What We Eat When We Eat Alone: Stories and 100 Recipes

Overview

"I am hooked on this book. You'll smile knowingly, muse a lot, maybe blush, get hungry and probably end up in the kitchen, enjoying every bite of eating alone. This is another keeper from Deborah Madison."

-Lynne Rosetto Kasper, Host of public radio's national food show, The Splendid Table® from American Public Media

"A truly intimate, startling, funny, and genuinely subversive book."

-Peter Coyote, actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall

"A fine romance between a Yankee cook and a Southern artist, whose love of friends and of each other is as

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Overview

"I am hooked on this book. You'll smile knowingly, muse a lot, maybe blush, get hungry and probably end up in the kitchen, enjoying every bite of eating alone. This is another keeper from Deborah Madison."

-Lynne Rosetto Kasper, Host of public radio's national food show, The Splendid Table® from American Public Media

"A truly intimate, startling, funny, and genuinely subversive book."

-Peter Coyote, actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall

"A fine romance between a Yankee cook and a Southern artist, whose love of friends and of each other is as clear as their love of food." -Betty Fussell, author of Raising Steaks: The Life & Times of American Beef

"I consider eating alone a greater hazard than drinking alone. Then along comes this book, which makes canceling my dinner date tonight in favor of a fried egg on asparagus in an armchair seem like the most desirable thing on earth!"

-Laura Calder, television host and food writer

"This is a perfectly charming book, loaded with easy-to-try recipes. I love the notion of exploring our lonely- or alone-eating life. And the illustrations are scrumptious-vivid, funny, bold."

-Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones

"A truly unique book . . . and there's no reason to doubt that the recipes live up to the quality of the text and the genius of the sketches."

-Patrick Oliphant, artist, cartoonist, and card-carrying vegetarian

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  • What We Eat When We Eat Alone
    What We Eat When We Eat Alone  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In numerous books, including Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and Local Flavors, Deborah Madison has instructed readers in the elegant simplicity of meatless meals. In this graceful follow-up, she offers a conversational, recipe-rich tome to those of us who eat alone. In Madison's view, there is nothing melancholy about this solo situation; eating alone can actually restore us and return us to our natural rhythms. Philosophy aside, What We Eat When We Eat Alone features a full quota of diverting stories, each chapter capped by a batch of exquisite vegetarian recipes.
Fine Cooking
"Impossible to put down."
The Splendid Table
"I am hooked on this book. It confirms once again that we humans are endlessly confounding and entertaining creatures. Deborah and her husband, artist Patrick McFarlin, blow the covers of food pros in revealing what they eat when no one's around. Then they move on to friends and acquaintances. You'll smile knowingly, muse a lot, maybe blush, get very hungry and probably end up in the kitchen, enjoying every bite of eating alone. This is another keeper from Deborah Madison."

— Lynne Rossetto Kasper

Television Host and Food Writer
"What a fun book! It is totally 100% compelling and I LOVE the illustrations. I have always ranted on about how much I hate eating alone, and how, in fact, I consider eating alone a greater hazard than drinking alone. Then along comes this book which suddenly makes cancelling my dinner date tonight in favor of a fried egg on asparagus in an armchair seems like the most desirable thing on earth! (Not least of all because it means that while I eat, I can keep reading.)"

— Laura Calder

Los Angeles Times
"Eating is at the same time the most social of activities and the most intimate. We present our social side when we eat with others, but we reveal our most private selves when we dine alone. While almost all cookbooks focus social side of eating with others, leave it to Deborah Madison and her artist husband Pat McFarlin to probe the fascinating inner world of eating alone."

— Russ Parsons

Denver Post
"The most charming food related book of the season"
The Washington Post
Deborah Madison and Patrick McFarlin's "What We Eat When We Eat Alone" (Gibbs Smith) is a delightful stream-of-consciousness romp through the highlights of research they compiled about the solo-dining habits of friends and strangers.
— Joe Yonan
Fine Cooking Editors
"Impossible to put down."
Television Host and Food Writer - Laura Calder
"What a fun book! It is totally 100% compelling and I LOVE the illustrations. I have always ranted on about how much I hate eating alone, and how, in fact, I consider eating alone a greater hazard than drinking alone. Then along comes this book which suddenly makes cancelling my dinner date tonight in favor of a fried egg on asparagus in an armchair seems like the most desirable thing on earth! (Not least of all because it means that while I eat, I can keep reading.)"
Author of Raising Steaks:The Life & Times of American Beef - Betty Fussell
"As Deborah and Patrick reveal in every word and image of their delightfully personal narrative, you're never alone when you eat because food in itself is company - as intimate and personal as the individuals preparing and consuming it. Never has the world of food been more enjoyably presented, in drawings as spontaneous as the recipes are practical, from 'Mashed Potato Soup' to 'Polenta Smothered with Greens.' As this collection of mini short-stories proves, how we eat alone, no matter our gender, age or background, defines us not only to others but to ourselves. All these voices confessing to what they do when no one else is about form a humane collective of daily life, wrapped in a fine romance between a Yankee cook and a Southern artist, whose love of friends and of each other is as clear as their love of food."
The Splendid Table - Lynne Rossetto Kasper
"I am hooked on this book. It confirms once again that we humans are endlessly confounding and entertaining creatures. Deborah and her husband, artist Patrick McFarlin, blow the covers of food pros in revealing what they eat when no one's around. Then they move on to friends and acquaintances. You'll smile knowingly, muse a lot, maybe blush, get very hungry and probably end up in the kitchen, enjoying every bite of eating alone. This is another keeper from Deborah Madison."
Actor /Author of Sleeping Where I Fall - Peter Coyote
"Just when you thought there was nothing conceivably new to write about food, Deborah 'Greens' Madison and her artist partner, Patrick McFarlin have devised a truly intimate, startling, funny, and genuinely subversive book. What We Eat When We Eat Alone is like peeping through a one-way mirror into the life of others. Not only what we eat, but how we eat it (spreading newsprint over one's chest to eat in bed) fills this entertaining book with enough fun and good ideas to keep you turning page after page. Even though the chapter 'Men and Their Meat' is not what you think it might be, you will be missing a rare treat if you don't buy and read this book. If there's a second edition I'll offer my singular treatment of half an avocado as a favorite snack."
Los Angeles Times - Russ Parsons
"Eating is at the same time the most social of activities and the most intimate. We present our social side when we eat with others, but we reveal our most private selves when we dine alone. While almost all cookbooks focus social side of eating with others, leave it to Deborah Madison and her artist husband Pat McFarlin to probe the fascinating inner world of eating alone."
Card-carrying vegetarian in Sata Fe, NM - Patrick Oliphant
"This is a truly unique book written by two professionals, but only by trial and error will we ever know if the recipes (should you care to try them) live up to the quality of the text and the genius of the sketches. We can be deeply thankful, however that no technical assemblage is offered for moose stew."
Writer, journalist, broadcaster, and author of Out to Lunch and The Official Foodie Handbook - Paul Levy
"What a brilliant idea. I wish I'd thought of it myself - but then it wouldn't have had Patrick McFarlin's illustrations, and be the gorgeous book it is."
The Washington Post - Joe Yonan
Deborah Madison and Patrick McFarlin's "What We Eat When We Eat Alone" (Gibbs Smith) is a delightful stream-of-consciousness romp through the highlights of research they compiled about the solo-dining habits of friends and strangers.
Publishers Weekly
Veteran cookbook author and food writer Madison (The Greens Cookbook, Local Flavors, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone) looks at what we eat when no one's looking in this charming if overlong study (with recipes). Madison's informal survey of friends, colleagues and complete strangers about what they eat at home doesn't yield many earthshaking findings-men more enjoy familiar staples while women enjoy thinking out their meals, comfort foods predominate, and priority goes to ease of preparation. Many of the exceptions are included among the hundred recipes scattered throughout, including a flank steak stuffed with cremini mushrooms, spinach, bacon and cheese; a shrimp, feta and bulgur wheat salad; and a polenta with blue cheese sauce. Plenty of fare best eaten over the sink is also included, such as sardines on toast or an open-faced cheese and tapenade sandwich. Madison's non-judgmental tone is refreshing and friendly, and recipes are varied enough that any home cook will find something worth adding to the repertoire. Though it can get repetitive--Madison never really reaches any conclusions-readers interested in the dining practices of others will find this a light but satisfying indulgence (not unlike sardines on toast).
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423604969
  • Publisher: Smith, Gibbs Publisher
  • Publication date: 5/1/2009
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 254,732
  • Product dimensions: 8.86 (w) x 5.74 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Meet the Author

Deborah Madison is the author of nine cookbooks and countless articles on food, cooking, and farming. Currently she blogs for Gourmet and Culinate.

He is the creator of Pat's Downtown Club, featured on CBS Sunday Morning. He has received numerous awards and fellowships for his painting. He works out of his studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Read an Excerpt

mushrooms on toast

Toast a piece of levain bread or ciabatta, then cover it with thin slices of aged cheese, such as Gouda, Gruyère, or Manchego. Set the toast on your plate and spoon the sautéed mushrooms (page 164) and their juices over the toast. Sprinkle on the remaining parsley mixture and more pepper.

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Table of Contents

what we eat when we eat alone 9

about the recipes 13

eating in bed 17

the gestalt of eating: men and women at the table 19

foods for me and me alone 35

getting the body fed with rough and ready foods 45

saved by sardines, rescued by pasta 85

tiny on the couch 106

men and their meat 109

"how to eat alone," poem by daniel halpern 137

alone at last 139

alone every day 169

"spy girls," poem by jeannine hall gailey 201

what every boy and girl should learn to cook before they're men and women 203

meals with a motive 237

breakfast with the saints 266

our thanks 268

index 270

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Love the format, love the recipes

    I read about his book in the Washington Post and immediately went out to purchase it. I have not been disappointed. It is full of great stories and easy recipes that one can create from what is already inside the fridge. I am still reading it and am truly enjoying it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 29, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A quirky fun read.

    I loved this book. It was like reading about friends or friends of friends, wondering which of the recipes they would find most enticing. It also opened the door to so many other "comfort foods", as well as gave my choices validity.

    Summer Tomato Sandwiches with just butter and cucumber; one of my personal favorites I look forward to each year when the tomatoes are ripe for pickin'. Also olive sandwiches; hard to keep the little things in a folded up piece of bread, but satisfying. . . and Jif Peanut Butter (smooth) with Claussen Dill sandwich slices across the peanut butter on your favorite bread slices. Yum.

    And, I've already bought my polenta.

    I look forward to reading this book again; it's just a book to make you smile and reminisce. I picked it up on a whim off the Barnes&Nobles employee recommendation shelf - serendipity.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2011

    these stories are so true... and so funny!

    I keep on laughing when reading this book. It's so funny, because it's so true. I have seen so many friends of mine, including myself, between the lines. Makes a great read anytime, especially on a long and boring airport ride or anything like that. Very well written!

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  • Posted September 21, 2009

    I was looking for a cooking for 1 cookbook

    This book is totally useless. I love reading so even though this turned out to not really be a cookbook it was awful. It wasn't interesting or entertaining. It was just a gross list of foods people eat when they are alone and bored. I gave it a chance. I kept reading through about half the book until I had to give up. Maybe someone who likes to read those books written by chefs who talk about how they started cooking would like it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 24, 2009

    Fun Read

    Gave it as a gift - The person totally enjoyed the stories with a few tears and much laughter.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted January 1, 2010

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    Posted July 1, 2010

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    Posted October 23, 2010

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