Dinner for one.
I come home early and pull the steak out from its chilly drawer, find some abandoned herbs in their plastic box, a bulb of garlic tucked in a corner. The steak goes in a bag with several smashed cloves of garlic, some sprigs of thyme from a forgotten project, a splash of olive oil, another of soy sauce. I leave it on a plate and walk away. Hours pass.
Dinner time. I am hungry, and walk into the kitchen. The grill pan goes on the stove, heats while I trim and halve and quarter a handful of Brussels sprouts. I scrape off the smashed garlic, the twiggy springs of thyme, grind some pepper and sprinkle on a scattering of salt. The meat hisses and settles in the pan, and I set a timer. When it dings I flip the steak, pause to admire the neat black stripes left by the grill.
When the steak is done I remove it to a plate, dump the sprouts on the pan. Why bother washing two pans when one will do? They blacken around the edges, steam slightly when I splash in some water and cover them with a lid. When they are done, it is time to eat. The steak is crusty brown outside, pink inside with just a thin ribbon of red running through the middle; perfect against the slight bitterness, the crunch of the sprouts. Dinner for one.