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The Pleasures of Cooking for One
(Alfred A. Knopf) ISBN 978-0307270726 0307270726

Cooking for singles can be easy to do, creative and economical, according to Judith Jones. Whether you are a young single, widowed or divorced, you don't have to buy ready-made, processed meals.

The Pleasures of Cooking for One shows you how to transform ingredients from gardens, farmers' markets and even fridge leftovers into delicious meals for one.

Advice for single cooks

The Pleasures of Cooking for One is a helpful resource for single cooks. Judith Jones anticipates your questions with ideas for omelet fillings (e.g., roasted peppers) and quick dishes to prepare for unexpected guests (e.g., a substantial soup or frittata).

Each chapter begins with an index of recipes and an introduction by Judith Jones. The author also introduces each recipe. For her cheese soufflé recipe, for example, she explains that it is a tasty way to use up leftover cheese.

Throughout the 273-page cookbook, sidebars on yellow pages provide help for single cooks. Putting Yesterday's Bread to Work, for example, tells readers how to use up stale bread (make breadcrumbs, croutons, stuffing and bread and butter puddings).

Thirty-three color and B&W images, mostly by Christopher Hirsheimer, illustrate cooking techniques, ingredients and recipes in The Pleasures of Cooking for One.

Recipes for leftovers

Judith Jones claims that the secret of cooking for singles is to plan for daily variations of the meat or fish course. Many recipes include variations and second- and third-round recipes. E.g., after her recipe for small roast pork tenderloin, she includes recipes for leftovers—red flannel pork hash and pork stir-fry with vegetables. She suggests alternate vegetables and seasonings, like hot peppers and dried mushrooms in the Variations sections.

A sidebar lists nine ways to cook turkey leftovers, including rich turkey soup, turkey tettrazini, turkey croquettes and turkey chestnut hash. Another sidebar offers ways to use up leftover milk, such as making yogurt, cream sauce or dessert, like apple maple bread pudding.

Judith Jones gives readers many tips, such as freezing stock in ice cube trays and how to halve an egg. (Shake a large egg in jar until the yolk and white are mixed. Remove one and a half tablespoons, which will be half an egg.)

The Pleasures of Cooking for One sidebars provide easy ways to use single ingredients. For example, Judith Jones suggests many ways to prepare chanterelles, such as adding them to crepes, risotto, a quiche and an omelet.

Sample recipes for single people

Skirt steak. Lamb and lentils. Blanquette de veau with leeks. Fillet of fish in parchment. Blueberry soup. Stuffed portobello. Zucchini pancakes. Baked polenta with vegetables. Fennel, apple and walnut salad. Fresh mint sauce. Wild rice pancake. Summer pudding. Gooseberry jam. Preserved lemons. Seeded bread.

The Pleasures of Cooking for One


  • Introduction
  • Cooking through the Week
    • Poultry, meat and fish dishes with second and third rounds and variations
  • Soups for all Seasons
    • Making seasonal soups out of what's at hand
  • Improvising with Vegetables, Salads and Sauces
    • Vegetables stuffed, baked and roasted; salads with substance and sauces to enliven
  • Rice, Pasta, Grains and Legumes
    • As accompaniments and carriers for leftovers
  • Treats, Sweets and Special Indulgences
    • Breads, cookies, comforting desserts and preserves to make on a lazy Sunday, plus a few lovely treats to enjoy alone
  • Index


Judith Jones is the editor of Julia Child and James Beard cookbooks, and the co-author of three cookbooks.

Other books by Judith Jones:

The Tenth Muse - My Life in Food

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