Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Alone in the Kitchen

Salsa in Green Bowl, Upper Left, 2014

Have you read Laurie Colwin's essay, Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant? I have, multiple times, and I just heard it read in a late September episode of Selected Shorts from PRI, the Next Stop, Greenwich Village episode.

"People lie when you ask them what they eat when they are alone. A salad, they tell you. But when you persist, they confess to peanut butter and bacon sandwiches deep fried and eaten with hot sauce, or spaghetti with butter and grape jam."

I love this essay. I listened while eating breakfast, a simple and lovely plate of food I posted on Instagram. My photo showed an apple, a few pieces of sharp cheddar cheese, and a long slice of bread neatly cut in half. What I did not post was the last of the bag of Tostitos and the salsa that I ate after I finished the lovely plate of food, when I was still hungry.

It was perfect timing, listening to Laurie Colwin reminisce about washing arugula in her bathtub, eating the same toasted cheese dinner for six months, and her failed beef fondue, laughing at herself as I laughed at myself and finished off the tortilla chip crumbs at the bottom of the bag.

24 comments:

  1. amelia from ztastylifeOctober 29, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    so crazy true and fun! I am eating chocolate to finish up my healthy carrot lunch :)

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    Replies
    1. We all find balance in our own way, right? ; )

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  2. I love this. After I read that book a few years ago, I was prompted to write a post asking the question, "What do you eat when you are alone?" You were one of the commenters, Denise!
    http://cookingathome-michele.blogspot.com/2010/06/what-do-you-eat-when-you-are-alone.html

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  3. this is wonderful! now dying to try a deep-fried peanut butter bacon sandwich? I think people always forget about all the disasters and failures that (are hilarious and) go into cooking in our super-stylized food-blog culture.
    Claire
    www.augustlikethemonth.blogspot.com

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    1. Enjoy that sandwich and report back with details.

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  4. Yay Tostitos! I'm trying to stick to the beautiful food, but my husband just handed me a Snickers. I must accept.

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    1. The funny thing is I'm not even a fan of Tostitos. My corner market quit carrying the Kettle brand toasted corn chips I like, so I bought Tostitos in a pinch. If in the mood for a candy bar, Snickers is a pretty good way to go. I like the salty sweet combination. Enjoy.

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  5. thank you for the honesty. i feel less guilty now. n♥

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  6. This essay sounds fabulous- I must read it! Also love your honesty.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Stacy. And yes, read it. Or listen to it. Enjoy!

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  7. have always loved Laurie Colwin's work---charmed.
    when you can read her again and again and still find joy---that's great writing. I'd love to listen to the essay.

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    Replies
    1. It's nice to have those few things in life that feel that way...

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  8. Don't we wish we could have know Laurie Colwin?

    She would have been my BFF. The one I turned to for recipes, comfort and laughter.

    xo J

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  9. Appetite, of course, is one of the most important factors in human life. She also makes me blind! I admire the bravery of your stomach.

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    Replies
    1. Blind? Uh oh. My stomach can be brave. ; )

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  10. I like Colwin. I like her food writing, but enjoy her fiction like I enjoy raiding my children's Halloween candy for peanut butter cups -- it's a treat.

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    Replies
    1. Can you recommend some of her fiction, Rachael?

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    2. Passion and Affect, a collection of short stories. The New Yorker's podcast has one of them, "Mr Parker." Enjoy!

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    3. As soon as I started listening to the podcast I remembered it. I've listened before and loved it, so I listened again. I added the book to my reading list. Thanks, Rachael.

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  11. It was going to be grilled fish and steamed broccoletti for dinner. Then I jumped up, fried some chips and made a garlic mayonnaise for the side. So, yes.
    I've stopped feeling guilty though with age :)

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  12. Tasty! Guilt is not very useful, is it?

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