Thursday, January 26, 2012

On being single and hungry

Of course the name of this blog would be a pun. I'm afraid I'm rather prone to them. Consider it a taste of what's to come in future post titles. And please do read the book it refers to, if you haven't already.

Book recommendations aside, what this whole thing comes down to is food. How we nourish ourselves when we're on our own. How joyful, healthful, and economical it can be to cook, eat, and simply be alone.

A brief introduction: I'm a 20-something currently living in Toronto, Ontario. I've been a barista for the past couple of years, which is a profession that tends to really drive home the fact that I'm very much flying solo in life right now. With every customer's friendly flirtation and that everyday I'm able to go home and leave my work behind me, I'm constantly reminded how utterly unconnected I am to anyone or anything. Thus, being a single and rather independent person, I am, essentially, alone.

Mind you, before your imagination develops into the picture of me as a hermit crab who surfaces once a day to drink and make coffee, I should note that I actually do have a wonderful group of friends who I get to see or talk to on a daily basis. And perhaps every now and then a fellow comes along and threatens to disturb my solo state.

Mostly though, I'm alone. However! Alone does not mean lonely.

A friend once wrote me in an email: "I attribute my aptness for being happily single entirely to the fact that I strive to create personal romance on a daily basis." 

Thus enters cooking: an easy way to create this personal romance.

Next to sex, eating is one of the most intimate acts we can share with other people. It's certainly very sensual, and (pardon me for alerting the sociobiology alarm here) it is as instinctual a drive as libido. Along the lines of this saucy logic, one's hunger drive, like libido, can be satisfied with an, ahem, solo session.

BUT! many of you will cry, satisfying these drives is SO much more gratifying when shared! The libido more obviously so, and with hunger, oh! The joys of sharing a meal with good friends! The French! All of their meals are shared and drawn-out affairs. No meal is complete unless it involves multiple sets of fingers lingering on wine glasses after the last cheese course is served. And whose food is richer and people thinner than the French? Eating meals with others must be the answer to the best cuisine and the healthiest bodies!

But! I say, I do not live in France. And I am young and single. As much as I thoroughly enjoy cooking or dining out with friends and dinner dates, at the vast majority of meals I attend, I am the sole dinner guest.

Frankly, it's about time we start cooking and eating for ourselves as if we were cooking for company.

In this journal-cum-food-blog, you will find my thoughts on cooking economically, healthfully, gracefully, and joyfully for one.

My recipes will likely be imprecise and my paragraphs mostly rambling, but in the very least I hope that The Heart Is a Lonely Hunger will convey to all the single and hungry guys and gals out there a little morsel of the joy of eating and being alone.

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