The Gourmet Bachelor
"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else…"
—R. W. Emerson
SINGLE MALT is neither a vow of celibacy nor is it a lonely hearts club. It is: culinary independence, an Emersonian self-reliance in the kitchen whether you’re treating yourself to a solitary night in or entertaining family and friends.
I wanted to write in celebration of this, with recipes that matched the more realistic portions and expectations of the quotidian. Not all of us are Mama Joads cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner—10 servings each of salt pork, buttermilk biscuits, and black coffee—for a truckload of hungry Oklahoma fruit pickers in 1930s America. Though a section of this guide is dedicated to the twenty-first-century art of dinner party throwing (and the difficulties of doing so on a budget and in a cramped New York kitchenette), our main concern here is how to feed ourselves from day to day, while enjoying the ritual and even indulging in it as often as our busy lives allow. As my mother once said to me, "We all die alone; might as well eat."