Sunday, August 18, 2013

Bare Minimum

I have, in my sporadic postings over the years, written quite a bit about "cooking for one". Eating alone is a highly debate-able activity--some people think food is all about community, the bringing together of people--and this notion is certainly true. However--there is something to cooking solely for oneself that I find beautiful and important. Cooking for one allows the opportunity to make something that may not be deemed "suitable" for company, whether it's simple like noodles with Parmesan, or a composed meal of olives, cheese, and bread (a meal fit for a queen, and yet somehow, offering that, and only that, to guests feels like a cop-out). These solo meals are a chance to revel in simplicity. I know that a perfectly ripe tomato is the best food out there, but it would be a rare day that you find me serving only tomato slices to a guest.

Having recently moved (to a new town, a new state!) cooking for one is back in my repertoire. And, more than ever, I truly feel as though I'm cooking for one, given that I have no furniture, save a single folding chair. Somehow, the absence of home furnishings make me feel even more alone. My things will arrive next weekend, but until then, all I have is myself. Myself and a minimally stocked kitchen. First things first.

Today I baked a loaf of bread. It is a beautiful loaf, and it is made all the more lovely to me eating it in this sparse home. Good bread nourishes more than the body.

And to drink, I made an old-fashioned. This isn't a cocktail I usually drink, but after tonight, I am a believer. The weather here has been, I am told, unseasonable for North Carolina. Yesterday and today were grey, even a little cold. The old-fashioned fit the bill. The brightness of the orange makes it a summer drink, sunny and sweet. Yet it is still mostly bourbon, and this makes the drink boozy and warm. Perfect for a cloudy summer evening. I used Jefferson's bourbon, which is fiery yet light, making it, I think, ideal for this cocktail.

Enjoy your own kitchen.

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