Reason for Not Eating Out #24: No shirt. No shoes.

This twenty-fourth Reason of the Month for Not Eating Out marks a milestone: Whoa, it’s been two whole years. That’s 187 recipes, 89 ruminations, 10 foodie profiles, several cooking events, a couple videos and whatever other crap I fill these pages of not eating out with later. What better way to celebrate this special eve than by cooking in my blog-birthday suit? (Oh, you were hoping for a photo at the top of this post, too? Well, sorry… )

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. … Read More

Reason #22: Your Health

Recently, the New York City Board of Health passed a law requiring restaurants with more than fifteen locations to publish the calorie count of their menu offerings for customers to see. I commend this, and applaud those restaurants who’ve already complied, as begrudgingly as some may have done so. I wouldn’t want to have to go through the extra work to find out what the exact nutritional toll of the recipes on this blog might be, for whatever reason. And … Read More

Reason for Not Eating Out #21: Doing Dishes is Good for the White-Collar Soul

Getting into the topic of the bottom-rung, low-wage, mostly immigrant workforce in a restaurant is slippery business. Dishsoapy-slippery. Everyone knows it: the restaurant industry is fueled by these underpaid, undocumented and often mistreated workers who receive little or no benefits and often work two or three jobs literally around the clock. Food service is no egalitarian utopia, okay. The same goes for any other capitalist enterprise in today’s global economy, perhaps. But unlike with buying clothes from major retailers that … Read More

Reason for Not Eating Out #20: Book Deal

I couldn’t resist compounding this very attractive reason for not eating out with all the rest, even though it has less to do with eating than it does writing about it. For instance, I could go on not eating out for a lifetime and die fairly happily, I think. But half the fun of this whole experience has been about sharing the obsession with… you. Is it worth my while to do without blogging? Absolutely. But if a tree belches … Read More

Reason for Not Eating Out #19: Because you can almost afford to live alone

In the words of Roy Orbison, only the lonely know the way I feel tonight. I’m putting my feet up on a coffee table, pulling a blanket up to my chin, trying to decide which channel to turn on, or which of the eight magazines in front of me to pick up and look through, then relinquishing in contented inactivity, the only sounds in the entire apartment from stock simmering on the stove, ever so lightly, underneath the pot’s lid. … Read More

Reason for Not Eating Out #18: When you do eat out, things are different…

Here’s a moment where I really wish that a friend of mine had executed her idea to write a parallel blog to mine called, “Not Having Sex in New York.” The plan was, we would be able to compare and contrast the relative advantages or disadvantages of both plights and the unique revelations we each discovered. I still have much to wonder about what it would be like only having sex in a strange city, country or town, where one … Read More

Reason for Not Eating Out #17: Because You Can Salt to Your Taste

There’s a beautifully vague term found frequently in recipes: “Add salt to taste.” Or perhaps, “Salt and pepper to taste.” Usually hidden at the end of a recipe like an unwelcome guest, these tiny words go against the grain of everything that a recipe is — suggesting freedom, not followership, discernment, not exactitude, you, not them. But who could deny its importance to cooking?

Reason for Not Eating Out #16: Great Leaps Forward

Many people have asked me over time how I manage to “not eat out” around the clock. Just what am I eating when it’s not one of the recipes published on this blog? (Much of the time, the plain answer is noodles — spaghetti, noodle soup, fried noodles; noodles.) It’s true that I don’t broadcast my every cooking failure or success here, which therefore makes it hard to grasp the extent to which my cooking ceases to be fun, experimental … Read More

Reason For Not Eating Out In New York #15: Being The Man

You know what time of the month it is? No? Reason for Not Eating Out rant time?… Well, that’s okay. I don’t even know when the correct time of the month to post one of these things is myself, and I think I may have skipped a month altogether sometime in the summer. But hey — that’s okay. Because I make up the rules. This is exactly what my Reason for Not Eating Out #14 is all about. In the … Read More

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