The kids are gone tonight… I thought about Chinese take out. Maybe some ribs or chicken and broccoli? No take out. Maybe I will stay at the restaurant and eat.
Table for one please? I am not sure if I can get the words out. I drive a few miles down the road to get to my favorite Chinese restaurant. I thought about sitting alone at the table, feeling as though people are looking at me, judging me for being alone, when in reality, many would probably be jealous of the quiet meal I was about to have.
I parked and entered the small restaurant, only to find myself overtaken by the sight of couples who glance up as people enter.
Table for one please?
At that moment, I made a choice as I canceled my request for the table, and I got back in my car and drove a few more miles down the road. Arriving at my destination, Trader Joe’s , I mentally prepared my list. I would have my table for one, carefully prepared by me.
– Brown Sugar
– a jar of Morello cherries
– pork tenderloin
– Jasmine Rice
– Balsamic Vinegar
Images of Julia Roberts in Eat,Pray,Love filled my mind. I love that movie, but I could only think about the particular scene in Italy, where she sat at her own table for one, and ate that really large plate of pasta, without consideration of calories, or fat, or who was watching her. There was no doubt for the audience, that this was more than a meal; it was an experience. When I arrived at home, I carefully prepared my table, and then the food.
I unwrapped the meat, and dried it in paper towel. I set it on a cutting board, where I seasoned it with salt and pepper and then patted the sticky, sweet smelling brown sugar on the top to create a crust as it cooked, then browned in the oven.
I mixed a few drops of olive oil, with a few tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar, and poured it at the bottom of the small roasting dish. I paused to put in the rice to cook.
Adding the cherries, to the pan, and then mixing, I placed the meat in the oven, and sat down with my glass of red wine.
My table for one was almost ready.
35 minutes later, my home smelled like a dream. Melting brown sugar, cherries cooking, and the spicy smell of the Jasmine rice made me laugh at the idea of the take out bag I almost brought home with me.
I sat for about an hour with my meal. I did not turn on the tv, and I did not read. I listened to some music while I ate. I sat alone with my thoughts, and became proud of the effort I gave to myself. Indulging myself was not something that I was used to. It was an amazing feeling. I will have to try it again sometime soon.