Cooking for yourself is particularly creative because you are inspired by what's in your fridge or freezer or garden or nearby market. You don't have to follow a recipe slavishly; you can substitute as you like. If you are prudent, what you save on food costs will astonish you.
Going home at the end of the day or giving over a quiet Sunday afternoon to cooking—smashing the garlic, chopping an onion, getting all those good cooking smells going, stirring, tasting mindfully, and then adjusting the seasonings—is a comforting form of relaxation, something that is needed in our busy lives. I always love the moment of drama, too, when everything comes together and I quickly dish up my handiwork, arranging it pleasingly on a warm plate, and then take it to the table, where I've set a place for one with a cloth napkin in a family napkin ring. I open up the wine and light the candles, turn on some music, and I give thanks. I wouldn't miss this pleasure for anything.
Get the recipes:
Judith Jones' Meals for One
Adapted from The Pleasures of Cooking for One, by Judith Jones, copyright © 2009. To be published in October by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.