Melissa Clark's Pasta with Turkish-Style Beef, Eggplant and Yogurt Sauce
Molly Wizenberg's Homemade Life

On Love and Baked Beans


I think it's time for me to spill the beans. I've been mulling it over for a long time, how to tell you all the news, and as long as I couldn't figure out how to tell it, I thought it best just to keep it to myself. It's been a long time since I've had much of an appetite for cooking, is the thing. And writing about cooking when you're not in the mood to eat isn't a lot of fun, not for the writer and not for the readers, either.

The truth is, Ben and I parted ways a few months ago. It was a long, hard winter in more ways than one. But we did our very best, I think, tried as hard as we could.

Ben was a huge part of this website, a loyal eater and regular inspiration for the posts I wrote, so his absence in my life is making blogging harder than I expected. Part of it was the elephant-in-the-room effect. But cooking for one, as I think many of you know, can be tough, too. Newspaper recipes don't inspire me and I can't seem to work up an appetite for much beyond spaghetti with tomato sauce and the occasional salad.

Tonight, standing in line at the grocery store with my dutiful purchases of low-fat yogurt, fibrous cereal and pre-washed arugula, I suddenly got the urge, rather the hunger, for baked beans. When I was a little girl, my father made baked beans from a can on a regular basis and for me, it's one of my most reliable comfort foods. I couldn't believe it hadn't occurred to me sooner. I zipped out of the line to the bean aisle, grabbed a can and finished checking out.

And indeed, as I ate them heated up and spooned onto a plate with braised kale, it felt good to finally be hungry for something. Cloying, fudgy, vinegary baked beans: who knew that they'd be the things that would make me actually want to enter my kitchen again? The mind and the stomach work in mysterious ways.

And you know, despite all the rain that seems to be following me from New York to Los Angeles to Berlin and back, life keeps surprising me with unexpected moments of joy and peace. I'm holding onto those with one hand and a can of baked beans with the other. Bear with me as I find my way back to the stove.