I am lucky to have been sent a copy of this collection of essays about cooking and eating alone, a subject close to my heart. I was going to quickly read through and review it for you, as it is now available for pre-order from Amazon, and various other book sellers. But I've read the introduction and the first two essays, and have decided I want to make it last, and savor it. So instead of writing a proper review- I will tell you why I've got it by the bed, and am allowing myself one chapter per night.
Fans of the late Laurie Colwin will recognize the title of the book and lead essay, a personal favorite, from her Home Cooking. I first read this essay right around the time I was living alone, for the first time in my life...a widow, whose only child had just gone off to college. It was about Laurie Colwin's life in her tiny Greenwich village flat, when she was in her early twenties, and I was 44, but it hit me right where I lived. Because although I was lonely, and sorely missed my daughter, I was also a little giddy with the unexpected freedom, and fascinated and surprised by the choices, culinary and otherwise, I made when there was no one to answer to but me. And despite many changes and rearrangements since, I'm still kind of amazed and delighted.
In addition to the excellent introductory essay by editor Jenni Ferrari-Alder, there are contributions by Colin Harrison, Holly Hughes, Ann Pachett, Nora Ephron, Marcella Hazan, and many others, diverse and tempting, about the strange and fascinating things that human beings do and think about when cooking and/or dining alone. I do believe this very close-to-the-bone behaviour reveals quite a bit about the kind of creatures we are, various, strange and intriguing. What an inspired idea, and there are recipes! I'm not going to rush through it, but I wanted to let you know it will be published officially on July 19th, so you will have a chance to read it too.
And, oh yes, I love the aubergine dustcover.