I found this blog this afternoon, and thought this post in particular would make a good addendum to my last post (“Food”). http://americaeats.wordpress.com/2011/01/17/event-3-cooking-lessons-2/
I often hear another reason for single people neglecting to shop/cook/eat as they ought–a reason I failed to discuss in my last post: people just don’t like cooking and eating alone. I know more people, girls especially, who have never mastered the art of cooking for one, and who don’t really see the point in expending the energy on a home-cooked meal if they have no one to share it with. This post on “America Eats” struck me, not so much for the cooking lessons bit (though that’s really cool), but because the 20-somethings discussed are engaging in regular communal meals.
I grew up in a Catholic household, and I know many other Catholic singles did too. My parents had a cardinal rule for our family from the time I was old enough to sit up in a high chair: we ate dinner together. It was that simple. Our family dinners were a time to come together, to look back on the day, to discuss what we’d done, what our plans were for the week. Sometimes Dad would throw out a quote he’d found that day, or a question on the day’s Gospel, or just a life question in general, and we’d end up in hours-long conversations while remnants of food dried on the dishes in front of us and the leftovers got cold on the stove top. I’m not saying all our family meals were like this of course…and as my siblings and I have grown up and moved on, the family dinners are relegated more and more to holidays, but those routine meals are some of my most treasured memories.
Needless to say, my nighttime meals for one, enjoyed alone in my tiny apartment with only the buzz of my downstairs neighbor’s television for company are a pathetic attempt at replacement for that.
While this wouldn’t solve the problem of eating alone (I’ve heard candles on the table are a nice enhancement to those lonely suppers, but I have yet to give them a try), I propose an initiative in the D.C. area as we start in to 2011: how about gatherings of our own “20 (and 30)-somethings” for an occasional meal–cooked and eaten together? And hey, throw in a Catholic twist–maybe say the Rosary or the Office. And don’t forget Grace before the meal. Obviously people with adequate kitchen space would need to be willing to host, which adds a challenging twist. But there’s nothing quite like working together with friends to prepare a meal for everyone to enjoy. As long as there’s enough elbow room for all the chefs. And for those who still struggle with the culinary arts, it’d be a great way to gain some tips in the kitchen.
Hey, it’s a thought.