Kate Manchester, publisher of Edible Santa Fe, takes up the theme of compromise. "Eating alone is nothing less than a luxurious, even decadent, act," she says, "because I get to think about myself. I don't have to think about someone else."
And when the opportunity arrives, she tends to return to her past, which involves seafood since she's from Rhode Island. "I find myself searching for that connection," she says. But because good fish isn't always an option in New Mexico, she has a back-up menu. "If it isn't seafood, I'll make johnny cakes and eat them with syrup and butter. I'd never even think of making them for my boyfriend or eating them when he's here," she reflects. "It's a stolen moment when I can cook for my own palate."
The one-unit meal, like johnny cakes, sidesteps the notion of a square meal with several foods skillfully balancing one another. Food writer Amelia Saltsman, who has no end of beautiful foods available to her from the Santa Monica farmers market, says that, in the end, she may just have a baked potato with butter and salt. "Basically, it's about comforting carbs and good salt," she says.