People often ask me what made me decide to write a cookbook for single people? As if the obvious reason wasn’t enough (me being single, lol). Well, I’ll tell you. A tray of lasagna, that’s what.
One Sunday, being the Italian that I am, I made a pot of gravy and a tray of lasagna for dinner. (It was also probably the only time I’ve ever used my RV’s oven.) After hours of cooking, the house smelled great. My stomach was grumbling loudly in anticipation of my feast. I couldn’t wait to eat!
Finally, the timer went off. I took the tray out of the oven. I cut myself a nice healthy slice of lasagna and put it on a plate. I topped it off with some more gravy and a meatball and sat down to eat.
After I was done, I burped (cause that’s what Italian’s do after a good meal), put my plate in the sink and proceeded to cover up the remaining lasagna in the tray with tin foil. I opened the refrigerator and “OH CRAP!” It doesn’t fit! Now what??
My RV has a side by side refrigerator which in the RV world typically is envied. It’s one of the first things people say when I show them around… “Oh, you have a side by side!” In hindsight it was a huge mistake putting this on my list of must-haves when searching for the perfect RV. That said, I’m not sure that even a top/bottom fridge would hold a tray of lasagna. I’m going to say no so I can keep my sanity and stop beating myself up for my choices.
So I removed the tin foil from the tray and cut down the lasagna into single portions that would fit into smaller tupperware containers. This got me thinking. Maybe, just maybe I’m cooking too much food for myself. (Ya think?!) Perhaps I should start to scale down my meals so that I don’t have so many leftovers. Even though I love leftovers, they are not RV friendly.
A star was born! Or rather an idea was hatched. I dug in and researched to see just how many cookbooks were out there solely dedicated to single portion recipes. Now we’re talking 5 years ago so back then my research showed that approximately 1 book per year was published in the previous decade on this subject. (Wow, it just hit me! I’ve been at this for 5 years now. How quickly time flies when I’m having fun creating new things in the kitchen.)
I bought a few of these cookbooks and found out to my disappointment that not one of them truly had single portion recipes in them. In most cases the recipe yield was for two people at best. One recipe suggested I cook a duck and gave me 10 ideas on what to do with the leftovers. I was truly astonished!
My current research shows that more books have been coming out on this subject, but again, most, if not all of them contain recipes which are not geared towards the solo diner. Just because you cook it in a crockpot doesn’t make it a meal for one. The recipe has to actually serve only one person.
In recent years, as self publishing becomes more popular, it will pave the way for every Tom, Dick & Julia to publish a cookbook in record time and numbers. It will be interesting to see if any of them will actually cater to single people.
I knew that the topic would catch on eventually and I would have to figure out a way to make my cookbook rise above the rest. I have a few ideas in mind, though I’m not quite ready to share them with you just yet. But I think they will seriously make a difference. Let’s hope I do it right!
In the meantime, I would love to hear some ideas about what you think would make my cookbook stand out from the pack?
Ciao for now!