Friday, April 15, 2016

Table for One

~ Cheesy Mini Meat Turkey Loaf, Baked Sweet Potato & Roasted Asparagus ~
Every now and then I find myself dining solo, as was the case during Brett's recent two week business trip.
I don't think too much about it at the breakfast and lunch table.
Dinner, however, is another matter altogether.
It seems rather lonely to me and I find I don't often think it seems worth it to cook for one person.

~ Two egg omelette w/ red onion, broccoli & cheese, bagel half, fresh pineapple & strawberries ~
On the other hand, two weeks is a long time to live on junk food.
So, even though it seemed more tempting at times, I challenged myself to come up with a few decent meals to serve myself.
When I was raising my kids, it was very important to me to have the family together at the dinner table.  I did my best to set a nice table and serve a nourishing meal.  Now that it's just the two of us, I still honor the dinner table tradition to some extent. 
With all of this time to myself, I pondered the reasons why it didn't seem worthwhile to do the same thing for me, myself & I.
It gave me time to think about the people I have known that dine alone on a regular basis.  I know for some of them it was the result of losing a spouse and for them sitting alone at the dinner table was far too lonely.  In some cases they chose to take dinner on the couch in front of the tv as sitting alone at the table was too strong of a reminder of their great loss.  In another instance, dinner was at a restaurant each evening as being home was too quiet and too lonely.  Being in a place where there were other people and wait staff who knew your name was the way to go.
Then there was Paul.  An extremely creative, talented and energetic friend from my past.  He lived in a small apartment above the gift shop he ran.  He was one who was often up until the wee hours creating some beautiful work of art or fabulous recipe.
While his lifestyle was completely different from mine, I was impressed by the beauty he created in his small apartment and inspired by the fabulous food he would prepare for his own meals.

One day I looked out the window and noticed the oldest of my azaleas were in full bloom.  Taking a cue from Paul, I decided that even though I was the only one who would enjoy them, it was worthwhile to get out there and snip a few.

So, I did.
That prompted me to dig through the vintage linen vault for a cheery spring tablecloth.

~ Split Pea Soup with Multigrain Bread ~
It's hard to make split pea soup look appetizing.
A little cropping and an "aerial" shot to hopefully take the emphasis off the pea green soup.


Who ever said it isn't worth it to set a pretty table for one?
The flowers and tablecloth sent me on a mission to find a few candles to add to the mix.
No law against candlelight for one as far as I know. ;D.

Once the candles were lit it seemed a good idea to check out the dishes.
Apparently it wasn't a good idea to get out the iron.
In some instances it is good that I'll be the only one to see it.

~Lovella's Massaged Kale Salad, Butternut Squash Ravioli with Butternut Squash Sauce ~
With kale growing in the garden now, it was decided that it should be included on the menu.  I found Lovella's method for massaging the kale beforehand to be a great way to soften the leaves.  My kale crop isn't super bountiful, but it was enough to provide salad for three nights.

~ Dessert ~
As for the strawberries,
two were ripe last week.
An ideal dessert for one.
Maybe there are some perks to dining solo after all.



  1. Kim, You are so right about setting the table pretty even for just one. I love it that you included candles and flowers. My hubby often travels, so I understand your feelings. I agree about the way pea soup can look in a photo. I recently discovered that a red or an orange bowl looks pretty good. I am looking for some in those colors at my thrift store. Enjoy your day. Kathi

  2. What a pretty table setting. Glad you took the time and effort to make yourself a fine supper

  3. So inspiring, Kim! You make things beautiful!

  4. What a cute table! I lived alone for years and never once prepared a sit down meal. You set us all a good example! I can hardly drag John to the table...only for holiday meals. Oh well. We get set in our ways, I guess.

  5. What a lovely table you set for yourself. Love the table cloth!
    I think food tastes better sitting at the table and we eat our dinner at the table when we eat at home.

  6. I'm glad you treated yourself to some of the niceties of life. What a sweet table./

  7. This post comes at a good time because next month my DH is going to be gone for 2 weeks and I'll mostly be eating on my own. I'm sure I'll join my son and family downstairs sometimes but I am a most fussy eater and there are just so many things I don't eat. Including meat. I hope I'll take the time to do as you've done and make my meal special. When we are just the two of us we eat in the sunroom and that's where I'll eat as well. I love looking out onto my flowers in the back yard. Take care, Granny M.

  8. I dine alone all the time, Sometimes I cook a lot so I have good leftovers. Sometimes I wil pick up something when I am out and about, sometimes I order in. I do not fuss, I eat off paper plates! It works for me. I never could manage dining alone in a restaurant. That makes me feel lonely.

  9. I think we should always try to make everything we do just a little bit special when we can. When our kids were little we always had dinner at the table every night together. And I would often light candles, they loved it. I miss those days! but youre right! There is no reason not to do it now!
    have a great weekend!

  10. I think we should always try to make everything we do just a little bit special when we can. When our kids were little we always had dinner at the table every night together. And I would often light candles, they loved it. I miss those days! but youre right! There is no reason not to do it now!
    have a great weekend!

  11. Dining solo
    most of the time
    and does not bother me.
    Problem cooking small amounts
    when at one time
    cooked for 6.
    I always light candles
    and breakfast my favorite meal
    one day oates with chopped apple and raisins
    another morning waffles covered with cherries, banana and blueberries with Maple syrup
    another morning scrambled egg with Kale or Spinach.
    Always 2 cups of green tea, some yogurt and more fruit..

  12. Your effort in dining solo with style really paid off! I confess that I'm one to eat alone with a book propped up on the table, or the television going - it doesn't happen very often, I'm thankful to say. Your tablecloth is very pretty.

  13. Two weeks is a long time to be dining alone! You make it look most appealing though...with candles and flowers and lovely linens...not to mention tasty dishes. :)


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