ll get a sense of satisfaction that a bowl of cereal or some take-out can’t deliver.
The book touches on some topics that are funny, while others are more subdued, or even sad, as the writers discuss their thoughts and experiences on the topic of eating alone. Many of the stories include recipes – recipes that serve one, of course – and there are a number of stories about dining out alone, as well as stories about cooking.