Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant (Giveaway) – Culinary Confessions, no. 2

alone in the kitchen with an eggplant

The Delicious Life Cookbook-A-Day Giveaway
Summer Weekend Reading Edition, no. 5

Whilst I sit here debating with my schizobloggic self about whether I should embarrass myself publicly on the Internets by revealing some certain things that I do when I am alone, in the dark and quiet, late at night, let’s give away another book to add to The Delicious Life Summer Reading List.

Leave a comment on this post to win a copy of Jenni Ferrari-Adler’s Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone.

Technically, it’s not supposed to matter what you say in your comment since “winners” are always chosen by random drawing, but if you happen to make some culinary confession related to what you do when you are alone in the kitchen (with or without an eggplant) and it happens to be equivalent in embarrassingness (real word, I swear) to eating macaroni and cheese from the generic store-brand blue box made with water because who just keeps milk in their fridge at all times (?!), it might incentivize me to share, too.

Oh, and honey, you want me to share, too.

You have until, oh, about sometime, to confess.

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  • taysha

    I snack on anything while contemplating dinner and then scarf dinner as if I’d never snacked.

  • FranMag

    I eat the sweets that we’ve hidden from the kids!

  • Darlene

    I eat over the sink when all the dishes are dirty or when I’m in a rush. I’m just glamourous like that.

  • oddlyme

    First off, this opens with an essay by the late Laurie Colwin – my absolute fav food writer. If you haven’t read her books Home Cooking and More Home Cooking – do!

    As for me alone in the kitchen? It’s all embarrassing. To embarrassing to share. Just know that I am properly shamed and leave it at that.

  • Miss Karen

    I fear that things that others would find embarrassing are my routine, since I live alone and am therefore alone in the kitchen a lot. Like, for example, I can not remember ever eating a mango in any way other than cutting it in the sink and eating it with my hands over the sink. Or making guacamole and then eating it with a spoon when I remember I ate all the chips in front of the tv the night before. Like that.

  • Summer

    I live alone and cook alone most of the time. And I work from home, so I cook almost all my meals here, alone.

    The stories my kitchen could tell.

    Like the one about the box of betty crocker brownies, and how I ate the Whole pan, still warm, all by myself and was so sick after I couldn’t sleep.

    Or how I made mashed potatoes one night (because when I’m stressed, I crave mashed potatoes) at like… 11pm and realized After the potatoes were cooked and mashed, that I didn’t have any milk (because really, who keeps milk in their fridge at all times??)and had to make due with yogurt. Yes. plain yogurt.

    or the number of things I’ve burned because I forgot to go trim herbs from the garden Before I started cooking, so dashed off to do it while things were on the stove, sitting under the broiler…

  • cpullum

    This would be perfect for me!!!
    cpullum@yahoo.com

  • cpullum

    This would be perfect for me!!!
    cpullum@yahoo.com

  • Mariela Rojas

    i need to learn how to cook, i eat only garbage!!

  • Gabriela Badani

    i love cooking, and to make yammy food!!!

  • tom

    The perfect read for dining alone.

  • Ari

    It is kinda sad, but i totally need this book, livin alone makes for many boring meals. my confession would have to be eating out of the container of cookie dough i keep in the freezer, although I never seem to bake any of them…

  • teri48xxx

    I had a recently embarrassing moment alone in the kitchen. I totally miss Japanese cooking living in Oregon. So, I decided to fry some shrimp tempura. As stingy as I am, I don’t own a deep frying pan or an electric fryer so I had to use my small cooking pot. The directions say to mix the tempura batter with ice cold water. So I did that and I was cooking away when the oil decided to jump up and splatter my face. Fortunately it didn’t get in my eyes but it hurt like hell not to mention I had to walk around work for a week with burn spots between my eyes. Lovely…

  • Maggie’s Farm

    My alone-in-the-kitchen gorging is a back-and-forth between the sweet and the salty. Usual players are a box of Wheat Thins (because it says “wheat” right there in the name, so it must be healthy!) and semi-sweet chocolate chips (that I bought “for baking” and then when I do bake I realize there’s less than a handful left in the bag and have to go but more.)

    I’ve also been known to eat pistachios while standing over the garbage (easier shell disposal) and ice cream while standing with the freezer open. Because calories don’t count if the food doesn’t even make it out of the freezer.

  • cocoa-licious

    Frozen pre-cooked turkey corn dogs in the microwave. Hot pockets.

  • stephen

    pints of bluebell

  • SunJun

    Burned a pot while boiling water…

  • Jaime

    when i dine alone i tend to eat dessert instead of dinner. that will range from ready made store bought sweets (candy, cookies, etc) to baking up something delectable to dine on :)

    when i have been alone in the kitchen, i have been known to lick a bowl or two clean, after my spatula had given up ;)

  • ikkinlala

    I tend to get bored with my usual meals and mix weird things together to eat. I know from experience that plain yogurt, grapefruit, carrots, and Tabasco sauce do not belong in a bowl together (the first three of those together are tasty but a little bland).

  • ikkinlala

    I tend to get bored with my usual meals and mix weird things together to eat. I know from experience that plain yogurt, grapefruit, carrots, and Tabasco sauce do not belong in a bowl together (the first three of those together are tasty but a little bland).

  • sarah j. gim

    taysha: o, how many times have i done that! wait, a lot, since i do that almost every night!

    franmag: but do you eat them right in front of them, while telling them they’re not allowed to eat it?! i do that with my nieces. so cruel.

    darlene: glamorous. YES YOU ARE :)

    oddlyme: oh no you di-int. now you HAVE to share. you can’t say something like that and tease…

    oh wait, i did that.

    miss karen: there is nothing, i repeate NOTHING, wrong with eating, uh, avocado stew (!) with a spoon. ;)

    summer: but at least you had yogurt for your mashed potatoes. i mean come on. i used WATER in my boxed mac n cheese.

    cpullum: hope you win, then!

    mariela: “garbage” is a relative term. i am sure the cheetos i ate for dinner would be considered “garbage” by many, but “flamin’ hot” is truly gourmet

    gabriela: yammy…and yummy!

    tom: though when i dine alone, i usually just stare into space. i’m sure my eyes glaze over and cross, too.

    ari: why bake? it’s summer! too hot! you’re conserving energy by eating cookie dough straight from the freezer!

    teri48xxx: not embarrassing at all! that stuff happens! besides, you’re not REALLY cooking until you, um, get fry burn right between your eyes :)

    maggie’s farm: “calories don’t count if the food doesn’t even make it out of the freezer.”

    honey, you just made my day with that statement.

    cocoalicious: HOT POCKETS?! how could you!?!?!

    stephen: that’s ice cream, right?

    sunjun: uh, no comment.

    jaime: i don’t even have to be alone to lick a spatula

  • Jude

    I want it!
    Because I’m looking forward to the sequel “alone in the kitchen with a zucchini.”

  • Jude

    I want it!
    Because I’m looking forward to the sequel “alone in the kitchen with a zucchini.”

  • Daniela

    Well, I live by myself with a dog and 2 cats. Whenever I cook, I pretend the cats are my audience and i do a cooking demo for them, the dog being my sous chef. And every single time, i hand out small bites for them to try. The cats don’t always eat those but the sous chef takes care of those bits&bites… it’s so embarassing… one time, the boyfriend was still asleep, i decided to cook breakfast for us and did the “cooking show thing”. Well, he later asked who i was talking too all the time and why there were bits of eggs and bacon on the kitchen floor when he walked in

  • Daniela

    oh and i just realized, three weeks ago I set of the fire alarm because i burned a pot of water. well, i live in a 30 unit apartment building and had 8 guys standing in front of my door to see if i am okay…

    and that’s from someone who graduated culinary school with high honors.

    (i guess if i sit here a bit longer, i’ll come up with more stories…)

  • sarah j. gim

    ikkinlala: surprising on the Tabasco

    jude: actually, i think zucchini is the prequel, and it’s ‘alone in the kitchen with the verizon network’ as part 3

    daniela: please. sit here a bit longer and come up with more! but honestly, how do you ( and sunjun above ) burn a POT OF WATER?!?!

  • Chiara

    This is too funny. I posted a comment 2 blogs ago recommending this book!

    I also live by myself and because of the scorching heat this past weekend and I have no airconditioning in my apartment and I had to make my meals…I was forced to carry out the cooking process while scantily clad.

  • Daniela

    sarah, you would have stomach aches from all the laughing if i would tell you all the things i have done (and seen @culinary school and @the restaurant).

    how to burn a pot of water? it was when the boyfriend and i first started dating (3 months ago). He sleeps late, i get up early. So i get up, get water going for my chai latte, go back to the bedroom and bf begs me to come back to bed and snuggle for a bit.By this point i totally forgot about the water… so we are in the bedroom and suddenly firealarm goes off… people at my door, yelling if i am okay… yeah, everything is fine…. except that naked boyfriend tries to turn the fire alarm off while blinds are open all the way and basically the whole neighbourhood can see him in his birth suite. by the time the alarm was turned off, i was laughing so hard that my stomach hurt all day long. even at work i bursted out in laughter,when one of our co-workers asked the boyfriend how his day was so far…

  • Liz

    Left a pan on the stove, then went upstairs to check email. *cough* *cough* Half an hour later, my husband came home and saved the house. It must be a very good pan, didn’t burn at all.

  • katie m

    In college, I too made blue box mac n’ cheese with water…no butter…in the microwave–yum!

    Also, when suffering from a cake craving, I have poured out a small portion of cake mix (a la Betty Crocker) into a cereal bowl, mixed it with a dollop of oil and a dash of water / milk and microwaved. Quick cake for one!

  • katie m

    In college, I too made blue box mac n’ cheese with water…no butter…in the microwave–yum!

    Also, when suffering from a cake craving, I have poured out a small portion of cake mix (a la Betty Crocker) into a cereal bowl, mixed it with a dollop of oil and a dash of water / milk and microwaved. Quick cake for one!

  • dave

    first thing i do in the morning is walk straight to the kitchen and have some juice… and right from the bottle or carton depending.

    oh… and i do it while still in the buff.

  • Craig

    I get some kimchee, eggs, some type of meat in the fridge, rice, onions, regular and green, and basically anything else I think of, fry it up and eat it out of the pan.

    With some diet coke of course. While listening to NPR.

  • LaLa Brat

    I need this for portion control. I make something and then guess who has to eat all the leftovers? That’s all I eat, leftovers. Blech.

  • knittish

    How about the time my bf tried to puree roasted red peppers (for that awesome sauce in The Joy of Cooking)? Only, he forgot to hold down or tighten the lid on our blender, so the hot roasted red peppers and sauce exploded ALL OVER the kitchen! Kitchen counters, cabinets, ceiling, walls, microwave door, refrigerator, floor…you name it, it was covered! Yeah, he was alone when he attempted this. I saw the aftermath.

  • Danielle’s Daughter

    I made a delicious, humongous pot of chicken and egg noodle soup back in October.

    I live alone.

    I can only eat so many bowls of delicious chicken and egg noodle soup before I can’t stomach (pun intend) another bowl of delicious chicken and egg noodle soup.

    So….October.

    Tell me why that pot of soup sat in my refrigerator until MARCH because i was too lazy to dump it out? I figured, hey. The lid’s on it, and the fridge is cold. It won’t mold as long as i keep the temp on the fridge turned WAY up (or the ‘milk will freeze solid in the carton setting’).

    I was so proud of my chicken soup that I even took a picture of it and wrote a blog entry about it:

    http://bp3.blogger.com/_yrPHFl6XNj0/Rx15uqaqdaI/AAAAAAAAACE/Ihez8qszb_U/s1600-h/chicken+noodle+soup.bmp

    Yeah, you don’t wanna see a MARCH picture, trust me. I finally asked one of my exes to please come over and ‘visit’ me, and, you know, wash the soup pot while you’re at it. He did. YAY!! No more soup! SIX MONTHS LATER.

  • Danielle’s Daughter

    I made a delicious, humongous pot of chicken and egg noodle soup back in October.

    I live alone.

    I can only eat so many bowls of delicious chicken and egg noodle soup before I can’t stomach (pun intend) another bowl of delicious chicken and egg noodle soup.

    So….October.

    Tell me why that pot of soup sat in my refrigerator until MARCH because i was too lazy to dump it out? I figured, hey. The lid’s on it, and the fridge is cold. It won’t mold as long as i keep the temp on the fridge turned WAY up (or the ‘milk will freeze solid in the carton setting’).

    I was so proud of my chicken soup that I even took a picture of it and wrote a blog entry about it:

    http://bp3.blogger.com/_yrPHFl6XNj0/Rx15uqaqdaI/AAAAAAAAACE/Ihez8qszb_U/s1600-h/chicken+noodle+soup.bmp

    Yeah, you don’t wanna see a MARCH picture, trust me. I finally asked one of my exes to please come over and ‘visit’ me, and, you know, wash the soup pot while you’re at it. He did. YAY!! No more soup! SIX MONTHS LATER.

  • Caroline Marie

    making cookies for “friends” but eating more than half the dough before it ever got in the oven…

  • Adrienne

    I’m taking this one as a sign…I MUST have that book!

  • Kaitlin

    Nothing embarrassing here, just a deep desire to own this because I went from living with my wonderful boyfriend to living 3 hours away in a dark basement apartment for the sake of an internship. Dining alone, indeed.

  • amanda

    raw green beans dipped in dijon mustard…mmm mmm good.

  • oddlyme

    Sarah –

    Still can’t tell you all – I have so little dignity in life, this would toss out that last bit.

    However.

    In grade school my teacher called my mom. Why? Cuz for show and tell we had to say what our parents favorite hobbies were and I said “My mom burns pots.” The teacher was very concerned but my mom, while she wished I had not shared, had to say – I was telling he truth.

    Once she cleaned burned bits off a pot by using an electrical metal stripper. Wearing safety glasses of course! : )

    At least once a year in her honor, or maybe it’ s just in my blood, I accidentally set kitchen towels on fire with my gas stove.

    Did you know that wooden spoons can beat out cotton flames very quickly?

  • freeway-J

    I always get a large spoonful of cookie dough when I’m alone in the kitchen before my wife or kids come running in.

  • Kate

    Boxed meals – usually red beans and rice. The whole box. And occasionally, just occasionally, mind you – Top Ramen. Dry.

  • Kate

    Boxed meals – usually red beans and rice. The whole box. And occasionally, just occasionally, mind you – Top Ramen. Dry.

  • Grace

    i make frosting and eat it. no cake or cookies or brownies required.

  • raych

    When it’s just me home, I’ll forget to cook anything until I’m too hungry to think, and then I’ll nibble so much dry pasta while I’m waiting for the water to boil that by the time the meal is finished, I’m bloated and angry.

  • glutster

    man, I think twice about myself sometimes because of the stuff I do in the kitchen–purposely leaving residue on pans used to lick every little nook and cranny of EVERYTHING after what’s on my plate, finishing WHATEVER I make in one sitting, having one big “dessert dinner”…I call myself glutster (from glu-tt-ony) for a reason…

  • Anonymous

    i love my kitchen…it’s the heart of my home. i love the fact that i can make a mess and then nana will clean up after me~ ;)

  • Deewite-O-Mite

    Me:
    I eat all my meals over the kitchen sink.

    Sarah J. Gim:
    Just fantasized about having you as my babysitter.

  • jkru

    I occasionally still eat lunchables…

  • mattatouille

    i use an extra bit of bacon in everything. or fried egg.

    in salads, fried rice, etc.

  • LM

    I find dishwashing so onerous that I frequently fortify myself with anything from lemonade popsicles to pickles to peanut butter straight from the jar to Whole Foods organic chocolate bar with almonds just to get myself through a sinkfull (no dishwasher).

  • Sensuous Gourmet

    I drink from the jug, and sometimes fast to avoid detection, only to spill. “Honey, I sprung a leak in my throat.”

    Although known as a foodie, I eat frozen TV dinners.

  • Sharon

    If I’m cooking just for myself, I usually snack on whatever I’m cooking’s ingredients until I’m so stuffed I never actually sit down to eat the finished product.

    PS I dont do this with raw meat :)

  • Naomi P.

    I just went to lunch at Bristol Farms. Since I was alone, I took the opportunity to stuff my bag with extra condiments and utensils, which I then stashed in my drawer at work. I don’t know what it is with me and the condiment drawer. I have one at home, too.

  • Naomi P.

    I just went to lunch at Bristol Farms. Since I was alone, I took the opportunity to stuff my bag with extra condiments and utensils, which I then stashed in my drawer at work. I don’t know what it is with me and the condiment drawer. I have one at home, too.

  • Carolyn (Harbor Hon)

    Don’t be afraid to confess. I’ll go first. I’ve eaten a whole tub of cool whip … just that. I’ve put eggs on the boil and forgot about them. Nice smoke screen. :) I eat peanut butter out of the jar with a spoon, just because I was bored. So go ahead … fess up.

    Carolyn A. xxoo

  • Simply

    I was planning on making a turkey and “cheese” (Kraft American cheese is not cheese), but then realized I had no bread…so i just rolled the turkey and “cheese” together and ate it that way..

  • Simply

    I was planning on making a turkey and “cheese” (Kraft American cheese is not cheese), but then realized I had no bread…so i just rolled the turkey and “cheese” together and ate it that way..

  • 3F

    I dip a spoonful of margarine in a bowlful of sugar and lick. Guilty pleasure.

  • paper girl productions

    Just recently I made my herbed chicken breasts and I’m always prone to having klutz accidents. Well I was in the kitchen and I ws going to change it to another serving dish so I took the lid off the chicken and sigh, one of the chicken breasts fell into the kitchen sink into a cup filled with water. ONLY ME!!!

  • brewinphan

    Besides eating trader joe’s canned corn out of the can…

    One thing that I used to make when I was a kid was to cut a couple of oscar meyer hot dogs in half, line them up on a slice of white toast, put a slice of american cheese on top, microwave for ten seconds, and slap another slice of white toast on it. Bam. Hot dog sandwich. If I got really frisky, mustard and ketchup to boot.

    No one can prove that I still do this.

  • Mike

    When the jar is empty, I drink the pickle juice. It’s like having the cherry under the ice cream on the sundae.

  • Meghan

    I too pretend to be the host of a food show while I cook! I take pictures of all my food – hubby thinks I am nuts! This morning I squirted chocolate frosting directly into my mouth from the decorating bag! I eat croutons while I cook until I am too full to actually eat dinner!
    Hubby’s confession – He is afraid of fire and our grill flares terribly so he makes me grill! And his dream used to be a fireman!!! Oh the shame!

  • condiment

    If there is any justice in the world – or in the Delicious Realm – Katie M wins. Because not even bachelor pizza (cottage cheese, ketchup, English muffin) is as magnificent as her improvised cake.

  • oddlyme

    Condiment – while Katie M gets major props – she is actually cooking,

    I deal with cheesecake cravings by taking a semi-sweet chocolate chip, swooshing it through a block of cream cheese to get a nice scoop on it and then eating it.

    Not exactly for polite company but really really works.

  • oddlyme

    Condiment – while Katie M gets major props – she is actually cooking,

    I deal with cheesecake cravings by taking a semi-sweet chocolate chip, swooshing it through a block of cream cheese to get a nice scoop on it and then eating it.

    Not exactly for polite company but really really works.

  • oddlyme

    3F – do not be ashamed – be proud!

    In the midwest, a common treat/snack is to take a slice of bread, butter it and then sprinkle it – generously – with white sugar. Eat.

    You’ve simply gotten rid of the middleman ;-)

  • Small Pines

    I totally lick the spoon – even if has raw eggs in the mix. Okay, truth be told, I even scoop the left over batter out of the bowl with my fingers!

  • Tableau Vivante

    Some are too heinous to name, but the one that irks JJ the most is when left to my own devices, I cook pasta into super soft goodness. I don’t believe in al dente.

    Oh and while cooking I eat anchovies straight from the jar. Not because they are in the recipe. I just always have a jar of anchovies in the fridge. And I like them.

    And once, I ate a whole Mt. Tam on my own. It was supposed to be part of a cheese board for guests. Um. Opps?

  • Tableau Vivante

    Some are too heinous to name, but the one that irks JJ the most is when left to my own devices, I cook pasta into super soft goodness. I don’t believe in al dente.

    Oh and while cooking I eat anchovies straight from the jar. Not because they are in the recipe. I just always have a jar of anchovies in the fridge. And I like them.

    And once, I ate a whole Mt. Tam on my own. It was supposed to be part of a cheese board for guests. Um. Opps?

  • We Are Never Full

    i dip tuna fish sandwiches in ketchup and like pancakes and syrup w/ a bit of ketchup too. i’m nasty like that.

  • Kirby!

    When I’m alone in the kitchen, I make pancakes with melted cheese on top. 100 times better than syrup, but no one else sees it this way.

  • Knitopia

    I recently dropped a piece of (raw) lamb kabob in the trash. I retrieved it, rinsed it off, and cooked it anyway.

  • aj

    I frequently eat condiments for dinner, e.g a spoonful of peanut butter and a spoonfull of vegemite and take alternate bites. My other secret shame is tomato paste on toast. I love super strong tomato flavour!!

    I used to dare my bro to eat weird sandwich concoctions and to this day he still eats peanut butter, corn flakes and tomato sauce sandwiches!

  • ~A

    Too many embarassing secrets to share. ;)

  • ~A

    Too many embarassing secrets to share. ;)

  • Sonya

    Since this book hasn’t been given away yet…I still love, love Ramen noodle soup! I love to add things to it, too (like hot sauce, green onions, veggies, egg, etc.).

  • Ricki

    When it’s just me, the kitchen and the dogs, I have a tendency to over “sample” any baking I might be up to. . . in the batter stage, that is. Recipes that are supposed to yield 2 dozen cookies end up with only, oh–well, lots less than that.

  • condiment

    Speaking of which: “who just keeps milk in their fridge at all times(?!)”

    Umm . . . everybody?

  • brittany, steve, and gabe

    i grill my pb&j’s like grilled cheese, its good, try it!

  • Christy

    The beauty of dining alone is that you can really concentrate on your food. :)

  • U

    I slept alone in my kitchen for a week after moving into my new apartment. If you put a mattress on the floor, then everything you need is right there…

  • Anonymous

    I keep raw cookie dough in the fridge at all times-I am addicted.

  • Lori

    LOVE to put either worcestershire sauce or Franks red hot sauce on my popcorn. Yes I ahve done both at the same time.

  • Summer

    Okay, so the other day I’m sitting in the bathtub, having hotdogs for breakfast when I realized that perhaps, THIS qualified to my weirdest “eating alone” thing.

    I mean, who eats hot dogs, in the bathtub, for breakfast??

    For the record, the hot dog had sauerkraut on it because I was craving a hot dog with that on it, so I bought the whole big bag just to have one pack of hotdogs with the juicy fermented joy.

  • Ben

    I secretly enjoy putting faker nacho cheese sauce on frozen burritos. Saturated fat tastes soooo loverly sometimes.

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