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Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Jenni Ferrari-Adler

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3862027,829 (3.66)36
Member:paghababian
Title:Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant
Authors:Jenni Ferrari-Adler
Info:Riverhead Hardcover (2007), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:non-fiction, cooking, anthology, humor, cookbook, memoir, signed, 2007

Work details

Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone by Jenni Ferrari-Adler (Editor) (2007)

Recently added byhadaverde, Boona, murderbydeath, private library, elle_em, diana.n, cupocofe
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  1. 00
    The Art of Eating by M.F.K. Fisher (kayejuniper)
  2. 00
    The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister (fyrefly98)
    fyrefly98: One's fiction and the other's a collection of essays, but they're both easy-to-read food writing that evoked very similar reactions.
  3. 00
    American Food Writing: An Anthology: With Classic Recipes by Molly O'Neill (cransell)
    cransell: Another great anthology of food writing. Much longer, but very enjoyable.
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» See also 36 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
Talk, talk, talk. ( )
  picardyrose | Jun 25, 2013 |
Nice top read a few chapters at a time. Don't read while hungry. ( )
  bead-nut | Jun 5, 2013 |
Nice top read a few chapters at a time. Don't read while hungry. ( )
  bead-nut | Jun 5, 2013 |
I think that I could appreciate this more if I were in a different place in my life. ( )
  cat-ballou | Apr 2, 2013 |
Sometimes I think I'm in the minority with how comfortable I am eating alone, be it at home or in restaurants. But if the authors collected here are in fact a representative sample, I'm not alone--not even close. The essays here range from memories of the first restaurant meal taken solo to the joys of eating crackers over the kitchen sink, and as an anthology, it holds together surprisingly well. There's only one essay in here that I'd consider a dud, and that's mostly because it's written in this sanctimonious, pitying tone by someone who believes anyone who says they enjoy dining alone sometimes must be lying.

Many of the essays (probably about half) have recipes with them. I'm planning to photocopy several of these before returning the book to the library--impressive when so many of these authors are preparing foods Princess Pickypants (AKA, me) doesn't like. Pasta in a tomato cream sauce? Yes please. Italian-style grilled cheese and ham? Sign me up. There's an interesting-looking chili recipe, several ways of preparing black beans, and at least two versions of crispy potatoes I'll be trying soon. The down side of food writing: I've been hungry all weekend.

As an example of the humor that appears consistently throughout this collection, I present this paragraph, from Jeremy Jackson's "Beans and Me":

"Most beans are lowly, of course, but it seems to me that the pinto, the lentil, and the black bean are the lowliest of them all, and all the more charming because of it. Sometimes I picture these three beans holding hands and chiming together, 'We're lowly! We're of the earth! We're beans for the people!' And sometimes, when I envision this trio, the black-eyed pea waddles into view and says, 'Whaddabout me, guys?' and the pinto, the lentil, and the black bean say, 'Hiya, black-eyed pea! Get in here! We didn't forget you!' Then they all sing some kind of bean song." ( )
  librarybrandy | Mar 30, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ferrari-Adler, JenniEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Almond, SteveContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ames, JonathanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Attenberg, JamiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Calder, LauraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cantwell, MaryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chaon, DanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Colwin, LaurieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dave, LauraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eldridge, CourtneyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ephron, NoraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ergenbright, ErinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fisher, M. F. K.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harrison, ColinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hazan, MarcellaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hesser, AmandaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hughes, HollyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jackson, JeremyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jurjevics, RosaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Karlin, BenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lapcharoensap, RattawutContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lowry, BeverlyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Murakami, HarukiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nobles, PhoebeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Patchett, AnnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rufus, AnneliContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wolfert, PaulaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
It is the privilege of loneliness; in privacy one may do as one chooses. Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
Dinner alone is one of life's pleasures. Certainly cooking for oneself reveals man at his weirdest. People lie when you ask them what they eat when they are alone. A salad, they tell you. But when you persist, they confess to peanut butter and bacon deep fried and eaten with hot sauce, or spaghetti with butter and grape jam. Laurie Colwin, "Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant," Home Cooking.
Dedication
For Jofie
First words
Call it seven-thirty on a Wednesday night. No one else is home. A slight hunger hums in your body, so you wander into the kitchen.
Quotations
I have friends who begin with pasta, and friends who begin with rice, but whenever I fall in love, I begin with potatoes. Sometimes meat and potatoes and sometimes fish and potatoes, but always potatoes. I have made a lot of mistakes falling in love, and regretted most of them, but never the potatoes that went with them. —Nora Ephron, "Potatoes and Love: Some Reflections"
After the visitors had left, I would stand over the sink and eat whatever was around, whatever I needed in order to go and do the work that I love. Even now it is a picture of heaven to me, an evening spent alone and well fed in the tradition of my own low standards. —Ann Patchett, "Dinner for One, Please, James"
To begin: buy yourself some raw tiger-tail shrimp, medium size, two pounds at least. Why tiger tail? Because they are the coolest to order. —Steve Almond, "Que Sera Sarito"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
If, sooner or later, we all face the challenge or the pleasure 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 make from her cash-strapped mother. Rosa Jurjevics reflects on the influence of her mother, Laurie Colwin, as she stocks her home with salty snacks. 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.
"I have friends who begin with pasta, and friends who begin with rice, but whenever I fall in love, I begin with potatoes. Sometimes meat and potatoes and sometimes fish and potatoes, but always potatoes. I have made a lot of mistakes falling in love, and regretted most of them, but never the potatoes that went with them." —Nora Ephron, "Potatoes and Love: Some Reflections"
"After the visitors had left, I would stand over the sink and eat whatever was around, whatever I needed in order to go and do the work that I love. Even now it is a picture of heaven to me, an evening spent alone and well fed in the tradition of my own low standards." —Ann Patchett, "Dinner for One, Please, James"
"To begin: buy yourself some raw tiger-tail shrimp, medium size, two pounds at least. Why tiger tail? Because they are the coolest to order." —Steve Almond, "Que Sera Sarito"
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Presents a collection of essays on cooking and eating for one by twenty-six top writers and foodies, including Ann Patchett, Marcella Hazan, Haruki Murakami, Courtney Eldridge, and Nora Ephron.

(summary from another edition)

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Jenni Ferrari-Adler is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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