Monday, February 21, 2011

Cooking for a phantom

Tonight I cooked.  I made bacon, cheddar buttermilk biscuits, a roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and steamed garlic broccoli rabe.  I even bought a bottle of white wine.  So far, the only thing that has been consumed are two of the biscuits and half the bottle of wine a chicken leg, one wing, two biscuits, a spoonful of mashed potatoes and half the bottle of wine.

I wasn't cooking for anyone; not even myself really.  It's just that I love to cook.  I do on occasion host parties, but those are more hors d'oeuvre affairs and not the take out the good dishes and cloth napkins dinner parties I'd love to host had I more space.  I do enjoy cooking for friends, they are always appreciative, the conversation is always great and they always offer to help with the dishes...but...

It's going to sound old fashioned of me, but cooking is how I show someone I care.  It is part of how I express love, and cooking for that special someone, for me there is nothing that quite compares.  I don't have a special some one right now and I think maybe I'm afraid if  I don't keep myself in practice I'll forget how to do it.  That I'll get so used to eating frozen pizza, and salad out of a bag that I won't remember how to make poached fish, or quiche, or pancakes should someone I actually want to cook for come along.

So, every couple of weeks I feel compelled to make this big meal, with all the fixings.  I buy a bottle of wine, or if it's brunch the makings for bloody Marys, and I set up the laptop on the kitchen counter so that whatever series I'm immersed in on Netflix can keep me company, and I cook.  I chop, saute, marinate, season, and bake until I end up with a spread large enough to feed a table of four.

And then it sits, mostly untouched, until it is cool enough that I can pack it away into individual Jane sized portions and put in the freezer for future lunches or dinner after an evening class.  Some might call this economical or smart, and it is those things, but for me it is also sometimes a bit of a lonely affair.

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