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Eating Alone

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Avatar for Caroline17
Written by Β Β 114
3 weeks ago
Topics: Food, Thought, Life

Eating Alone

Some years ago, when fate found me suddenly single, I moved into an apartment solo. It's the only time I've truly lived by myself. I'm familiar with solitude; I cherish it (I'm an only child) I do my best thinking alone, I love to read alone and writing - I do that alone too. But mealtime, I've come to realize, is not a time I like to be by myself.

Dinner was sacred to my family. My parents taught me that mealtime was a community event. We each had a role to play: my mom, the head chef; my dad the prep cook; and myself, the busboy. Dinner from beginning to end, involved conversation (open lively) and arguments (usually boisterous). This was the element that made the whole ritual so important to us. Whether I screamed in frustration at my parent's constant corrections ("don't say 'ain't, dear. Were they really 'like' that?) Or my mother howled like a hyena at some tale of my dad's or my dad sang obscure rock n' roll hits he'd heard on Finkleman's 45's, this was when we shared ourselves.

My mother taught me to cook. I learned that the good meal is like the community it feeds. Pasta puttanesca gets its name from the prostitutes who invented the sauce using cheap ingredients. Like the women, the flavours are strong too: the smouldering sting of sautΓ©ed garlic, the budding zest of capers, the dark tang of calamata olives, the comfortable sweetness of Roma Tomatoes, the flaring heat of cayenne peppers and underlying it all, Anchovies like tears. The meal is a reflection of the person-or their home. It talk about its creator, in the language of flavours, to those who eat it.

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I discovered the keys to a good meal are preparation and timing. Everything must be ready to go before heat gets involved (on cooking shows, preparations importance is neglected because it is completed off screen.) There is a rhythm to cooking: like dancing, you have to know the steps before you can add your style. I like to listen to loud, upbeat music when I cook. I mince garlic to the beat, pit olives wiggling my hips, open the tomato can, head bobbing. I drum with my spatula on the counter. I make a mess. From the chaos of the kitchen comes serene white pasta on a black plate covered with a bright red-sauce full of black olive halves, flecked with melting parmesan.

I place the plate upon the table and sit down with my guest, friend, lover. I hungrily watch the newly laden fork rise from the plate, enter the mouth, and then pause before sliding naked from closed lips. Perhaps his eyes close as a soft, involuntary "mmmm"escapes. Perhaps her chin thrusts toward the ceiling-shoulders relaxing, torso slouching slightly. The body shows its approval of food in a multitude of gestures, each a silent exaltation saying: "oh this is good!"

But I'm alone tonight. There is no payoff, no conversation. My fork stabs into the pasta. Click. Swirl. A plume of spiced steam. A riot of flavours whoring for the attention of my taste buds. But I hardly notice.

In my mind, I'm picturing myself alone at the table. I don't see cherished solitude, but isolation. Solitude, by becoming common, had lost its pleasure, and I no longer eat alone at home. In the same way that a great dish reflects a community, only a community can properly enjoy it.

I love to cook - for someone else.

Author's Note :

As always thanks for reading and please leave any comments you may have. I love feedback.

My Previous Article :

Displacement

Grief

Be who you are

Coffee and Confessions in 1000 words

My job as a woman

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Written by Β Β 114
3 weeks ago
Topics: Food, Thought, Life
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Comments

Nakakamangha ka naman magluto hehe sana all magaling magluto hehe

$ 0.01
3 weeks ago

Hindi naman po ako magaling magluto . Natuto lang ako. Kapag gusto mo talaga matututo ka :)

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3 weeks ago

I am not used to cooking but nung elementary days we used to win in a cooking contest with me as the leader hehe..the secret to cooking is cooking with all your heart :D

$ 0.01
3 weeks ago

Oo namam ganyan talaga ang pagluluto sis haha dapat sinasapuso mo talaga :) wag kang magluluto ng galit panget ang kakalabasan. Magaling ka naman pla magluto ei.

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3 weeks ago

Hahaha pag may sinusundang recipe sis but di ako nakakapagpractice

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3 weeks ago

I like to cook for someone else too, sis. And I do believe that everything must be in sync when we are cooking

$ 0.01
3 weeks ago

That's true Sis! it's fun to cook and then they'll like what you cook.

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3 weeks ago

First steps is not easy specially if you do it by your self, stay alone and be dependent is hard for the first but later on you can say you made it and make your parent proud, Keep it up and you found happiness even you're alone, Congratulations for your new journey in life

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User's avatar Amz
3 weeks ago

Invite me sis, let's eat together :D Nalaman ko magaling kang magluto eh :)

$ 0.01
3 weeks ago

Ahh sige ba sis :) hindi naman kagalingan sakto lang naman haha lutong pang foodtrip lang haha

$ 0.00
3 weeks ago

Thanks sis, will be there :D

$ 0.00
3 weeks ago

Minsan talaga sis, kailangan din natin mahiwalay sa kanila. Sige lang makakasama mo rin ulit sis. Tiis-tiis mun sa ngayon.

Ingat ka sis..<3

$ 0.01
3 weeks ago

Oo Sis hehe para sa future talaga. Nakakasama ko naman sila pero sa pag sabay, sabay kumain hindi na hindi kagaya dati. Thank you sis ikaw din ingat 😊

$ 0.00
3 weeks ago

I feel you..The main reason why I don't eat dinner most of the time is that I'm alone in the office once my co-workers go home. Family dinner is always what I miss the most and I always ran back home in weekends because of it

$ 0.01
3 weeks ago

Di ka nasasabayan ng mga co worker mo mars? Pag kakain? Pag ako po ka work mo sabay tayo lagi. Haha. ❀😍

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3 weeks ago

I loved to eat because I don't love cooking whahaha..

$ 0.01
3 weeks ago

Yan. Kain ka lang ng kain hahaha like a boss.@Expertwritter oh talaga naman to gusto lang kumain πŸ˜…

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3 weeks ago

Hugs sis makakasama morin sila ulit soon matapos ang pandemic. Sana 🀧 gusto ko rin mag luto pero nag aalangan ako kung magugustuhab nila, kaya nag luluto nalang para sa sarili ko. Pero pag feeling ko masarap binibigyan korin sila 🀣

$ 0.01
3 weeks ago

Tiwala lang sa sarili sis . Kung gusto mo talaga mag luto, mag luto ka at alam mo naman sa sarili mo kung masarap na o hindi pa , ang importante ang unang makakatikim ng niluluto mo ay ikaw mismo 😊

$ 0.00
3 weeks ago

Yes sis. Medyo may alam narin ako sa luto pero puro pang bahay lang. Hahha di pwede sa lahat 🀣

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3 weeks ago

I love cooking mars. I love to cook to my mom or my fam. I felt excitement when they were going about to taste it. 😁

Yes I felt sad if I'm alone with the table, eating alone. It's really a great happiness if you're having someone especially your family when it comes to eating.

Saan ka pala ngayon mars? Nag work ka mars? Everything will be fine mars.πŸ™

$ 0.01
3 weeks ago

True. Gaganahan kapa kumain pag may kasabay. Nakakawalang gana kasi pag walang kasabay haha. Katamad kumain.

$ 0.00
3 weeks ago

Oo mars relate talaga ako diyan. Gusto ko may kasama ako at may ka kuwentuhan ako. Ang boring din pag wala kang kasama kumain..

$ 0.00
3 weeks ago