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Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone [Paperback]

By Jenni Ferrari-Adler (Editor)
Our Price $ 12.75  
Retail Value $ 15.00  
You Save $ 2.25  (15%)  
Item Number 392293  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   272
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.25"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2008
Publisher   Riverhead Trade
ISBN  1594483132  
EAN  9781594483134  

Availability  6 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 26, 2016 07:24.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Item Description...
Presents a collection of essays on cooking and eating for one by twenty-six top writers and foodies, including Ann Patchett, Marcella Hazan, Haruki Murakami, Courtney Eldridge, and Nora Ephron.

Publishers Description
In this delightful and much buzzed-about collection of essays, 26 writers and foodies invite readers into their kitchens to reflect on the secret meals they relish when no one else is looking. Part solace, part celebration, part handbook, Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant offers a wealth of company, inspiration, and humorA-and finally, recipes that require no division or subtraction.

Featuring essays by:

Steve Almond, Jonathan Ames, Jami Attenberg, Laura Calder, Mary Cantwell, Dan Chaon, Laurie Colwin, Laura Dave, Courtney Eldridge, Nora Ephron, Erin Ergenbright, M. F. K. Fisher, Colin Harrison, Marcella Hazan, Amanda Hesser, Holly Hughes, Jeremy Jackson, Rosa Jurjevics, Ben Karlin, Rattawut Lapcharoensap, Beverly Lowry, Haruki Murakami, Phoebe Nobles, Ann Patchett, Anneli Rufus and Paula Wolfert.

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More About Jenni Ferrari-Adler

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jenni Ferrari-Adler is a graduate of Oberlin College and the University of Michigan, where she received an MFA in fiction. She has worked as a reader for "The Paris Review," a bookseller, an egg-seller, and an assistant at a literary agency. Her short fiction has been published in numerous magazines.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Cooking, Food & Wine > Gastronomy > Essays   [216  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Cooking, Food & Wine > General   [7182  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Cooking, Food & Wine > Quick & Easy > Cooking for One   [19  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A bite of Eggplant  Jun 4, 2008
The thought of eating alone sits on the soul in a manner of ways. To some, it is a comfort. It may be a quiet time for mother to enjoy her own sublime cuisine, spent away from chicken fingers with ketchup. The gourmand may spend secret alone time devouring a guilty orange pleasure of microwave mac and cheese. For many, perhaps a Wall Street stock broker or a lonely mid-thirties career gal, the idea of eating alone means taking oneself out to lunch, spending money on good food and good wine. Others still find the idea repulsive; a schoolchild with few friends may spend as little time as possible eating lunch, not wishing to face seclusion. The solitary intake of food can be soothing, overwhelming, enjoyable, or even irritating. But no matter how one reacts to the event, dining alone is a simple fact of life. We have all, at one time or another, faced this necessity and reacted in a whole manner of ways.

As for me, dining alone is a bit of all of these things. On a cool night, all alone in my tiny apartment, I'm curled up in a blanket with a grilled PB&J, watching movies on the coach. A much needed day off is usually spent treating myself, sometimes to shopping or a movie, but almost always with a nice meal. Dressing up in fancy clothes and taking myself out for a date always makes me smile after long work weeks. And after a late night, chips, homemade salsa, and a beer is a great way to relax me down. I enjoy the quite time spent sitting at a table dining alone watching others around me, taking in the scene, and the lack of energy needed to eat tacos in front of the TV. Cooking for myself is usually simple but delicious, pasta or rice with salt, pepper, butter, fresh tomatoes. Sometimes a glass of white wine. When plans with friends fall through though, an unexpected dinner alone can turn into frustration and depression. A dinner date gone awry can make dinner for one downright miserable. Being alone in the kitchen indeed has it's ups and downs.

These ups and downs of solo eating are chronicled in 2007's collection of essays, Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant. Included are essays from some of the best food writers, each with their own story to tell about the perils and joys of dinning alone. In each story, you connect with the author as they feel happiness, joy, indifference, depression, and despair over simply dining alone. I laughed with Phoebe Nobles as she conquered asparagus in "Asparagus Superheros," all at once wishing to begin an asparagus only diet as she did. As Colin Harrison discussed his many options for going "Out to Lunch," I imagined a solitary meal in the old New York haunts he visited. My salt and pepper white rice, paired well with Anneli Rufus' "White-on-White Lunch for when no one is Looking." I cried out for Haruki Murakami to eat something else as I read " The Year of Spaghetti," and I wished for love to be ditacted by potatoes as Nora Ephron suggests in "Potatoes and Love: Some Reflections."

The book is a terrific read. Jenni Ferrari-Alder has brought together some powerful, insightfully humorous and touching essays on a subject that truly touches everyone. The essays connect with the reader and with each other, in many ways glorifying the art of eating alone, but also showcases it's ability to bring out tears. Reading one, you may laugh out loud, and in the next few pages be flooded with sadness. Overall it is a book full of emotion, the very core of eating alone, and one that will, at the very least make you appreciate your last meal, solitary or not.

Check out more of my book reviews at [...]
The year of spaghetti...or beans...or rice...  May 14, 2008
What do you cook for yourself when you are cooking and eating alone? This anthology is full of musings, great ideas, and confessions from a variety of writers who spill the beans on their solitary dining habits. It's definitely not a cookbook though there are some recipes included in the essays. Truffled Egg Toast and Single Girl Salmon; Salsa Rosa for One and White-on-White Lunch for When No One Is Looking (egg noodles and cottage cheese); Kippers Mash. See what I mean? Not a cookbook. But if you are interested in the diversity of U.S. attitudes toward cooking and eating, you will find the twenty-six essays in this book entertaining.

Phoebe Nobles, for example, eats fresh asparagus every day of its short season in Michigan, inspired by a bronze Spargelfrau statue in "some famous little asparagus town in Germany." Steamed, roasted, grilled, it's the perfect finger food. Late in the season when you are "flagging," break it into pieces and hide it inside things. In a particularly personal section of this essay, Ms. Nobles advises us that she enjoys the fresh vegetable aroma of the urine of asparagus eaters. Having never seen this fact mentioned in my five decades as a reader, I was surprised to find it referenced in two books within a month (this one, and Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult).

The ever-entertaining Steve Almond cheated a bit on the brief. Pleading Jewishness, he claims to be bound by Mosaic law to feed anyone who comes to call, whether they want to eat or not. He claims that cooking for others is a "tremendous rush" and that writers, forced to work alone, are denied that pleasure of ulteriority in their work. He feels guilty about cooking well for himself and does anything in his power to lure others to eat with him. As a last resort he eats alone but denies himself the extra touches. His recipe contribution may be the most appealing in the book: Grill-Curried Shrimp Quesarito with Avocado Raita.

Several of the writers claim that when cooking for themselves they eat the same thing day after day; beans, or potatoes, or rice. One woman eats in the bathtub, one man changes to a jacket and tie and uses a freshly ironed cloth napkin. The possibilities are endless. Finances, time, and the size and equipage of the kitchen are considerations, but the main consideration is how you feel about treating yourself as an honored guest at your table.

Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant is a pleasant read for anyone who enjoys memoirs and food. Recommended.

Linda Bulger, 2008
About what matters  Feb 9, 2008
There have been magazine and newspaper articles on dining alone scattered across the last several decades, articles empowering single women, articles with recipes reduced to single proportions, but as editor Jenni Ferrari-Adler discovered, no one had ever pulled together an anthology around the theme. As she also found, there were lots of writers and food lovers out there ready to talk. ALONE IN THE KITCHEN WITH AN EGGPLANT assembles a collection of essays that make for a very provocative conversation on the implications of having to feed oneself most often in the kitchen and occasionally in public.

Before I cracked the spine, I was afraid this would be a screed against what Bridget Jones called "Smug Marrieds" or it would be so much navel-gazing or a lot of well observed details with nothing much to say. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Wrong. There is humor and wit, some wistfulness, a lot of realism, and in everyone's story there are some profound realizations about what is at once a curse and a freedom. The voices span 3 generations: MFK Fisher is here, Mary Cantwell and Laurie Colwin (whose essay bequeathed the book's title), all deceased alas; there are the younger, up and coming generation, like Amanda Hesser, Ben Karlin and Rosa Jurjevics (Colwin's daughter); and there are renown cookbook authors Paula Wolfert and Marcella Hazan. Altogether, there are 26 essays plus the editor's introduction that acknowledge that eating alone, especially dinner, goes against the grain of our collective human nature but it happens, sometimes by choice and sometimes by default of circumstance, sometimes well and sometimes not so fine. But it is when we are alone that the connection between eating and memory, environment and relations with others is thrown into greatest relief.
Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant   Jan 22, 2008
Some stories were good, others were long and boring. Thought there would be more of an interwine directly with the food and recipes.
An enjoyable and diverse collection  Dec 21, 2007
I am a single passionate cook so for obvious reasons this book intrigued me and thankfully, I was not disapointed. To be clear, this is a series of essays, not an informative book about how to cook for one. What I love about the book is the sheer diversity of writers and the essays themselves. You get a good mix of both seasoned food writers and writers with varying backgrounds. You also get essays that range from celebrating cooking for one, mourning it, and everywhere in between. I think there is something private and interesting about the act of eating alone and the fact that so many writers let us in on their rituals, triumphs, and mishaps is almost like taking a peep into a world you were not expecting to see. Overall I found this to be a very enjoyable read and if anything the only downside was that it was so pleasant and smooth to read that I finished it a little more quickly than I would have liked.

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