For the past few weeks BF has been out of town for some of his medical training (which is one of the reasons we compliment each other so well, I having predisposition to accidentally harming myself, and he having to bandage me up). Roommate is usually away for work and his frequent weekend adventures in San Francisco make him so absent I sometimes forget I even have a roommate. I'm only reminded when he comes back in at some random hour on a Tuesday and he regales me with stories that are too scandalous for this blog.
And, so, I've had a lot of alone time. Most of my life has been surrounded by people and while a little alone time is great large amounts of it unnerve me. The cats only listen to me for so long before walking away to catch some reflected sunlight on the wall. I have a strict rule not to drink alone (who would I dance with?). I usually end up watching some horror movie late into the night. I subsequently spend the rest of it in bed rationalizing that the picture frame that fell off the wall at one in the morning was a random occurrence and not the manifestation of some angry ghost who wants to brutalize me.
However, there are plenty of positive aspects to having a long period of uninterrupted personal space. It's amazing how much reading I've been able to catch up with. No one is playing World of Warcraft at three in the morning (nothing, apparently, is noisier than a Death Knight at three in the morning). I can sprawl out in the bed all I want and the covers are all mine.
Cooking seems to be the real problem I have. Suddenly reducing my menus from meals for three to meals for one is difficult. I buy too much at the market and end up struggling to use it all. The sheer volume of leftovers I have in the fridge and freezer is enough to open my own food bank.
Of course, the reason some of it goes unused is because I can eat without reprobation. Ice cream and a side of peanut butter toast is perfectly acceptable for dinner. I can break out a jar of Nutella and a spoon and simply watch repeats of Xena or Airbender without anyone complaining. A simple salad of bok choi with sesame oil and Chinkiang vinegar can be the most relaxing thing ever and I don't have to hold a conversation. I can simply, rudely, bury my nose in a magazine and not give a damn about the world. And, once in a while, I'll go grab a quick Taco Bell taco.
Not all of my meals are so irresponsible. A simple single serving of cooked fruit can be quite relaxing and indulgent. I don't even have to share!
A few cubed up nectarines and berries tossed with a bit of thyme and honey is a particular summer treat that I enjoy making for myself on a lazy Sunday. This morning the necatrines at the Farmer's market were tight and tart the way I like them and begged to be roasted just a little to sweeten them. A little flurry of ground almonds gave the dish a faux crumble crust. I decided to really make it richer with a small pour of heavy cream. A trick my cousin's wife, Cio, taught me that enhances any crumble or cobbler.
This little serving for one with a tall glass of iced oolong tea made for a beautiful breakfast for me, myself, and I which is nice because - between being amongst all the people I love - we needed to catch up a bit.
Baked Summer Fruit
There's no real recipe for this, just a method. Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly butter a baking dish or a few ramekins. In a bowl toss some chopped nectarines or peaches and a handful of berries (your choice on what kind) with a spoonful of honey and 1/2 teaspoon of thyme. Place into the baking dish or ramekins. Dust with some almond meal (though any well chopped nut will do). Bake for 15 minutes. Pour a few tablespoons of heavy cream or milk over the fruit. Serve.