Friday, May 14, 2010

"i swear i have nothing to prove"

the food: What We Eat When We Eat Alone
the song: "Gardenhead/Leave Me Alone" Neutral Milk Hotel

I write a lot about the enjoyment of shared meals- the way food brings out the best in us, eases conversation, and creates memories on multiple levels. There are few things I enjoy more than a leisurely meal with people I love. A few months ago, read What We Eat When We Eat Alone, where Deborah Madison and her artist husband Patrick McFarlin's set out to discover (as the title suggests) what things people do differently when they are only feeding themselves. The quirky illustrations and personalized recipes made it a quick read, which I appreciate since I'm a slow reader. Some stories are embarrassing, some are peculiar, and others are really noble. But they are all personal and charming in their own way.  

I'm spending tonight alone. The husband is visiting his dad, who just got out of the hospital today. May has been rough on our family...the father-in-law is the 4th relative who has been in the hospital this month. Thankfully, it seems like everyone is recovering, comfortable back at home. I'm glad the husband is able to be with him, and I'm so very relieved that the father-in-law is home.

When it comes to feeding myself, I have two go-to meals that can be ready in about 15 minutes. Option One consists of a carb (pasta, couscous, white rice), a vegetable, and cheese. Lately my choice for a quick lunch has been pasta with frozen broccoli, a bit of olive oil, lots of salty cheese, and pepper. So simple and quick, but so satisfying. It gives me the feeling of mac and cheese without actually eating an entire pan of mac and cheese. Because I'll do it. Really...don't tempt me.

Tonight, though, I went with Option Two.

Egg sandwiches might be my perfect food. I've been eating them since I was a kid. Back in the day, my mom made them with a slice of cheese and Miracle Whip. I loved them then, and I love them now. I'm tempted to say that I'd order an egg sandwich over a breakfast taco, which is pure heresy for an Austinite. Tonight I made it just a little fancier with some sliced tomatoes and a layer of pesto. Oh, and the tots are a guilty pleasure that I keep in my freezer for just such an occasion. Hey, nobody's perfect.

The funny thing about this solitary food is that I'm not sure why I don't make egg sandwiches for dinner. Ok, so they aren't appropriate for a dinner party, but I'm certain the husband would enjoy them. But for me, they are personal and I guess I don't feel like sharing. Egg sandwiches remind me of eating at home. I made them a lot in my first apartment and I still make them anytime I get the chance to feed just myself.

Throw in a few episodes of Law & Order* (now streaming on Netflix...which I appreciate even more since the show got canceled today) and you have a pretty good Friday night for me. Don't say I didn't warn you that some aspects of the solitary meal can be embarrassing.

P.S. Does this remind you of my grilled cheese post? Like I said, May has been rough. There's a reason they call it comfort food.

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