Isn’t a meal cooked with butter and love, the best? Caramelized onions, creamy béchamel, on a bed of fusilli al dente. Sprinkle with bacon. Come on, a bit more. Let’s go for the “triple bypass.” Add a glass of wine and, there you have it, a romantic dinner for one.
To me, this is completely new, baking without thinking of the other. Before, his tastes became mine and his dislikes deprived me of Parmesan cheese. My son doesn’t like mushrooms? No more mushrooms! My boyfriend finds ham boring? We’ll have roasted dead chicken, then! Understand that I was not imposed anything, it is I who’s a fool for sacrificing my fork.
A little more than two years ago, because life is what it is: a bipolar bitch, I suffered from a hard reboot and landed in a furnished one bedroom flat. Alone. Absolutely alone. And free. Absolutely free.
I could eat anything I wanted, but I wasn’t hungry. I was hurt. I was scared. The only food I was nibbling on was my nails and the skin of my lips. My protruding ribs were invited to my pity party.
Thank God, I have the resilience of a super ball and I’m a natural glutton. My appetite grew back, as did my buzz cut. Of course, I launched myself on the other side of famine, emulating a Jabba the Hutt with low self-esteem. I was licking, disillusioned, the plastic wraps from my pre-packaged snacks, wiping my chin and my Cheetos coloured fingers, on the giant napkin that was once my bathrobe.
Fortunately, I slowly felt the hunger to feed me some love. To invite myself for a swanky feast. As I would have done if I had been my girlfriend. I wanted to seduce my taste buds and savour some flavour. So I went grocery shopping.
You should have seen me, swaying in the fruits and vegetables isle, with total amnesia. Do I like fennel? Well, yes, I like it, I think… In a salad? With salmon? Yes! I like salmon! I was running around like a miraculously healed. Yes! I remember! Fennel has a black liquorice taste! I love fennel!! I was out to lunch, going nuts, bananas, stir-fry crazy, and three fries short of a happy meal.
Today, my morale is sizzling, grilling and all around sautéed. It smells good up in here. I yell in British that my risotto is bleeping amazing and I answer back “Thank you, Chef!!” before adding a lump of stinky cheese. I try stuff. Sometimes it fails, it turns, it yucks, it burns or it coughs too much Scottish peppers. But I don’t give a flying fig rolled up in prosciutto, there’s no one to diss my dish.
I love my company. I like living alone and deciding what I’ll eat and when. Even if the man I date complains that he doesn’t like capers, I tell him to push them on the side of the plate without apologizing or changing my recipe. I offer him to take a look in the fridge. I have tofu, basil, almond butter… You don’t like any of that? Well, let’s take this with a grain of salt, shall we, apple of my eye?
Then, with a moaning mouthful, I get a culinary climax, before handing my sweetie pie a delivery menu.