corner corner Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant


Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant
by Jenni Ferrari-Adler | Cooking, Food & Wine
Registered by oi-reader of Toledo, Ohio USA on 11/12/2007
Average 7 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by oi-reader): available

11 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by oi-reader from Toledo, Ohio USA on Monday, November 12, 2007

8 out of 10

What a lovely book! 26 essays by a variety of both foodies and non foodies, all on eating habits, what they like to eat while alone. From the cover..
"If, sooner or later, we all face the challenge or the pleasure of eating alone, then Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant provides the perfect set of instructions. In this unique collection 26 writers and foodies invite readers into their kitchens to reflect on the secret meals they make for themselves when no one else is looking: the indulgent truffled egg sandwich, the comforting bowl of black beans, the bracing anchovy fillet on buttered toast.

From Italy to New York to Cape Cod to Thailand, from M.F.K. Fisher to Steve Almond to Nora Ephron, the experiences collected in this book are as diverse, moving, hilarious and uplifting as the meals they describe. Haruki Murakami finds solace in sphagetti. Nora Ephron mends a broken heart with mashed potatoes in bed. Ann Pachett trades the gourmet food she cooks for others for endless snacks involving saltines. Marcella Hazan, responsible for bringing sophisticated Italian cuisine int American homes, craves a simple grilled ham and cheese sandwich.....

Part solace, part handbook, Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant offers a wealth of company, inspiration , and humor- and finally recipes that require no division or subtraction."

Having been one many a time finding myself cooking for one with an odd assortment of ingredients, I loved this book and am going to see if there is enough interest for a bookring. 

Journal Entry 2 by oi-reader from Toledo, Ohio USA on Saturday, November 17, 2007

8 out of 10

All packaged and off to begin its journey. here is the final shipping order:
1. -Jessibud--Canada--
2. lake44--USA--
3. azuki--USA--
4. Citibelle--UK--
5. orange-platypus--UK--
6. Starflash--UK
7. Hopi100--USA--
8. booksnbeer--USA--here now
9. gorydetails--USA
10. meezergirl--USA
11. directionshome--USA
12. bluestocking88--USA
** back home**

Please enjoy :) 

Journal Entry 3 by jessibud from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, December 04, 2007

This book has not been rated.

It's here! It must have stopped for a bite to eat, along the way... ;-)

I will begin reading this book by the weekend. In fact, maybe even tomorrow, as I sit in the waiting room at my dentist's office... 

Journal Entry 4 by jessibud from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, January 01, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Sorry it's taken me so long but what can I say? I'm a slug!

This was an interesting mix (smorgasbord?) of essays. Some I really loved, others I ended up just skimming and there were a few that I skipped after just a couple of paragraphs. The 2 essays I enjoyed the most were those written by Ben Karlin and Steve Almond.

I have to say, as a person who lives alone, I have always enjoyed eating alone. At home, that is. I truly despise eating out alone, anywhere, and seldom do it. I am not even sure why that it but it just is a fact that remains constant for me.

One quote in this book stood out for me; from the introduction itself:

"A good meal is like a present, and it can feel goofy, at best, to give yourself a present. On the other hand, there is something life affirming in taking the trouble to feed yourself well, or even decently. Cooking for yourself allows you to be strange or decadent or both. The chances of liking what you make are high, but if it winds up being disgusting, you can always throw it away and order a pizza; no one else will ever know."

Ha! Ain't that the truth! ;-)

My only real complaint was the size of the font used for the page numbers! EEK! Why so small?

I've added a couple of pages to the comfort food journal and I have Lake44's address and this will be in the mail tomorrow, when the post office reopens after the holiday.

Thanks for this, oi-reader, and happy new year!


Journal Entry 5 by lake44 from The Wrack Line, -- Not a city, Geographical features, etc. -- USA on Monday, January 14, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Just arrived: this is my first Book Ring! Thanks to oi-reader for starting this and to jessibud for passing it along to me. I have a couple library books to finish up and will read this over the weekend. 

Journal Entry 6 by lake44 from The Wrack Line, -- Not a city, Geographical features, etc. -- USA on Monday, January 21, 2008

This book has not been rated.

I'll be mailing this to Azuki tomorrow. I just want to thank Oi-Reader for sharing this wonderful book. Many of the essays took me back to my own single, eating-alone days. For awhile, I didn't have a surplus of money, so I ate the same thing daily: an oatmeal breakfast (without milk), peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, and a wonderful pasta dish for supper. Into the pasta went the bounty of my small garden (herbs and fresh vegetables), lemon pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. I kept a vase of wildflowers on my table. During fishing season (both sport and commercial), I ate fish dinner after fish dinner. Fresh and $free$ and wonderful. Lobster for one is always fun because you can eat it with your hands atop a newspaper-covered table. No plates to wash. just scoop up the newspaper and toss the whole smelly mess. And then relax in a recliner with a good book. In your underwear. Ignore the phone and sip some beer. Ahhhh...the single days! (Not that I'd trade my family to go back, but I did appreciate the memories brought up by this fabulous book...thanks again for sharing, Oi-Reader.) 

Journal Entry 7 by lake44 at on Tuesday, January 22, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Released 10 yrs ago (1/22/2008 UTC) at



On its way to Azuki in Miami. Delivery confirmation # 0307 1790 0002 3067 7242 

Journal Entry 8 by wingAzukiwing from Miami, Florida USA on Sunday, January 27, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Thanks, book has arrived. I do have a few hefty bookring books ahead of this but will try my best to get this moving soon.
I too, for one, enjoy eating alone. Lately my hubby is not working in an office so it's driving me nuts! I crave my "alone" food!
BTW, I am hosting a food themed virtual bookbox on BookObsessed. If you like foodie books, take a look. 

Journal Entry 9 by wingAzukiwing from Miami, Florida USA on Wednesday, February 20, 2008

8 out of 10

What a delightful read! Sweet, bitter, spicy... all the flavors stewing in one pot. Plus a few dashes of international flavors: Japanese dashi, Thai chili... I have a few favorites: Thanks, but No Thanks by Courtney Eldridge, The Year of Spaghetti by Haruki Murakami, Eggs Over Uneasy by Jonathan Ames, Luxury by Holly Hughes, Instant Noodles by Rattawut Lapcharoensap.

It is interesting how some people view dining alone as the ultimate treat to one self, while for others it is a pathetic ocassion, almost an indication of their failure as a social animal. For me, I tend more to enjoy eating alone at home, though I admit that at restaurants it can sometimes feel awkward.

Will be passing this book and journal on to the next person.

ETA: I have Citibelle's address. I have written in the journal and packed the books. My hubby is travelling to Asia next week so he will send it via surface mail to UK for me. 

Journal Entry 10 by CITIBELLE from Wigmore, Herefordshire United Kingdom on Saturday, June 07, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Book arrived this morning, surface mail all the way from Hong Kong.Package a bit battered but book in good condition. I am looking forward to reading this international bookring book. Accompanied by a delightful "foodie" comments notebook. Will be reading this weekend and posting to next in list in the week. 

Journal Entry 11 by CITIBELLE from Wigmore, Herefordshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, June 25, 2008

8 out of 10

Lovely book, a must for all foodie readers, am now releasing on to orange-platypus, next in ring Lovely Sobu noodle recipes in the companion journal. 

Journal Entry 12 by orange-platypus from Glasgow, Scotland United Kingdom on Thursday, July 03, 2008

6 out of 10

I enjoyed reading most of these essays and was relieved to find that I am not the only person who eats single item meals when by myself! I found some of the meals people described quite depressing though. What is it about eating by yourself that means that people rarely make the effort they would for someone else? The companion notebook is a great and I'll be adding to it before I send both on in a few days. 

Journal Entry 13 by orange-platypus at Redhill, Surrey United Kingdom on Wednesday, September 17, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Released 9 yrs ago (9/18/2008 UTC) at Redhill, Surrey United Kingdom



Off to Starflash. 

Journal Entry 14 by starflash on Monday, September 22, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Thank you

I have had 7 rings in the last six weeks, as everyone else has completed their holiday reading and they are passing their books on! This one has 2 1/2 ahead of it, so i will get to it aas soon as I can.

18.9-PMing next participant now..... 

Journal Entry 15 by starflash at -- BookRing, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA on Sunday, October 19, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Released 9 yrs ago (10/19/2008 UTC) at -- BookRing, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA



I will post this out surface mail sometime this week.

I wasn't sure about this book. I have read foodie journals (and have a current ring) by Nigel Slater which I enjoyed more: 'Toast' was a favourite. I liked the style of writing by some authors rather than what they said or ate. I did like reading everyones journal entries too. Thank you all for sharing. 

Journal Entry 16 by hopi100 from Alexandria, Virginia USA on Friday, December 12, 2008

This book has not been rated.

This just arrived today -- thanks so much! I can't wait to get started; I've been looking especially forward to this one! :)

ETA (March 2): I can't believe I never JE'd the mailing of this one. Clearly the early part of 2009 has gotten the better of my brain!

This was a splendid book! I loved reading each of the essays and learning about others' habits when dining alone -- and how the writers have been shaped by them. This was fantastic, and I heartily recommend it. 

Journal Entry 17 by BooksnBeer from Annandale, Virginia USA on Monday, March 02, 2009

This book has not been rated.

I am looking forward to reading this one - it has been on the road for over a year, wow!! As I read this I will think about my alone comfort food(s) - I do have a few. I have two other rings in front of this but, I will read fast. 

Journal Entry 18 by BooksnBeer from Annandale, Virginia USA on Sunday, March 15, 2009

7 out of 10

A good quick read. Actually, I thought this was going to be about comfort foods – but, it is more about eating alone. I have never masterd the art of eating alone – I feel very lame and opt to sit at the bar and grab a meal. But, I find I enjoy that and usually chat with others and entertain myself. Comfort food on the other hand goes to soup. I love soup and make a big pot of noodle soup (in all different variations) whenever I am alone. An interesting book , which inspired a great conversation at the bar while I was eating alone this last week.

I will send on as soon as I receive the next address. 

Journal Entry 19 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Thursday, March 26, 2009

This book has not been rated.

This book, plus the Alone in the Kitchen... journal, reached me safely today; many thanks! Looking forward to reading these! 

Journal Entry 20 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, April 03, 2009

8 out of 10

I really enjoyed this book - and the previous journal entries as well!

[Photo: a micro-meal-scape, of sorts. While I usually eat in my comfy-chair in front of the TV, I do sometimes eat at table, and in any case I often have flowers in the house - I keep hoping that they'll encourage me to tidy up, but even if they don't do that, they're cheerful. The gargoyle candlestick is there because I love gargoyles, and the artichokes are on the menu for tonight - when they're in season and reasonably inexpensive I often dine on two 'chokes per meal for days in a row...]

I've never had a problem with eating alone, whether at home or dining out. I may sit at the bar or get a table, depending on time of day, how busy the place is, and how much of a hurry I'm in, but I always have a book with me, and while I may chat with neighbors at the bar if they seem to want to be sociable, I'll usually spend the meal enjoying the book and the food.

I was intrigued by the variety of viewpoints expressed in this collection, from those who cherish alone-time for meals to those hate to eat alone (the most extreme of these being Laura Calder, who not only found eating alone depressing but has "a hard time believing anyone who tries to pass it off as anything else" - I hope she read the other essays in the book {wry grin}).

While I try to feed myself healthy, well-balanced meals, I tend towards "mono-meals" - one dish (or even one ingredient) that becomes my entire meal. Ideally, over the course of several days, the broccoli dinners and the chicken-wings lunches and the big-pot-of-chili meals will combine to some kind of nutritional balance, but it can be tricky! And I do get into ruts (or grooves, to be less negative), wanting the same thing over and over for quite a while before I tire of it. The asparagus essay tickled me because I've been known to dine on a bunch of asparagus every night for a week when it's in season! (I prefer to roast mine; a little oil, a little sea salt - yum!)

My less-healthy binges include onion-soup-mix-and-sour-cream dip and a bag of Ruffles potato chips - that's a comfort-food of a sort, though I know it's terrible for me.

I was pleased to find some familiar names here; I had a copy of Jeremy Jackson's Desserts That Have Killed Better Men Than Me, so I was pleased to find how highly he valued black beans (a near mono-meal) and being an introvert. And of course I've read M. K. Fisher's work before; her comment here that "sharing food with other human beings is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly" resonated with me.

Among the other essays I enjoyed most: Ben Karlin's "Legend of the Salsa Rosa," which motivated me to scurry off looking for suitable ingredients so I could try it myself. [When I saw in the biographies section that he's written for Stephen Colbert and for The Onion, I understood why he was so funny.] And Jonathan Ames' "Eggs Over Uneasy" was also very funny; his line about settling for regular supermarket eggs cracked me up (pardon the expression): "I wished I had organic eggs, but consoled myself with the thought that the antibiotics in the eggs might be good during flu season." Steve Almond's article also amused me, while whetting my appetite as well: "If you have not offered someone a Grill-Curried Shrimp Quesarito with Avocado Raita in an obnoxiously offhand manner, you are really only half alive."

Much fun, and a few new recipes to try; many thanks! 

Journal Entry 21 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, April 03, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 9 yrs ago (4/3/2009 UTC) at Nashua, New Hampshire USA



BCer meezergirl was next in line for the book ring, but she's disabled her PMs and seems to have left BookCrossing. Next was directionshome, but she didn't respond to my PMs, hasn't been active lately, and has a couple of outstanding ISOs in the forums, so I figured I'd better skip her too.

So I'm sending this book, along with the journal, off to bluestocking88 in Washington; hope you enjoy it! 

Journal Entry 22 by Bluestocking88 from -- Wild released somewhere in the state, Washington USA on Wednesday, April 08, 2009

This book has not been rated.

This arrived in today's mail. Thank you! 

Journal Entry 23 by oi-reader from Toledo, Ohio USA on Friday, August 14, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Home at last! My first bookring was s success! Many thanks to all who participated. 

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