Dad Eats Alone: Volume 1

Occasionally, my schedule necessitates dining alone. Either I come home after the crew has finished their meal, I have to leave earlier than their scheduled dinner, or we’re having a free-for-all-pick-your-favorite-leftover night and I forget to eat until several hours after bed time when my brain and my stomach finally connect and an urgent signal is sent throughout my body that says “Hey stupid, you haven’t eaten anything since breakfast…yesterday.”

…We’ve all been there, don’t lie.

Tonight was one of these nights where I was out on an ambulance call and got home after my family was done eating.

Now, usually, there are leftovers for me to pick from, but since we are in the middle of a hot, sticky summer weather patten, my wife prudently decided that cooking a big meal wasn’t going to happen, so it became a night of randoms. Pasta for the boys, and whatever she picked at while I was gone.

This means that I was left to my own devices when I came in the door.

Usually, when this happens, this is where I end up battling against some of those culinary demons I have mentioned in the past. I’ve gotten myself into any number of potentially volatile situations when I’m cooking for one, usually because the meal starts with the simple thought of “I wonder what happens if I mix <something> with <something else>”

Since it’s getting on bed time for many of us, I won’t ruin your night with some of the details….although I will provide one example-

A few nights ago, everyone was out and I made dinner for one. Hot dogs were defrosted, so I decided to go with them….except eating plain hot dogs is a criminal offense as far as I’m concerned, so I needed to dress them up. So I sauteed mushrooms and onions and smothered the dogs in them.

Bad. Very, very bad idea. Don’t do it. Just don’t, especially if you happen to have those ‘angus beef’ dogs, which are SUPPOSED to be better, but in fact are ten or twelve times worse tasting than the average atrocity that is a hot dog.

My stomach is still cramping at the thought of that one.

– Tonight though, I made a fast, edible creation that I wouldn’t have been able to make if I’d have been cooking for the family. For one thing, NOBODY else eats chili. My wife, whom I jokingly refer to as a “Food racist” because she hates everything from everywhere except Italian food. Chinese, Mexican, Thai, you name it, she hates it. She won’t even touch Bratwurst, and my St. Patrick’s day meals have become sad since the thought of Corned beef and cabbage makes her ill.

The boys…well, I won’t even go into the act of congress or waterboarding that it would take to get The Narrator to eat chili. The kid fought us for half an hour at a restaurant the other night over mac and cheese, because the cheese used was white instead of yellow, so I won’t even bother trying to feed it to him.


Since I’m on my own, I whipped up a true bachelor’s meal. A small can of hormel chili without beans that I was saving for chili dogs, chopped onions, a dash of ground red pepper, and a ton of chili powder. I briefly entertained the idea of wrapping them in tortillias, but my wrapping skills leave a lot to be desired. (ask anyone I’ve ever given a Christmas gift to.) So, I just dumped the concoction onto a plate over the tortillas, and BAM.


I don’t have a picture of it, for two reasons.

1. I was famished by the time it was done, and ate it.

2. I’m not fully into the habit of instagramming my food yet, and since all of my own photos that I post here are linked from that account, you’ll need to use your imagination as to what it might have looked like.

What is my point tonight?

I have no idea.

At first I was going to use this post as an opportunity to thank my lucky stars that I’m not a bachelor because the majority of my ‘dinner for one’ experiments end up as a culinary blight that the CDC has written and demanded samples of for research purposes.

But then this simple, edible diamond in the rough comes through and not only is it not deadly, it is downright delicious, so I can’t go that route.

I suppose- in the long run….I have no point tonight. I could have simply stated that “Sometimes I eat alone and what I make sucks, but tonight it was good” – and not wasted any more of your time than absolutely necessary.

But really, that’s no fun, and since wordpress doesn’t suspend accounts for posts without points, I’m more than happy to have prattled on for much longer than necessary to tell you nothing at all.

As for your time….sorry about that. You can’t have it back. It’s mine now.

……I’m in a weird frame of mind tonight. I really should just hit the ‘move to trash’ button and try again tomorrow, but I’m committed now. Or, I was. I’m done now.


Thank you and Goodnight.


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