In an unusual take on the culinary memoir, this collection of food essays offers a different viewpoint from the many culinary books and food histories on the shelves these days. In Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone, editor, Jenni Ferrari-Auler has gathered an eclectic group of talented writers including well known fiction and culinary writers, playwrights and essayists.
This disparate group offers a wealth of surprising reminiscences about times they have cooked for themselves and dined alone. Some essays are humorous while others are tender, revealing and occasionally sad. Surprising revelations include the well known culinary expert who craves grilled cheese sandwiches, the best selling author who dines on saltines and the writer who makes mashed potatoes her meal of choice. Spaghetti, canned beans and asparagus all make an appearance as the lone item in a favorite solitary meal of choice described in these essays. In cases, where there is more to the preparation than opening a can and inserting a fork, recipes are often included.
Here are some of the authors who have made contributions to this collection:
Marcella Hazan — thought of as the godmother of Italian cuisine
Laura Calder — author of French Food at Home
Amanda Hesser — past food editor of The New York Times Magazine
M F K Fisher — the late renowned food essayist
Steve Almond — popular short story writer and essayist who also wrote the best selling nonfiction book Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America.
Dan Chaon — award winning novelist
Nora Ephron — journalist, novelist and playwright
Haruki Murakami — Japanese writer and translator
Ann Patchett — novelist and recipient of the Pen/Faulkner Literary Award
Beverly Lowry — southern novelist, book reviewer and essayist
You may feel like a voyeur as you read that a well known foodie enjoys a solitary meal of cheese and white bread but it should make you feel more normal when you are enjoying your dinner of crunchy peanut butter right from the jar!