The Pleasures of Cooking for One
by Judith Jones
Judith Jones is the "legendary editor of some of the world's greatest cooks- including Julia Child and James Beard." Her latest book is a combination of memoir and cookbook as she shares her solitary food adventures, culinary tips, and favorite recipes since the death of her husband in 1996. Jones pairs her recipes with big glossy pictures. Short food essays such as Ideas for Omlet Fillings, All About Cheese, and Ways of Using Up Milk intersprinkle the book with useful advice. Best of all, Jones shows that cooking for one is not boring! After every recipe she includes mini-recipes called "Second Round," "Third Round", or "Other Variations" where Jones shows how leftovers can be modified into new and different dishes.
I, along with my salivary glands, am enjoying Jones' culinary narrative. I formed my Christmas list after reading chapter 1, when I discovered her recommended essays of Essential Equipment When Cooking for One, and Indispensable Utensils. Her Baked Polenta with Vegetables and Fillet of Fish in a Parchment are my future conquests. I breath deeply as I read, for Jones' joy for cooking steams off the page. She leaves me smiling and scheming while I write down my next grocery list.
Judith Jones says in the introduction, "An advantage of cooking for yourself is that you have only yourself to please. So you can indulge on a sudden whim. You can choose to make just what you feel like. [...] There's no need to be a perfectionist, or to win applause from your guests. If a sauce curdles, you'll eat it anyways. And you'll learn from your mistakes. [...] I wouldn't miss this pleasure for anything. And I hope that the strategies and flexible recipes I offer here will encourage you to join in the fun."