Cooking for one, as the last few years have taught me, is not a great deal of fun. For starters it’s nearly impossible to cook the right portion if you require, say, ‘some aubergine’ and some things, like roasted butternut squash or any large cuts of meat, aren’t really scaleable. Of course it’s perfectly possible to eat a lovely, nutritious and varied diet for one and there are some advantages (never having to hold back on the chilli, being able to eat burger sauce on toast for tea if you really want) but when I was cooking for just myself, an indulgence felt more like a guilty binge than a luscious meal.
Cookery shows have clocked this- the presence of either a pseudo (or literal) restuarant setup on chef shows or the implication that there’s a family or friends ready to drop by and eat everything on cook shows, coupled with semi- magazine programs like Saturday Kitchen and the inevitable interaction between chef and audience (Nigella is cooking for you) gives a sense of performance to the creation that mitigates the gluttonous aspect.
But what if, like me, you seek the gluttonous aspect? I don’t watch cookery shows as a technical manual or as a form of self-flagellation that my dresses are not nearly so swishy and my hair not nearly so neat as yr latest ladycook magazine special, I watch them because I want to see some pleasant things to put in my mouth. I’m an average-to-decent cook and not all that bothered about being let in on the fannydangly secrets of Jamie Oliver’s fish pie but (especially as my partner isn’t all that interested in food) I am certainly looking for other openly drooling chums. Read the rest of this entry »