Cooking for one? What's the point? So much about the eating experience for me is about *sharing* meals and conversation, about nurturing those I care about with wholesome and delicious dishes. How many times this week have I opened the fridge and been completely disinterested? Who am I going to share good food and scintillating conversation with now that yet another relationship has tanked? My houseplants? The worm bin residents? My bicycle? Bah. Looks like cheese and crackers for dinner again. (It's a good thing I've had lots of cooking classes to teach, else I'd have wasted away altogether: who can resist sampling mashed sweet potatoes with maple syrup and garden thyme prepared by 2nd graders, or beet and apple salad hand-grated by 4th graders, or spicy kale chips baked by middle schoolers? Not me. It may be significantly more lonely in my apartment these days, but thanks to my students at least I'm managing to get some good food in me a few times a day during the school week.)
The most depressing meal to prepare and eat alone, I've decided, is not dinner (partly because it's socially acceptable to have a couple glasses of wine during dinner) but weekend breakfast. You know, that time when one lazes around a bit in bed, snuggling and maybe dozing awhile before putting on some espresso and bustling about the kitchen to assemble a little something tasty for two. And then sometimes heading back to bed? That's the time I'm talking about, when loneliness is the most stark. Well, I'm tired of feeling sad. And today, for the first time in a week, I woke up hungry. So this morning, since I had minimal supplies around -- I am less motivated to buy food when self pity hits, too -- I decided to try a recipe my friend Carina had mentioned to me a few days ago: 2-Ingredient Pancakes. I had both ingredients and somehow this morning the idea of making pancakes for one seemed less pathetic than it did last weekend. Maybe it was the unexpected sunshine pouring through my bedroom window when I awoke. Maybe it was the fun time I spent with my dear friend Quynh last night. Maybe I'm starting to heal. Whatever the reason, the result was delicious and I devoured the whole plateful myself. And so, dear readers, single and otherwise, I offer you my adaptation of:
Flourless Banana Pancakes for One
Makes about 3 pancakes
- 1 medium, ripe banana
- 1 large egg (or probably two small ones would work, and yield an extra flapjack)
- 1 pinch baking powder
- 1 large pinch ground cinnamon
- Heat a skillet on the stovetop to medium heat.
- In a small mixing bowl, mash banana well with a fork. (There can be small lumps, but you don't want big banana globs or it will be weird.)
- Mix in the egg, then baking powder and cinnamon.
- When pan is hot, add a small pat of butter, which will melt and coat the bottom of the pan.
- Pour a Tablespoon or so of batter into the pan and cook your awesome little pancake until the bottom appears set (20-30 seconds, when you see a couple small bubbles pop on top), then flip with spatula and cook another 10 seconds or so til cooked through, but not burnt.
- Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm with butter and syrup.
I suspect this recipe scales up just fine, but it is handy to have a 2-ingredient, 3-pancake recipe around.