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.