Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dinner for One

When I was young and single, I cooked for one -- when I cooked which was not all that often. Then, when first married, I cooked for two. That was an experience because all I knew how to cook was roast beef, baked potatoes with lots of butter and sour cream and green beans. Eventually, I learned a few other things to cook that were less expensive.

After my divorce, with a small son, I cooked little meals made up of the meats and vegetables I bought from Bell’s Market that was a few blocks from my home. I made just a small salary (not much has changed there!) and the wonderful butchers at the market offered me meat at discount prices if I came on Saturday afternoon when the meat might spoil before Monday because stores were still closed on Sundays in those days. I could feed the two of us on $5 per week! And we ate well - lamb chops, steaks, good cuts of beef and fresh chicken and fresh veggies! Amazing!

In my second marriage, my husband brought five sons and I one, so we had six boys who needed to eat three meals each day. I learned to make menus and follow them to the letter. They were posted on the refrigerator: Monday through Sunday: breakfast, lunch and dinner with snacks. The kids learned that if food was a snack, they could eat it, otherwise, it was part of a meal they would eat during the week. My cooking improved. As we grew into our more married life, we joined AAUW or church dinner groups as my cooking branched out to the more exotic, I became known as a good cook.

Now, six years into widowhood, I rarely cook a meal for myself. Cooking for one is so tiresome. I have a book or two about cooking for one, but some nights I am not home to do that and I skip a meal or eat food that is not interesting. Part of the result of skipping meals or eating on the run is weight gain that could rob me of good health. To help with the weight, I exercise six days each week. And, when exercising alone was not successful at trimming the weight, I rejoined Weight Watchers.

This morning at my 7AM WW meeting, I complained about having to cook for one and how all recipes seem developed for 4 or 6 or 8. I decided that something could change - I could invite people who are tired of cooking for one to come to my home this Friday (the 25), bring a dish to share that they cooked for 3 or 4, and eat with me. We would make new friends, have a different type of supper and get out of a rut.

Sometimes, God-things come in packages that look unusual. Sharing a meal with friends is a Godly thing - Christians celebrate communal eating each time they have communion. We will see how this turns out. I won’t give out my address, but if you are interested in joining this supper gathering let me know by responding my Facebook link. I am bringing tabbouleh and some kind of meat.


  1. Gosh, food is so holy. It nourishes our bodies and when shared nurtures our spirit. We share holiday meals, family meals with special recipes and ordinary every day meals. However, mostly we share them with friends known and family. How great to share a meal with those unknown but yet special as they bring new gifts to each of us. Why don't we share more meals? Is it because we need to prepare something perfect or priceless? But, I wonder, what could be more priceless than our friendship and generosity of heart. Sometimes my friends and I have a "leftover night". We have all grown up making too much food or have forgotten how not to cook for two after cooking for 6 or 8. Maybe one night should always be a communtiy leftover night. Food in any event is sacrament!!!

  2. "Why don't we share more meals?" maybe because we think everything has to be perfect - house, table, food, and we forget about our own imperfections. Or, it is too much work.