running vegetarian

Dinner, Toute Seule

15 March 2008

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[Dinner tonight, March 2008.]

Today was one of those days where I swear I looked up and didn’t know where the time had gone. I slept in very late, which was probably part of it, and ran 10-11 miles (can’t be exactly sure, since I didn’t bring my watch), and did about 5 tons of laundry which I folded and put away while waiting for my brothy, restorative noodle soup to cool down enough so I could eat it. I also forgot my wallet and so got to drag myself up the hill to the market not once, but twice (and when you’ve run that much, your legs will not be happy with you for doing so), which surely didn’t help.

But now I am refreshed and restored, with a stack of clean clothes, a carton of fresh eggs in the refrigerator, a bellyful of rice noodles and hydrating sports drink — and it’s time to think about dinner.

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Tonight I am dining seule and I can’t in all honesty say I’m sorry about it. Not going out (or ordering in) or cooking for others has a certain peculiar charm; while I do adore throwing dinner parties, as we all know, it is quite acceptable — and even desirable — to treat oneself to a night alone once in awhile, not least of all because you can prepare anything your little heart desires.

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For me, on the Ides of March, it is a head of cauliflower roasted until caramelized and just a little cripsy; the classical music station; a fresh, chewy loaf of bread, with thick slices spread some with brie and some also spread with butter, radish slices, and salt; a glass of red wine; and a few squares of Scharffenberger dark chocolate to finish it off.

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It was all so good — simple, direct, and delicious. And I know I’m not the first to come along with an appreciation of eating alone — Sex and the City and M.F.K. Fisher have done a good, if disparate, job of it — but tonight I was glad to be in such fair company, such as it were.

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(And then I watched “No Reservations,” which of course wasn’t even one one-hundreth as good as “Mostly Martha,” but since I loved that movie, and I love food, I figured it was worth a shot … and it did contain this witheringly priceless line: “Of course I have a cast iron pan.” Well, yeah. Sheesh.)

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