A little about Table For One…
T41 is the place to come to learn how to cook for the most important person in your life, YOU. Although the majority of recipes you’ll find on my site will be geared towards single portions, there will eventually be a page that hosts a variety of recipes to please a crowd. Let’s face it, I’m Italian and cooking for one is a challenge sometimes even for me. (I said sometimes :)) Every now & then even I just have to make a big ol’ tray of lasagna.
Many times I hear people say it’s too hard to cook for just one person and that it’s easier to pick up something on the way home or nuke something in the microwave. Nonsense! The first thing you need to do is to put that thought way in the back of your mind and stop thinking that way.
Learning to cook single portion meals will be the best decision you’ve ever made. My recipes are easy, budget friendly, make use of common ingredients, and don’t take much time at all to make. They’re also be healthier than the sodium laden convenience foods you’ve been picking up on the way home.
Take a culinary journey with me and learn something new. What have you got to lose?
A little about Sunny Jo…
- Born & raised a New Yorker
- Spent 20 years dodging hurricanes & tornados in Florida
- Started my first business at the age of 21, a secretarial company
- Adopted the cutest golden retriever/dobie pup and named him Gomez
- Pursued a career as a Software Test Engineer
- Created & Published an Information Technology Newspaper
- Bartended/Managed a few clubs and met many wonderful people
- Living & camping princess style in a 36′ Class A Motorhome!
- Found an adorable & lovable little chihuahua puppy who adopted me
- Following my dream of writing a cookbook
Where it all began..
Dad was Hungarian. Mom was Italian and that ‘s how I was raised, an Italian. However, the gypsy blood runs through me. Suffice it to say, no one I know was surprised when I told them I was moving into an RV fulltime. As most Italians know, it’s not uncommon for various and plentiful dishes of food to hit the table each night. And Sunday dinners are even more overwhelming as the entire family descends traditionally upon Grandma’s house for a full five course meal, complete with pastries and a friendly game of poker afterward. Our family was no exception. I used to love those crazy family dinners. And the stories, oh my! The day would end with each family taking home enough food for a full dinner the next night. A testiment to how much time Grandma spent in the kitchen just for that one day.
Early in life, it was my Nana who inspired me to be creative in the kitchen and not be afraid to experiment. She was an awesome cook and holidays at her house, well, tiny apartment was more like it, were an adventure in food fun.
A little about Nana…
Nana was a funny old bird. She came to America on a boat from Pisa, Italy when she was 10 years old. She spoke not a lick of English but learned quickly. She later married and had 2 children, my mother being one of them, and a son, my uncle. Following in the American tradition, she and Grandpa divorced when I was young. As I entered my teen years, I remember my Nana having a few handsome and worldly gentlemen callers who treated her well. But Nana was a fusspot and set in her old Italian ways. Sadly, she never did remarry and ended up living alone in a 2 story walk-up garden apartment. She chose the apartment on the second floor out of fear of being robbed. You see, when I was a child and my family lived with her, our apartment was broken into quite often and what little valuables she had that she was saving for me were all gone. So who could blame her?
Nana lived a life of hope and dreams although none would pan out quite the way she wanted. But the one thing you couldn’t deny was that that lady could cook! Nana always cooked too much food, on purpose, and would call me to come pick it up so it “wouldn’t go to waste”. Since I lived in walking distance, I never minded too much because I knew undoubtedly her food would be better than any meal I would have planned for that day.Holidays were a trip at Nana’s house. She hated tardiness and ours and my uncle’s families were always late. Then once we got there, the chit chatting and the “how have you beens” would start and an hour or so would go by before she was able to corral everyone to the table for dinner. At that point, she would be highly mad at all of us because her dinner was ready to be eaten an hour ago and therefore she considered it ruined. Well, she would teach us to be late…. Her new ritual involved standing at the top of the staircase with a pile of dishes, handing them out to you as you entered. You were required to take your dish, take off your coat and immediately go to the table for dinner. I mean, what else could you do with a dish in your hand anyway, right? There was to be no more pre-meal socializing until after you got your plate and sat down. It was really no hardship though once you saw and smelled all the delicious food she’d prepared, with lots of love I might add!Unfortunately, Nana didn’t write many of her recipes down and the few she did were written early on in Italian and in pretty illegible handwriting. So I only have a few memories to go by. Even though Nana was full blooded Italian, her Moussaka I’m sure would impress the Greek Gods themselves. I still can’t get that recipe right, but having fun trying. One day Nana, I promise!
Well, I’ve since gone on to cook for my own family, which was by no means as large as the one I grew up with. Now I cook for just me and it’s been quite an adjustment. I’m really looking forward to sharing all my woes & triumphs with you. (Remind me to tell you about the time my hands got stuck in the bread dough and I had to call Nana at 3am for help!) I’ve learned to adapt to new ways and methods of cooking and have simplified my life in the kitchen without much sacrifice. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be! If I can do it, you can do it!There’s only two things I suggest you remember when cooking for yourself. You’re the boss & you make the rules and you only have yourself to impress. I guess that was three things. So get cookin’ and tell me what’s up in your kitchen, how my recipes have worked out for you (or not) and share something you’ve learned. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.
Ciao for now!
Please feel free to send me an Email with any questions you may have. I would love to hear from you!