Thursday, 4 June 2009

Dinner for one

I'm not very good at doing dinner for one. I can cook, that's not the problem. I can cook small portions, that's not the problem either. The thing is, I very rarely want to cook when it's just for me.

Now this presents a problem, as once a week, like clockwork N is out in the evening and I am left to fend for myself. It doesn't matter if the flat is rammed with all the most delicious possibilities, I am far more likely to pop to the corner shop, buy a small tin of tomato soup.

This sort of attitude to cooking for myself that has developed over the years that N and I have been together has resulted in some very strange meals while N is out. All of them tasty enough - yes, porridge is dinner, yes, so is peanut butter on toast, and yes all of these should be accompanied by an episode of Columbo and a large glass of wine - but none really what I'm sure many people would call a "proper" dinner.

A few weeks ago I found the usual night rolling around, and the cupboard even more bare than usual. It was at this point that I also discovered the box of eggs on the verge of their use-by date lurking in the back of the fridge.

"Brilliant!" I'm sure most people would think, omelette time! Thing is, I don't like eggs. Never have. No quiche for me, or scrambled or fried for breakfast. Bung them in a cake, no problem, but actually have to face them alone, and I'm outta there.

With one exception. Egg mayonnaise. It doesn't happen often, but sometimes, on a very rare occasion I find myself in the mood. To demonstrate how rare this is, I can confess that when I made this dish a few weeks ago I actually had to phone my Mum and ask how long to boil the egg for. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that's how little experience of eggs I have!

So when I make egg mayonnaise it has to be special. It has to be worth adorning the gorgeous things that are cream crackers. And so I give you, egg mayonnaise, my way:

Egg mayonnaise ala moi.

4 large eggs
Heinz light salad cream
freshly ground black pepper
dijon mustard

Boil the eggs for as long as you need to boil eggs for. I'm still a little vague on this, I think I did mine for about ten minutes because I want to knock any softness out of them! Once the eggs have been boiled and cooled shell them and either using a clever egg slicing gadget (like the one I inherited from my grandmother and sat in our bottom drawer for three years until I needed it last week) or the high-tec method (a knife) chop the egg into small pieces. Grind the black pepper over it. Use lots, you always need more than you think you do. Stir. Then add a healthy squirt of salad cream. No posh proper mayo here, it's against the law in my egg mayonnaise making. You want enough to coat the egg, without the whole mixture being totally sloppy. Then add about a tablespoon of mustard, or to taste. Then grind in more pepper, mix and serve on cream crackers.

This amount made enough for me to have crackers for dinner and then a sandwich the next day.


  1. I am also not a big fan of eggs, but love egg salad which is eggs and mayo. I always have mine on bread with bacon. Unlike you I relish those dinner nights to myself when I can eat anything I like. I hardly ever eat a "normal" meal though. Sometimes I even have ice cream for dinner.

  2. impressive meal for a one-person dinner. I love it! I'm similar-- if it's just me, I'm prettty likely to head for a cereal box. but it's a good skill, cooking for YOU. and it looks like it paid off- your meal looks great!

  3. Oh, I'm so the same. Whenever Mr M is away, I just can't be bothered. Dinner ranges from boiled egg sandwiches to soup. Glad it's not just me!! My mother is always rendered speechless! Have a lovely weekend. Cat x

  4. I think eggs make a great one-person dinner in whatever form, but your egg mayonnaise looks great. It's funny because when I lived on my own I got so used to cooking for one but now that I have to cook for two I either totally over or under estimate the amount. And then when I am on my own... dinner can be anything from a sensible pasta for 1 to microwave popcorn to pancakes. I tell you -- they make a satisfying dinner.