- Black Bean Soup (freeze-dried from the health food store is okay if you don't have time to make it from scratch)
- Geo's Cast Iron Polenta Bread (see recipe below)
- Rough Cut Salad (fresh red and green tomatoes, radish, cilantro, green onion, red cabbage, and/or anything else you have growing or just lurking in the fridge—toss with lime juice and salt)
- Cheddar (sharp)
- Dessert (freestyle, optional)
- Prepare food carefully as if you're expecting someone important (because you are). Don't cut corners.
- Clean off your table.
- Set out your nicest dishes, a full spread. No plastic, paper, or styrofoam. No eating from pots or Rubbermaid.
- If you have fabric napkins, fold one for yourself.
- Knife, fork, spoon.
- Fill your glass and have a pitcher of the beverage of your choice (water is good) nearby.
- Put on some music you enjoy. Pandora.com is always a good choice. I can recommend the Emiliana Torrini station as highly digestible.
- Light some candles.
- Give thanks and ask God for a blessing on your food, and on yourself.
- See yourself as an interesting friend. Talk with yourself. Keep the conversation cheerful and positive. Appreciate yourself for making such a nice meal.
- Drink lots of water.
- Keep the cheese knife busy. This is not the time for food guilt.
- Pay attention and enjoy the experience.
- Do the dishes later.
For Further Study of the Art of Being Alone:
Here's a video that good Suzanne shared with me this week. Hope you'll feel as validated and inspired by it as I do—
Geo's Cast Iron Polenta Bread
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup cornmeal (coarse polenta grind)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups buttermilk
Set your oven at 375. Put butter into a cast iron pan and set the pan on the oven's middle rack; allow it to heat along with the oven while you mix the batter.
In a medium bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and mix them with the buttermilk. Now whisk the wet into the dry.
When the oven reaches 375, take the pan from the oven and pour in the batter. Hustle the pan back into the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Cut into 8 or more wedges and enjoy.