A couple months ago, Seb and I went to a Lebanese restaurant where I ordered this dish, enjoyed it, and decided that it seemed so easy that even I could make it. (NB: Whenever I have had this thought, the result was that I could not, in fact, make it. Restaurants do serve a purpose, it turns out.) So I looked up the recipe, gathered the ingredients, and attempted to make it, twice. (The first time, I underestimated the complexity of eggplant--FAIL.)
The problem (once I conquered the eggplant roasting process) is that one person cannot consume one eggplant in one sitting. However, eggplant is not amenable to having a fourth of itself lopped off for use while the remaining three-quarters are put back in the fridge. Same goes for one can of chick peas, or one tub of yogurt. Some of these things can last longer than others, certainly, but the basic dilemma is that when you make one bowl of eggplant fetteh for dinner one night, you will be making eggplant fetteh every night for half a week to use up the tupperwared remnants in your fridge before they go bad. And, in my house, where three different people regularly cook for one (and one person does not appear to comprehend the concept of cooking), the fridge is an impressive maze of precariously balanced tupperwares. So it goes for almost every meal I attempt beyond the highly portion-controllable, toaster oven-prepared cheese quesadilla. And man cannot live off quesadillas alone, although Miss Self-Important has come pretty close at times.
The problem here is not that I am a harried and important professional whose work-life imbalance forces her subsist off Lean Cuisines and Chinese take-out. Most nights, I have enough time to prepare a basic dish. My problem is that I don't have enough time to eat it all before it goes bad. Attempting variety is the worst--then the lettuce and eggs go bad while you're busy finishing off the mushrooms and the chicken. Now, I understand that this is a problem that arises out of luxury--I can afford to live alone (in a house full of strangers), cook meals every night, and buy fresh food every week. But it is still a problem! What is the solution to my woes? The only thing I can think of is to get married and have two children--no more, no less--so that the standard four-serving recipe and the standard eggplant will both always perfectly meet my needs in one sitting. Anything shorter term?