Here's the thing about living alone, 3600 miles away from your husband, that I didn't expect: it totally screws with meals. Since graduating from college and leaving the dorms, I've almost always had housemates, and I could usually count on people asking to share or helping with leftovers even when I was just cooking for myself.
Moving into this apartment has forced me to drastically change the way I approach meals. Whereas before I could make a casserole that would feed four and it would be gone 24 hours after it had come out of the oven, that mac and cheese I made the other week lasted me for six days. (Today's lunch was the last of my Indian braised spinach and chickpea dinner from November 7th!) I do love cooking properly - from scratch, I mean - but there's no point in sizing down most recipes to serve one; the time and energy necessary for a lot of my favorite dishes aren't worth spending on an individual portion. That means I've had to become very strict about making sure I eat leftovers, getting more creative with the other meals that surround the leftovers so that I don't get bored and picking recipes that freeze well.
Of course, every dinner isn't big and freezable. Sometimes I just want something low impact and easy that isn't leftovers, like chips and guacamole. Occasionally, though, I want to have a special meal, the kind that you'd make to celebrate someone or something that would make the night a culinary occasion. When I first moved into my apartment, I resisted making these meals. After all, I was alone! Who goes through the process for a red wine reduction just for themselves? Why spend money on a single lamb chop? That's silly.
But, I realized after a few months, a date night for one at home can be just what a girl needs to feel less lonely. So, every few weeks, I'll look up an exciting recipe or two, set the table properly, pour myself a glass of wine, and put on some music. I'll cook myself a special occasion meal and I'll enjoy my own company. After all, isn't that supposed to be the fun of living alone?
By the way, I have no idea if these are the "correct" wines for these meals, but they're what I had on hand and I liked them!