Monday, July 6, 2009

What We Eat When We're Alone

I just read an interesting article called "What We Really Eat When We're Alone" and I'm slightly surprised.

Maybe because one thing that the book excerpt lists is an actual recipe for something called "Johnny Cakes." They seem to be a pancake of sorts, really rich and buttery and sound wonderful. I thought this quote was really poignent:

"Eating alone is nothing less than a luxurious, even decadent, act," [Kate Manchester] says, "because I get to think about myself. I don't have to think about someone else."

I would love to believe that when left to my own devices (as I am at least 5 nights out of the week), that I would creat a beautiful, nutrious, and mouth watering dish. Sometimes I do. But mostly, I grab a salad on the way back from the gym...or I make a grilled cheese, or sinfully, a bowl of white pasta with some butter and salt.

Perhaps the difference between my alone eating and this article's "Eating Alone" is this: timing. I much prefer cooking for people.

Take, for example, this past weekend. Chadd's family was in town for the 4th of July. They were exceedingly generous to us and took us out for dinner Friday and Saturday night and for brunch on Sunday. I felt that it was more than necessary for me to invite everyone over for a meal. It also satisfied my intense desire to play hostess. Saturday morning's breakfast included:

Hot New Orleans Coffee
Orange Juice

Fruit Salad
Scrambled Eggs with Cheese
Homemade buttermilk biscuits
White Gravy

I was reigned in when I went to make sausage.

By myself...breakfast is mostly likely in the form of greek yogurt with some kashi crunch, eaten at the office.

When Chadd is home for dinner, we have things like roast beef and scalloped potatoes, salmon and rice pilaf, baked chicken with roasted potatoes....

When I am home by myself, I feel that I have no energy to cook. It does help that I'm usually putting something full of simple carbs, fatty proteins, and butter together for Chadd that can start out as low fat and carb free. But even then, I wish that I had the energy to make a beautiful and sumptuous dinner for myself.

Perhaps it is as elusive as my desire to get up at least more than 15 minutes before I have to be out the door. Both are due to exhaustion and are usually instigated when I realize that I can "get away with it." I slept through my alarm one morning and learned that I could be ready enough in 15 minutes.

I eat triscuits and cheese when I get home and suddenly, I'm not hungry anymore. Add a bite of whatever I made for Chadd and my brilliant dinner plans are too much effort.

I guess it all ties back to sleep, or a lack thereof.

What did make me feel better was that, on the audio of the article, the authors of the book mentioned that there is an entire chapter in their book dedicated to the stories of people who turn to sardenes...and what one woman called "Spaghetti Sandwhich."

At least, for the most part, my meals alone aren't made of fish with edible bones and carb overload.

I really do want to turn my sleeping habits around. Time to give it a shot this week....fingers crossed.

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