Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone

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Jenni Ferrari-Adler
Penguin, 2007 - Cooking - 272 pages
2 Reviews
A delightful and unexpected collection of pieces by writers, foodies, and others-including Nora Ephron, Marcella Hazan, and Ann Patchett-on the distinctive experiences of cooking for one and dining alone.

If, sooner or later, we all face the prospect of eating alone, then Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant provides the perfect set of instructions. In this unique collection, twenty-six writers and foodies invite readers into their kitchens to reflect on the secret meals they make for themselves when no one else is looking: the indulgent truffled egg sandwich, the comforting bowl of black beans, the bracing anchovy fillet on buttered toast.

From Italy to New York to Cape Cod to Thailand, from M. F. K. Fisher to Steve Almond to Nora Ephron, the experiences collected in this book are as diverse, moving, hilarious, and uplifting as the meals they describe. Haruki Murakami finds solace in spaghetti. Ephron mends a broken heart with mashed potatoes in bed. Ann Patchett trades the gourmet food she cooks for others for endless snacks involving saltines. Marcella Hazan, responsible for bringing sophisticated Italian cuisine into American homes, craves a simple grilled ham-and-cheese sandwich. Courtney Eldridge, divorced from a fancy chef, reconnects with the salsa she learned to cook from her cash-strapped mother. Rosa Jurjevics reflects on the influence of her mother, Laurie Colwin, as she stocks her home with salty treats. Almost all of the essays include recipes, making this book the perfect companion for a happy, lonely-or just hungry-evening home alone.

Part solace, part celebration, part handbook, Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant offers a wealth of company, inspiration, and humor-and, finally, recipes that require no division or subtraction.

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Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant

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Editor Ferrari-Adler's motley assortment of 26 essays is a quick and often insightful read. Some, includingColbert Report cocreator Ben Karlin's "The Legend of Salsa Rosa" and Holly Hughes's "Luxury ... Read full review


Introduction i
Beans and
Asparagus Superhero
Thanks but No Thanks
The Legend of the Salsa Rosa
My Favorite Meal for
How to Cook in a New York Apartment
Instant Noodles
Making Soup in Buffalo

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About the author (2007)

Jenni Ferrari-Adler is a graduate of Oberlin College and the University of Michigan, where she received an MFA in fiction. She has worked as a reader for The Paris Review, as a bookseller, as an eggseller, and as an assistant at a literary agency. Her short fiction has been published in numerous magazines.

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