The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

A Rant, and a Book Review of The Pleasures of Cooking for One, by Judith Jones

I eat about half of my dinners alone, and I prefer it that way. I get to experiment with food I like, I don’t have to consider anyone else’s tastes, and I only have to please one person: me. I also like to cook, though I’m not going to spend hours in the kitchen for myself or anyone else. If I end up sharing something I make, fine. If not, fine. I deserve a good meal regardless of who else may or may not be here, and I am going to have that good meal!

Yet people have argued with this, like there’s something strange about it. A retired professional chef said it wasn’t worth the trouble. Someone else said that the leftovers I plan to freeze for later could get freezer burn (like I made it to this age without ever hearing of freezer burn?). There’s the issue of waste, which in my world is just a matter of poor planning.

So I was delighted when Judith Jones came out with The Pleasures of Cooking for One. (And who is Judith Jones, you might ask? She’s only the world’s most influential cookbook editor, the woman who discovered and edited Julia Child, among others.) After her husband, Evan, passed away a few years ago, Ms. Jones began cooking for herself alone. And Pleasures is the result.

The book truly is a pleasure. Ms. Jones has a fondness for organ meats, which aren’t that popular in the United States, and I don’t like them myself. But there are so many other recipes, and the discussions about how to phase a dish into several different recipes are helpful and, to me, intriguing. I tend to cut recipes in half and freeze a lot, so I always like it when someone like Ms. Jones gives me another way of seeing things.

When reading a cookbook, I tape-flag recipes I want to try. And I think I marked about 2/3 of the recipes in this book. For example, the broiled lamb chop, which segues into lamb and lentils for the leftovers, is something I definitely want to make. I also like to make the occasional souffle, and so will try Ms. Jones’ cheese souffle recipe. Leftover broiled salmon might go into her corn and salmon pancakes, and the apple maple bread pudding is also on my list.

If you’re not fortunate enough to be cooking for one, I’m sure these recipes can be doubled. I strongly recommend this book, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I plan to.


January 8, 2010 - Posted by | Book Reviews, food, recipes | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. . . . but is it SAFE or UNSAFE for animal lovers?

    Comment by The King | January 20, 2010 | Reply

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