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Judith Jones' "The Pleasures of Cooking for One"

Today's Baltimore Sun has a story about Judith Jones, the long-time book editor who has worked with such chefs as James Beard, Julia Child and Jacques Pépin. She visited the Charlestown retirement community recently to talk about her new book, "The Pleasures of Cooking for One."

(A personal aside: This is a woman whose biography I would pay to read. She started her career translating the works of Sartre and Camus, had a role in the publication of Anne Frank's diary, and worked with great chefs. I'd read her story over a hundred quickie bios of entertainers and politicians.) Some excerpts from Rob Kasper's column:

Jones, whose husband, Evan, died in 1996, told the gray-haired crowd that she once thought that dining at home without her husband and family would seem "empty and sad." But on the contrary, she found that making a good meal was a way of honoring the past. Jones, who works three days a week as an editor at Knopf in Manhattan, said the evening meal was often "the highlight of my day. I always light a candle and open some wine."

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Judith Jones' "The Pleasures of Cooking for One"

She also offered words of encouragement for another group of solitary diners who were not in the audience — young singles — to try their hand at kitchen work. "For young people just starting off, what better way to learn than to learn on yourselves, you eat your mistakes and do it better the next time." ...

She said the challenges of cooking for one — such as buying too many groceries — can be overcome by following strategies outlined in her book. The key, she said, is not to think of a meal as self-contained, but rather to regard cooking as an ongoing process of one dish leading to another. In other words, you have one serious cooking session, say on a Sunday afternoon, and then feast during the week on the reincarnations. Her book contains recipes that start with an initial dish, and then it offers recipes for subsequent meals made with leftovers.

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