My posts so far have been about dinner parties and the food I tend to serve to my guests. Part of me thinks it would be great if life was always that much fun, but the reality is that I can't have large dinner parties every day (or even every week). So what do I do when I don't have other people to feed?
My parents (like most Haitian parents I know) were not the biggest fans of eating out. I can't say I blame them: the food my mom could make at home usually tasted better and was less expensive. Unfortunately, though I am usually pretty selective about what I eat (so at least it tastes good), I've adopted the more American mentality of eating out.
I recently had a conversation with a friend who doesn't like to cook. She says she ends up snacking a lot (rather than eating a proper meal) because it seems easier than having to cook for herself. I'll admit it, there is something that feels easier about either eating out or eating something that requires no forethought (like a bowl of cereal). But just like I can't eat party food every day, I know it's better for me to put some thought in to what I'm eating most of the time.
I wish I loved cooking for just myself as much as I love cooking for others, but the truth is often seems like much more work. I don't like leftovers most of the time, and there are a lot of fresh ingredients that aren't scaled to the single-serve audience. I don't like to waste food unnecessarily, which means I have to get really creative with what I'm making for the everyday meal.
Wouldn't it be great if there was a grocery store that catered to the single person who wanted to cook for themselves (but that wouldn't charge you double the price for half the product)? While I'm waiting for someone to turn that idea in to reality, I do believe that it is possible to shop (and cook!) for the individual—it just requires more planning.
Eating is generally a social event, and I do love a good crowd. However, there is something particularly satisfying about caring enough for yourself to put in the effort to make a meal that only you will get to enjoy. I've also realized it's better for my budget and my health to stay in more often than I go out.
It's still a work in progress, but my goal is to be better about treating myself to good home-made food more often. Next week's post will include a recipe for one of my favorite solo recipes.