Years ago when I was single I’d often eat a toasted peanut butter sandwich over the kitchen sink. Yes, I bought an $8 toaster. Then I graduated to a Trader Joe’s skillet-toasted dry flour tortilla with their Monterey Jack cheese and salsa. On a plate, not over the sink.
For 13 years I’ve had someone to cook for, and I don’t stop. I’ve even have a meal planned to try first-time from one of my favorite restaurants in SoCal. I’m practicing and doing my own riff which I don’t usually do from a recipe. I do it from ideas all the time but usually try recipes straight up first time then riff.
Like my baby arugula salad with fresh raspberry vinaigrette (including two roasted garlic cloves, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper, 1/8 tsp of sugar and canola oil). It was served with fresh raspberries, a bit of feta crumbles and sauteed procuitto bits. Garnish was a wedge of cantaloupe.
I’m thinking of changing it up. My first calzone, I make pizza dough all the time with Italian soft OO flour. I’m thinking prosciutto, arugula sauteed with roasted garlic, feta, mozzarella, and some dry-roasted pignoli. I’ll fold them up as en papilliotte (when one takes the parchment paper in a heart shape, folds it over and does diagonal folds to keep in a piece of fish and garnishes) with perhaps an egg wash to keep them closed while baking.
Cooking for one is always difficult and lonely and I don’t make many frozen food items, certainly not for my husband, sometimes for me alone. He’s been gone nearly two months now (with a brief Labor Day visit) and I and Zoe The Hipless Wonder Dog miss him.
Neighbors check on me from time to time. As of yesterday a new Swedish neighbor is going to teach me how he makes meatballs and sauce and in turn, I’ll teach him a true Texas chili (originating from Lady Bird Johnson in 1962 where JFK and 5,000 guests descended upon the Johnsons’ Pedernales River Ranch).
One neighbor’s wife is away long-term so we have similar issues of missing people we love. Luckily he’s going to see her next week. We’re not close in the way you think but I share a meal from time to time, he gives me sartorial advice for my husband and always gives our dog a treat. Yes, she has to perform for it because it’s extra to her dinner. I told him about a used bookstore and he already knew about it from taking his wife to the airport.
Bonds are stretched with missing spouses. I tend the community herb garden and cook with all my other household duties, and take out the dog five times a day and write. It is good to know that there are kind people around me who plan activities or just check in for good measure.
Anything to keep me from a peanut butter sandwich standing over the kitchen sink. Creativity and new things as J says. Cheers! D & Z