Reason For Not Eating Out #23: Good Service

I’m serious — stop laughing.

Cooking for myself is always about being good to myself. Never have I heard myself complain, ‘the service is really crappy’ when referring to my own dining room, because there, I’ll set the house rules. If I want my food prompt, I’ll make it prompt. If I want to carry out a languid, leisurely affair, I might uncork a bottle of wine, put on a record and Zen out to the task of slicing onions. Saying the service is crappy is like saying, ‘I’m crappy,’ and who wants to feel like that? Sure, it’s easy to be critical of oneself when it comes to the food, but gruff? Negligent? These things simply do not exist.

If I’m forgetting to acknowledge that there is no alternative to the advantages of proper restaurant service when cooking and dining alone, thus making this entire Reason moot at best, it’s because I’m trying to be of good service to myself. Let’s face it: good or bad, service is the determining factor between eating out and eating in. Restaurants are a service, they fulfill your need to eat. That’s just an insurmountable gulf I’ve been learning to cope with when making new recipes, reasons, and throughout every day of Not Eating Out – being my own serviceperson. (Unless when cooking for friends or vice-versa, which I’ve been doing a bit of lately.) So why not do the job well?

I say all home chefs should relax a bit, thank themselves for an excellent meal, or pat themselves on the back when something they were making didn’t turn out quite right and politely ask if they can refill their own drink. Hand their plates to the kitchen when the meat isn’t properly cooked, and bring it back to the table with a smile. Say aloud, ‘it is my pleasure to serve me, please come back’ every now and then, or write it on their doggie bag that they stash in the fridge. After all, the most important person to be nice to in the universe is yourSELF.

The better you are at this, the more you will want to come back your own kitchen.

And no, I’m not trying to sound like a women’s magazine, but since I’m feeling extra close with you guys right now, I’ll add on a somewhat related personal note that I’m celebrating my six-month anniversary of singledom right around now. So tonight I’m treating myself to extra goodies like only a waitstaff member who happens to be your best buddy would. And feeling pretty lucky because not too many people could probably say the first six months after a three-year relationship have been some of the best of their lives.

7 Responses

  1. desiree

    1) i think being gracious to yourself is one of the most important thing in the world, hands down. i’m glad you agree.

    2) congratulations and happy anniversary! i hope you do something extra special and self indulgent to celebrate. xx

  2. hypatia

    I have been reading your wonderful website for a long time now, and I wanted to thank you for doing this, it has inspired me immensely.

    As a poor college student, your writings and amazing recipes (vegetarian chili, holy crap.) keep me coming back, and validate the fact that, though my hand-kneaded bread may take a couple hours from start to finish, it’s still better than any alternative. :]

    Congrats on the anniv., we’re all rooting for you, and keep it coming, I need a good recipe to break in my pint-sized stove!

    H-There’s nothing hotter than a girl that knows what she likes, AND how to make it from scratch!!

  3. Sther

    I’ve found that putting my food on one of my pristine white square plates and adding a touch of color makes all the different in the world.

    Thanks for sharing your personal bit of news 🙂 I think it’s wonderful that you are in such a good place!!!!!

  4. Ari (Baking and Books)

    Too true! I am an excellent hostess to myself I must say. 🙂

    I just found your blog while surfing the net and have to say, it’s great! I’ve added you to my blogroll. Always great to find another great site written by a gal in my neck of the woods.

  5. Yvo

    I’ll drink that that entire last para *raises glass*

    As for the rest, I couldn’t agree more. I was flipping through food photos the other day (the kind that may make it to my bento blog, but don’t get proper write ups on FF – just what I eat, mostly at home) and I remarked to my bf “Damn, you know, I really eat well…” and most of it is my own cooking/plating that I was drooling over 🙂 High five!

  6. Rahel

    You are simply awesome. I love your blog and whatever guy left someone like you is crazy. I went back and read your Pain with Chocolate post and really admire its candor. You have a book deal, you have talent and you are going to meet so many great people.

  7. kittie

    Cheers to that!!! 😀

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