Cooking for One


Cooking for One

            I live alone. Well, almost alone.  Sparky, my Shih Zhu poodle lives with me. I am ecstatic to have my space back again. Until last November my youngest son, age 22, lived with me. I did very little cooking for him when he was here because he worked during dinnertime.

I am absolutely comfortable eating out by myself. And not just at fast food places. I take my book and make believe I’m reading it while I eavesdrop on my nearest diners’ conversations. It’s pretty cheap to eat out for one. I got to Filiberto’s and get a chicken taco and a diet soda. The taco is stuffed with meat. On Tuesdays they’re only 99 cents! If I order the more expensive chicken quesadilla, there’s enough for the next night’s dinner. If I go to Goldman’s deli and get the blintzes, they give me three. I take one home for lunch the next day. Another one of my favorite places is El Pollo Loco. I get the two piece combo for five bucks with their eternal coupon. If I order two thighs and two salads as the sides, I have another dinner. I also eat at the family diner, Randy’s around the corner from my house. I usually have a salad since the fixing tend to rot in my refrigerator before I get around to them. Randy’s is also known for its homemade pies, ice cream pies and strawberry shortcake (in season.) I have Randy’s on speed dial during the strawberry season.

So what do I cook at home? Once in a while I’ll get into the mood and make split pea soup, machaca beef, or turkey black bean chili. More often I opt for the easiest foods that I like. I get small pouches of edamame beans and nuke them. Protein and filling. I buy a “survival” rotisserie chicken at the supermarket. I got that name from a single guy I dated who said he survived on it for days. I microwave vegetables such as asparagus and spinach. Sometimes I pop in one of those diet frozen dinners. They taste good but it’s extreme portion control. These are my healthy dinners.

I also love to cook bacon and eggs for dinner, with buttered rye toast. Or I’ll boil up some eggs and make an egg salad sandwich. The staple of my life has always been tuna fish sandwiches. Alas I can no longer digest the raw onions I crave with them.

Of course there are plenty of nights when I have Cheetos, berries, and chocolate for dinner. Hey! I live alone so there’s no one around to scold me for eating junk food without much nutrition.

Sometimes my neighbor Donna invites me over, especially when she’s bought a family-sized frozen casserole of Italian food or made a big pot of bean soup or chili.

What’s on your dinner plate, single seniors?

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