Posted in Home Cooking, Sweets for the Sweet, The Well-read Foodie

In Which Porridge For One Gets All Gussied Up…

The title pretty much speaks for itself...

I confess that I am a serious cookbook and food-mag reader and hunter.  I’m the sort of person who makes a beeline for the culinary section of any given bookshop, be it a posh shop like Fully Booked or Powerbooks or the bargain shelves of either Book Sale or Chapters and Pages.  (And, no: I don’t turn my nose up at the second-hand bookshops.  It’s where I got my copy of Nigella Christmas for about a quarter of the price in a posh joint.  It’s also where I get all my British and Aussie food mags.)

It goes without saying that a person like me would actually go out of her way to look for quirky books on cooking and cuisine in general and my most recent buy is a heck of a lot quirkier than most.  How to Forget Your Ex (with the stab of a fork): Solo Recipes for Sporadic Singles is one such book.  Penned by Mlles. Claire Jacquet and Marina Veuillet, a pair of upbeat Parisian divorcees, it’s a cheeky sort of cookbook for people nursing broken hearts or who are, like me, bewailing their status as still single at the age of thirty-odd.  Dispensing both sensible (if a tad off-center) romantic advice and tips on practical cookery, it’s a worthy read even for those who are happily not-single.

The recipes are quite easy and are certainly a touch on the indulgent side: perfect for solo brunches, snacks (they’re easily doubled or tripled), and lonely suppers.  I would also recommend this book for those of you living on your own and are trying to learn how to cook.  Trust me: as long as you have a well-stocked fridge and kitchen cupboard and have even a small stove, you’ll be fine.

Super-indulgent oatmeal with nuts

One of my favorite recipes is a spot-on simple one that’s perfect for breakfast.  Found on page 84 of the book, it goes by the rather plain-Jane name oatmeal with chestnuts.  It involves cooking rolled oats in sweetened milk flavored with a bit of orange zest, given a bit of crunch by almonds and hazelnuts, and topped with dollops of creme des marrons (chestnut cream).

Mine didn’t quite turn out like the one in the book, but I can tell you straight away that it was delicious: nutty oats suspended in sweet cream flavored with citrus.  I didn’t have either hazels or almonds, so I spruced it up with a tablespoon or so unsalted roasted peanuts from Bukidnon which gave it a pleasant, rather honeyed smokiness and a few fresh pili nuts from Bicol that brought a fresh crispness that contrasted beautifully with the soft oats.  A squirt of creme des marrons added a soothing sweetness and a mouth-filling smoothness to the dish.

Paired with a steaming mug of cafe au lait, it’s the sort of breakfast that brings a bit of heart back to even the loneliest of singles, giving them the strength to face a new day – and life in general – with new-found hope.



Midge started her career in PR writing at seventeen when she began drafting documentaries for a government-run television station in the Philippines. Since then, she made a career in advertising and public relations which ended in June 2016 These days, she works full time at Philippine Tatler as a features writer under the nom de guerre Marga Manlapig. Aside from what she does for a living and her poetry, she has turned her home kitchen into a personal culinary lab and is currently working on another novel. Follow her on Instagram at @midgekmanlapig.

2 thoughts on “In Which Porridge For One Gets All Gussied Up…

  1. I love oatmeal and never tire of new ways to have it…thanks for sharing this!

    I fell in love with cooking when I started cooking for myself 🙂 Despite my now-married state I will always love cooking for one (and I still do)!

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