Gastronomic Note:
Conundrum
4 December 2018

¶ All Kathleen wanted for dinner was a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich. So I made spaghetti alla carbonara for myself. And I noticed that it took a while, keeping me busy the whole time the water heated up. For one thing, I have taken to frying two pieces of bacon on the stovetop, instead of zapping them in the microwave (much less poking around the fridge for leftovers). It tastes better. I used make carbonara with pancetta, which I would slice and fry, too, and I turned to bacon because it was more convenient. But now I’m taking the same trouble with bacon — which I’ve learned I really prefer to pancetta. I ask myself: why do I, so lazy these days, so disinclined to cook in general, think nothing of standing up for half an hour to make spaghetti alla carbonara

Why? Because the result is unfailingly delicious. With this one dish, I produce exactly what I want to eat, every time. Sometimes I make too much, but usually there is not quite enough. Why just this one dish? Is it because I don’t really know how to cook anything else? Or is it because, like Kathleen, I want to eat only one thing?

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