A well-crafted meal creates a space for all kinds of wonderful things to happen – family ties can be strengthened, a sense of community nurtured, and love welcomed in. Hours of hard, careful work in the kitchen may reap the rewards of appreciative smiles, warm feelings, and good conversation.
But what happens – if anything – when no one is there except you? In 2000, the Utne Reader featured a short essay that described this kind of day-to-day existence as being “quirkyalone,” meaning subsisting without a partner but not necessarily as a social recluse.
Quirky or otherwise, feeding ourselves remains a daily problem, an unavoidable necessity with or without a companion with whom to break bread. Cookbook guru Deborah Madison and her artist husband Patrik McFarlin explore this question in What We Eat When We Eat Alone with stories from solitary cooks accompanied by 100 recipes. McFarlin’s doodle-like drawings add whimsy to the peculiar confessions.
To read the full review and hear an interview with the author, click here.