So here I am reading outside ‘my shelf’ so to speak. This month’s ‘assigned’ book for The Kitchen Reader was What We Eat When We Eat Alone: Stories and 100 Recipes by Deborah Madison and Patrick McFarlin.

    Some solo diners relish the elaborate, while others prefer the bizarre, some eat their favorite foods, some eat what’s convenient, and others choose their menues according to their moods.

I’m not sure where I fall in that group. Sometimes I eat my favorite foods that no one else likes (Curry). Sometimes it is what ever is left over from the past couple of meals. I don’t remember turning to something bizarre, but often according to my mood. Guess that makes me an ecclectic ‘alone’ eater.

But I guess that is what Madison and McFarlin were thinking when they interviewed different people about their ‘alone’ eating habits. They found there is often a difference between peoples but it isn’t always between the sexes or the age groups. It is just due to different tastes and experiences. I do think that it has a lot to do with class. It seems most of the people the authors interviewed were more professional/well educated/upper middle and upper class people whose experiences are different from others. (But that is just how I saw it.) I was surprised by some of the ‘report’ but not by all of it. Comfort foods often come up when one is alone – PB and J, Mac and Cheese, Soup and Sandwich. But comfort is also personal.

    I buy a large jar of picked herring…., boil enough potatoes….caramelize some sweet onions, then top the potatoes with them and a good portion of herry….works for the 100 percent German in me.”

It’s all relative.

There are some good recipes in the book from the individuals who do eat alone: Brooke’s Chicken Fajitas with Black Beans, Exotic Rice Pudding on Demand, Salmon Chowder, Maureen’s Shrimp, Feta, and Bulgur Salad, and (of course) Pickled Herring with Mashed Potatoes and Caramelized Onions.

I still am not sure if I liked this book, but I enjoyed the information and it was interesting reading. I guess it’s the culturalist in me. Different people, different worlds, different ideas.

And that is why they make


So, I pose the same question to you, Dear Readers, “When you are alone – if/when that ever happens – what do you EAT??”