Friday, November 29, 2013

Cooking for One

Asparagus a la Flamande and pasta in tomato mascarpone sauce with lots of basil

"You have time to cook?" 

This is a question I've heard too often. Some people always wonder how I managed to have time to cook or rather, why I want to invest that much time (in cooking). Especially because I live alone and I often come home late from work. "Aren't you tired?" they would later ask. 

Well, the answer is pretty simple: I like to spend some time in cooking my meals for therapeutic reasons.

Some people find solace after a long day in reading, sleeping, taking a long bath, or spending time with their kids or loved ones; I happen to find it in the kitchen among the spices and knifes (although a long hot bath is always welcomed, sadly I don't own a bath tub and even if I do, my water bill will give me more headache).

Besides, cooking a good meal for yourself is usually cheaper than eating out. And eating good food makes me feel good; it sparks this warm fuzzy feeling inside, like a worn out sweater you're comfortable with. 

I don't see why dining alone should be a frightening thing. A lot of people would associate it with being lonely, so they won't bother cooking anything elaborate (or at all). On the contrary, eating alone allows me to experiment freely with my food, whether it turns out to be extraordinary or just plain weird and unappetizing for some people. And I do love to set my food properly and make it look chic and fine dining-ish, complete with a nice set of cutlery and a glass of wine. 

After spending time in prepping and cooking a meal, I'd sit down and savor it slowly (after I took pictures of course), while reading a book, or thinking of my agenda or to do list for the next day, or better, what I should cook. This is one of my solitary high.

Though there are days when I would just cook a pack of instant noodle or eat toast with jam on the kitchen counter for a meal alone, I still feel content. 

Because being alone is not bad at all. If anything, it makes you have time to explore yourself, get to know yourself better, and to have lots of me-time. Savor it, don't resent it. Embrace it, don't deny it. Because at the end of the day, we'll be alone anyway, one way or another; and if you can't enjoy being with yourself, then how could anyone else enjoy being around you?