Doing it Alone
You’ve always been sociable, enjoying, with your partner, the preparation of great meals and the pleasure you get from sharing a good gastronomic evening with friends. But what if something unexpected happens and there is no longer a partner? Whether it’s death, divorce or separation, your life will never be the same again. All the shared activities are now yours alone. You are still the same social being, and part of the healing process may lie in rediscovering the pleasure of hosting, but this time on your own.
The newly unpartnered host faces big challenges, not least the temptation to do the same as before but all by oneself. Not possible – you can’t pour drinks at the same time as finishing off a delicate sauce that needs loving care and attention till the moment it is served. You can’t be in two places at once and if you’re going to maintain your reputation as a good host, you will have to dedicate your time to your guests while they are in your home, with everything prepared before they arrive.
Having for a long time known personally and professionally (as a counsellor) many people in the situation I’ve described, I had the idea of writing a book specifically for this ever growing group. A friend, Elaine Borish and I became writing partners. An American, living in London for over 30 years, she had already written highly successful cookery books and together we set out to create menus for different kinds of people who had one thing in common –they were newly alone. Our book profiles men and women in many different life situations - widows and widowers, younger and older, separated or divorced, straight and gay – and offers menus and recipes that make lone hosting easier than they would have thought possible. And the food is really simple to prepare and delicious to eat. We look at every aspect of entertaining, from laying the table to cleaning up after the guests have left.
The book is called Doing it Alone: Hosting for a New Life and is by Elaine Borish and Sheila King Lassman (Fidelio Press, London, ISBN 978-0-9568517-0-3, available from Amazon USA $14.95, UK £9.95, available at the link above).
Really great grub: enjoy making it and sharing it.