Updated: Apr 23
Look ladies, you know he can’t stay for dinner! You will be eating alone. Okay, but do you want to hear the upside of cooking for one? You can cook whatever the hell you like. No one else's strange eating habits to consider. You don’t have to say to yourself, “Oh, he can’t have that! Or he doesn’t eat that!” No picky eaters to feed. You can cook exactly what you want, when you want it! Adjust your attitude my friend. This is a good thing!
I know it’s hard to plan because you never know when he might be able to escape and grace you with his presence, but it really is best to plan your menu and meals for one. Yes, it can be easier to cook something from cardboard or order takeout, but real talk, the act of cooking for yourself is probably one of the best things you can do for yourself. Okay, actually the best thing you can do is probably to get rid of a certain person, but I digress! Let’s get back to cooking. Believe it or not, you can prepare a healthy and delicious meal with little fuss and not a whole lot of time.
In addition to planning, knowing how to stock your pantry with quality staples will allow you to not only save time, but to be spontaneous if you like. (I have some tips to come on this) I don’t know about you, but I’m no fan of leftovers and I am even less of a fan of cleaning out the fridge when it’s full of furry unrecognizable items.
There are plenty of single serving recipes to be found if that’s not your thing. But if that’s not you, there are also plenty of ways to reinvent the leftovers to create a completely new meal on day two. (Or day three if he gets free because his wife has a thing!)
It has certainly been a challenge to go from feeding a family, constantly entertaining or feeding some ungrateful soul……well, they were grateful for the meal, just not sure some of them had any appreciation for my ass! It was difficult to adjust to cooking for one. I love to cook. It gives me pleasure to feed others; to share my culinary artistry. There is much satisfaction in feeding and nourishing another person, especially someone you love and care for.
Okay, but who is more deserving of love than you? Hold up. If you are a SP you might not exactly believe that, but work on it!
The key is to learn to enjoy the process; to learn to make it as easy, convenient and as painless as possible. With the right skills, tools, gadgets, (no not those tools) a well-stocked pantry and some cheat sheets, (and no, not that kind of cheating) it can be not only convenient and painless, it can be quite enjoyable!
I work out and I always feel better afterwards because I have done something good for myself. I’ve just transferred that thought process to the kitchen and I learned to love to cook something good, just for me! F*#k a man! I’m sorry. I don’t know where that came from. I’m not bitter, I swear! Really, not any more! Well, not everyday! Okay, maybe on Tuesdays! Is today Tuesday?
And let’s be honest here, sometimes being alone just plain sucks! All that BS, “I love my ME time. I enjoy my own company…waaaaaahhhhhh!!!!!” Total isolation is no good long term. Alone time is good; it’s necessary! But when you start talking to yourself, having full blown conversations, including Q&A-maybe time to put the spatula down and either get the hell out, or invite some other Side Piece friends over to at least laugh at men. Side Pieces gotta eat too! Scale up the recipe and keep it moving. I know, that sounds so sexist. I don’t mean it… that much.
And by the way, you know, alone and lonely are not synonymous? Many times I love being alone even though I am a very social person. I do enjoy sitting quietly. I enjoy reading a book. I have hobbies and interests. And I absolutely love being alone at the beach. I enjoy nothing more than listening to the sound of the waves. No conversation. Just me, a book, the sound of the ocean, and some sauvignon blanc in a Snapple lemonade bottle so Malibu Beach Police don’t roll up on me and ask, “Maam, what’s in the bottle?
You do have to learn to enjoy alone time or you'll be needy as hell in a relationship. We all need a human connection. And I think we all desire companionship. But on those nights that you don't, stay home and make yourself a wonderful delicious and nutritious meal. Relish the idea that you don't have to have any redundant and stupid conversation, watch a man or a woman for that matter, scarf down the fruits of your labor offering absolutely no real meaningful conversation.
You can play the music you like. You can crack a bottle of wine, unless of course you cracked one last night and polished it off. (If this is the case, you might want to slow that shit down!) Stay home and treat yourself well until maybe you find some new asshole that knows how or at least tries. I'm not bitter. I swear. Only on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
I think the key is to learn how to balance your alone time with being social. I truly believe that in all things, balance and moderation is the key, in life and in the kitchen! Too much of anything is bad for you. Yes, that too!
Truth is, I belong to a club of women who are, single, separated, divorced, not in a committed relationship, and living alone. And statistically, our membership is growing. For the first time in history more people are single than married or in so-called committed relationships. (AS IF!) Look, just as wine should complement the meal, a man or hell a partner of any kind, should complement your life and if he (or shit, she!) does not, your ass is better off without them!
Actually, cooking for yourself can be very satisfying and relaxing. And the good news is, you can screw up a dish and fix it. Ain’t shit you can do to fix someone else! Sorry, but you cannot add sugar to make them sweet. There are things you can add to make him hard, but that's my next book! I think I will call it, “the blue specks in your pancakes aren’t blueberries!” In fact, I might write that book for single men! How many times have I used the word “shit?” Is anyone counting?
Cooking can be very therapeutic as well. You can always pretend the object you're dicing is not a zucchini and no one does any jail time! If they don’t have a wine list, I’m not really interested in being there.
It doesn't have to take a long time and you can eat well for a lot less money. You can put the money you save into your shoe fund, where it belongs. (Unless you are one of those kept Side Pieces in which case you are set on your shoe fund) I don't know anything about all that!
If you want scrambled eggs and French toast for dinner, there's no one to object. You can have whatever you want! (Except maybe him) Go for it!
Have fun. Play some music. My upcoming book has a whole Side Piece suggested playlist!
Stay tuned as I share:
Tips and tricks. (Not those kind of tricks)
Tools & Techniques-As in Sur La Table, Kitchen Kapers NOT The Pleasure Chest
Best Lubricants - I meant infused oils.
Put that bottle down! No, not the wine! The salad dressing. Make your own!
Recipes for simple Pastas, Risotto & Polenta “A Fancy Name for Grits” – And Grits, they are not just for Al Green any more. Never mind, you’re too young.
And Breakfast for One - Because You Know He Can't Stay Over!
I also invite you to share your recipes and solo cooking rituals!