What We Eat When We Eat Alone: Stories and 100 Recipes

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Product Details

Gibbs Smith
Publish Date
5.6 X 1.2 X 8.6 inches | 1.15 pounds
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About the Author

Deborah Madison is a freelance writer and board member of the Foundation for Bio-Diversity and the Seed Savers Exchange, among others. As a freelance writer she has contributed to Cooking Light, Williams Sonoma's Taste, Vegetarian Times, Gourmet, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, Garden Design, Fine Cooking, Organic Style, the LA Times, Orion, and others.

He is the creator of Pat's Downtown Club, featured on CBS Sunday Morning. He has received numerous awards and fellowships for his painting. He works out of his studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Deborah Madison and Patrick McFarlin's What We Eat When We Eat Alone (Gibbs Smith) is a delightful stream-of-consciousness romp through the highlights of research they compiled about the solo-dining habits of friends and strangers.--Joe Yonan "The Washington Post" (6/3/2009 12:00:00 AM)
I am hooked on this book. It confirms once again that we humans are endlessly confounding and entertaining creatures. Deborah and her husband, artist Patrick McFarlin, blow the covers of food pros in revealing what they eat when no one's around. Then they move on to friends and acquaintances. You'll smile knowingly, muse a lot, maybe blush, get very hungry and probably end up in the kitchen, enjoying every bite of eating alone. This is another keeper from Deborah Madison.

--Lynne Rossetto Kasper "The Splendid Table" (4/30/2009 12:00:00 AM)
As Deborah and Patrick reveal in every word and image of their delightfully personal narrative, you're never alone when you eat because food in itself is company - as intimate and personal as the individuals preparing and consuming it. Never has the world of food been more enjoyably presented, in drawings as spontaneous as the recipes are practical, from 'Mashed Potato Soup' to 'Polenta Smothered with Greens.' As this collection of mini short-stories proves, how we eat alone, no matter our gender, age or background, defines us not only to others but to ourselves. All these voices confessing to what they do when no one else is about form a humane collective of daily life, wrapped in a fine romance between a Yankee cook and a Southern artist, whose love of friends and of each other is as clear as their love of food.

--Betty Fussell "Author of Raising Steaks: The Life & Times of American Beef" (4/30/2009 12:00:00 AM)
What a brilliant idea. I wish I'd thought of it myself - but then it wouldn't have had Patrick McFarlin's illustrations, and be the gorgeous book it is.

--Paul Levy "Writer, journalist, broadcaster, and author of Out to Lunch and The Official Foodie Handbook" (4/30/2009 12:00:00 AM)
Just when you thought there was nothing conceivably new to write about food, Deborah 'Greens' Madison and her artist partner, Patrick McFarlin have devised a truly intimate, startling, funny, and genuinely subversive book. What We Eat When We Eat Alone is like peeping through a one-way mirror into the life of others. Not only what we eat, but how we eat it (spreading newsprint over one's chest to eat in bed) fills this entertaining book with enough fun and good ideas to keep you turning page after page. Even though the chapter 'Men and Their Meat' is not what you think it might be, you will be missing a rare treat if you don't buy and read this book. If there's a second edition I'll offer my singular treatment of half an avocado as a favorite snack.

--Peter Coyote "Actor /Author of Sleeping Where I Fall" (4/30/2009 12:00:00 AM)
What a fun book! It is totally 100% compelling and I LOVE the illustrations. I have always ranted on about how much I hate eating alone, and how, in fact, I consider eating alone a greater hazard than drinking alone. Then along comes this book which suddenly makes cancelling my dinner date tonight in favor of a fried egg on asparagus in an armchair seems like the most desirable thing on earth! (Not least of all because it means that while I eat, I can keep reading.)

--Laura Calder "Television Host and Food Writer" (4/30/2009 12:00:00 AM)
Eating is at the same time the most social of activities and the most intimate. We present our social side when we eat with others, but we reveal our most private selves when we dine alone. While almost all cookbooks focus social side of eating with others, leave it to Deborah Madison and her artist husband Pat McFarlin to probe the fascinating inner world of eating alone.

--Russ Parsons "Los Angeles Times" (4/30/2009 12:00:00 AM)
This is a truly unique book written by two professionals, but only by trial and error will we ever know if the recipes (should you care to try them) live up to the quality of the text and the genius of the sketches. We can be deeply thankful, however that no technical assemblage is offered for moose stew.

--Patrick Oliphant "Card-carrying vegetarian in Sata Fe, NM" (4/30/2009 12:00:00 AM)
The most charming food related book of the season

--Paul Levy "Denver Post" (4/29/2009 12:00:00 AM)
Impossible to put down.--Joe Yonan "Fine Cooking" (12/1/2009 12:00:00 AM)