The subject of the book, and the article, is what Madison calls "personal foods" and describes her own in this lovely paragraph:
Weird foods notwithstanding, when Patrick and I started posing the eating-solo question to friends, we discovered that most people have one or two dishes (what I call "personal foods") that they cook for themselves alone. Personal foods do more than satisfy hunger; they nourish us in a deep and even spiritual way. My personal food is toasted rye bread covered with a thin layer of cheddar and marmalade, a treat my grandmother enjoyed daily with a cup of dark tea. We shared this toast when I visited her as a child, and I've always been drawn to its pungent flavors.One of the reasons Deborah Madison has become my food guru shows up in the above description - she recognizes and is not afraid to talk about the "deep and even spiritual" dimensions of food. Her cookbooks speak to that need within us all to be nourished by what we eat at exactly that deep and often spiritual level.
Deborah's husband Patrick's personal food is shown, in an improved form over the Arkansas original, in the photo: grilled pimento cheese panini, which the couple sometimes has for dinner, with a glass of French champagne. My current eat-on-my-own food, what I often have for lunch before leaving to teach my afternoon class, is a flour tortilla with strips of roasted green chile, a shredded Mexican cheese sprinkled over them, then grilled in the toaster oven until the cheese melts and I can smell the chile. It's a sort of quesadilla, I guess, though much less trouble to make. I don't know how spiritually fulfilling it is, but it's mighty good, and keeps me going through an afternoon of trying to get across the difference between direct and indirect objects to my adult ESL class.
Anyone have some personal or solo-dining favorites to share? I'd love to hear them.