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Mar 17, 2012 07:30 AM

Dining Alone at Home - Plating

I live alone and due to the size of my apartment, I dine alone when eating at home. Many nights I resort to take-out or a quick meal, but when I do cook, I have an odd tendency to actually care about plating. The other night, I made jazzed up turkey burger and topped it with an Sriracha avocado mayo. I placed the burger on a carefully arranged bed of lettuce and used two spoons to put a perfect scoop of the mayo atop the burger. I then circled the burger with small wedges of tomato. It actually looked kinda pretty.

Does anyone else, while dining alone do this sort of thing....or do you do, what I often do and eat half of it while cooking and whatever is left, throw on a plate?

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  1. I do this too!
    I'm a college student and I generally eat in a dining co-op. I work there 5 hours a week and get 3 wonderful meals a day with great people. When I'm at home, I usually cook for my family.

    Last time I ate alone, I made lamb chops in a yogurt marinade with rice, salad and spicy eggplant sauce. It was great! I plated it on the huge white plates my family has for special occasions and carefully placed the salad and rice in the middle, leaned the chops on top, and drizzled over the sauce. I'm pretty sure I garnished it with parsley.

    I certainly don't do this at every meal even the ones i cook just for myself, but it's kind of fun. Also, I work as a cook so I justify it by saying that I'm practicing plating.

    1 Reply
    1. re: luciaannek

      OK< so when are you making me lamb chops! Mouth is watering and I haven't even had breakfast, haha!

    2. I eat breakfast and lunch alone. I awake at 6 and she sleeps until 9. We have an empty nest. My wife makes dinner most of the time for both of us. She hates to cook altho she is a good cook. She says she cooked when our kids were living at home because she had to cook.

      When I prepare breakfast and lunch, I finish what I prepared before eating it.

      1. when I eat alone, or often when we eat together , I throw everything haphazardly into my favorite wide bowl.

        1. On the occasions when my partner is away (much less now we are both retired), I try to make as much effort with the food as when we are together. Possibly even more, as I tend to cook the things I particularly like, but which don't usually feature in joint cooking sessions. The interest in the food certainly applies to how it looks on the plate - it is about still having dinner, not just having something to eat. In the winter, I'm still likely to light candles for the table as we do when we're together.

          1. Character is defined by what you do when no one is looking. I have no idea where the statement comes from, but I heartily agree.

            Living alone, I enjoy taking the extra 5 minutes to arrange things in a nice manner. The more involved the prep and execution, the more trouble I go to on the plate. My stemware is crystal and my silver is sterling. Add to this that I live on a boat with a 2 burner propane cooktop, and you understand why I eat alone so often! (Chuckles and chortles at this point are highly appropriate.)

            This does not stop me from eating shellfish stew straight from the pot when the seas kick up, or opening a can of refried beans and rolling up with flour tortillas in the middle of the night. But isn't it so nice to act civilized?

            6 Replies
              1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                I assume that you wear appropriate dinner attire as well?

                Black tie? Since you live on a boat something more formal might be a little over the top, depending on the boat I suppose.

                1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                  There are many things I do in the privacy of my own home that I'd never do in public. :-O I'd never want to live in a glass house. But, I don't think that's a reflection of poor character.

                  1. re: chowser

                    My first tux was at the age of 16, and my last black tie event with miniature medals was less than a year ago. Many places will vacume pack clothing for special occasions. And I prefer silk shirts on a daily basis with board shorts and boat shoes if I have to go into town.

                    I do eat by lantern light, and I do try to have clean clothes at meals. The first time you spill hot anything on your chest or lap will quickly enforce the need to wear clothing at meals, even if you haven't worn anything all day.

                    And my boat is a 24 ft sailboat that you cannot stand up in. But it has been more enjoyable than the 3000 ft home on the Intracoastal Waterway with seperate bungalow and my killer kitchen and an unending source of reconstruction.

                    1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                      I apologize if my remark sounded snarky, it was intended that way though,

                      I'm sure I read more between the lines (and probably incorrectly) of your post than I should have. I simply don't equate the quality of ones dinnerware in anyway with character.

                      1. re: kengk

                        Snarky is great. Please don't stop. Many of my responses are with tongue firmly in cheek.

                        I have never understood why people save the "good" stuff for special occasions and company.

                        And I would never equate one's character by their clothing or belongings. Some of the most noble and caring people I know happen to be homeless.