I am having a love affair with cooking. I think it was all the months of communal living or maybe the dreamy kitchen I have for a hot second but cooking is my therapy. Don’t get me wrong, I still very much embrace the easy, simple meals that don’t involve a million ingredients. And these days, I am trying to err on the side of healthy. Now being in Portugal, I am enjoying the indoor and outdoor markets. Dried beans are plentiful so I’ve been making pots of them. When you work from home, there’s always something comforting about having a pot of something cooking on the stove. Then, I tend to integrate them into my meals throughout the week.
For chickpeas, I put a bunch in a pot, and fill it half way with water, then bring to a boil. I let that simmer for about an hour. Then, I drain and add fresh water, bringing to a boil again. I let that simmer for another hour. And, voila! All ready to go.
Today, I discovered another little indoor market in town and picked up some broccoli raab, mushrooms, garlic, green beens, and then picked some lemons in the backyard. While listening to the new Belle and Sebastian (can’t get enough of Nobody’s Empire!) I sauteed the greens (cutting out the thickest stems), mushroom, garlic, and beans, with butter, thyme, salt and pepper. I added in the pre-cooked chickpeas just at the end to warm them, then squeezed on top a bit of lemon juice.
It was a sunny day so I sat on the kitchen steps eating my chickpea lunch and drinking my sparkling water. A lovely time!
P.S. I recently enjoyed these two articles about cooking and eating solo!
Jason Segal at Bon Appetit: “I’m totally comfortable at a bar or restaurant, either with a book or just people-watching. You usually meet a bunch of interesting people anyway; it’s like having dinner with someone you wouldn’t have ordinarily met…Being able to sit alone is an important thing in general, whether you’re at a restaurant or at your house.”
The New York Times, Elevating Dinner for One by Tamar Adler: “I’ve rushed through dozens of bad dinners scraped together because they were just for me, only to later realize the bad food and haste had delivered me directly into the loneliness I was trying to avoid. It’s when I’ve resolved to act not by myself but with myself — to serve as dignified a meal to me as I would to another — that the room has come to seem full and happy and loneliness has slunk away…It is impossible to eat well in groups if you cannot eat well alone.”
More about Cooking for One on Frolic!:
Cooking for One: 6 Simple Ideas
Behind the Scenes with My Life in Sourdough
Photos: Chelsea Fuss. Taken in the Alentejo region of Portugal.