I live alone, and when I was single for many years, I absolutely loved a solo Friday night in. I would come home from work, make myself a Martini and listen to the Desmond Carrington Show on Radio 4.
Singing along to Desmond’s crazy selection of tunes, I would rustle up something fancy to eat, telling myself, YOU ARE WORTH IT BABY, and then settle down on the sofa with dinner a movie. I think one of the reasons I love the Fred & Kay Movie Night column in Delicious Magazine so much is that it reminds me of those days of enforced “self-care” – haha!
For many years, my favourite words to spot in a recipe were “Serves 1”. This is rare. Recipes usually serve 4 or in the case of movie stars, “Serves 12” or in some cases many more. I note that there hasn’t been a volunteer yet to test-cook Kathleen Nolan’s Chili Stew for 25 for the Murder, She Cooked book. Get in touch if you are game! Other recipes are available!
My favourite recipe that serves 1 is the legendary Vincent Price Chicken in Pineapple.
I even started writing a cookbook for recipes that served one. It was going to be called Miss Dine Alone and the emphasis would have been on recipes that would delight and entertain lone diners. Rather than meals that make a person feel like a sad and lonely singleton in a Barbara Pym novel. It’s not easy to get excited by a tiny piece of haddock brought home from the fishmongers in a string bag that has been poached in milk and served with a couple of boiled potatoes.
All of this preamble to say, I had an absolutely lovely time one rare Friday evening on my own making these cute and absolutely delicious canapés for me, myself and I.
Toasting myself with a couple of Vesper Martinis and making blinis just for the hell of it was absolutely life-affirming and I felt thoroughly spoiled.
I didn’t watch the movie recommended by Kay and Fred that night, as Mr R had secured it on DVD and we had planned to watch it together on a subsequent evening. I think James Bond is like The Spice Girls. Everyone has their favourite, of The Spice Girls mine is Gerri…
…and in the case of
When we were watching From Russia With Love Mr Rathbone suddenly bust out with a Sean Connery impression shouting, “Och, I’m so handsome!” It made me laugh, a lot. I couldn’t take the movie seriously after that. My favourite bit was the girl-fight.
I heartily recommend tracking down the July edition of Delicious Magazine and rustling this up for yourselves. Like a crazy old spinster, I have torn this recipe out and put it somewhere. Where – I cannot remember. So one day far into the future it will no doubt emerge from an enormous stack of unrelated bits of paper and I will make these again. The whole affair made me very happy indeed!
Just behold the splendour of this spinster’s supper!
The Vesper martini-cured salmon was SOOOOOOO good and I had lots left over for bagels with some of the sour cream and horseradish sauce. All – utterly – delicious! Thanks Kay & Fred and thanks Delicious!
I can’t say that I have a favorite Spice Girl. I like Old spice after-shave…does that count?
And put me on Team Roger Moore.
Love, love, love this post, Jenny!
It so reminds me of myself!
When alone, I too, cook up a tasty treat, and put on a classic movie.
( I am a Sean Connery girl, myself, but Roger Moore is a fun Bond, as well.)
By the way, I also have torn out recipes squirreled away! :o)
Haha – we are peas in a pod Annette – apart from on the Sean Connery/Roger Moore divide!
Haha – yes! I loved the ads for Old Spice in the 1970s!
Great post! My friend and I call them PFOs (Party For One) evenings when it’s a celebration for 1! Altho I must admit, that sometimes my PFOs turn into me making a giant snack plate with meat, cheese, olives, etc….getting cozy on the couch with my pup and a glass of red wine…watching Love Boat reruns and I never get around to making a fancy dinner:)
Also, I HAVE the Vincent Price cookbook and had never seen the chicken pineapple recipe…it’s now on the list to try!!
Ah Wendy, PFOs are a BRILLIANT concept. I truly recommend the chicken in pineapple. Also good for a PFT (party for two) – haha! I’m not sure I would want to wrangle many more pineapples for a whole dinner party, but it sure would be a dinner party to remember if you did!
Oooh, Love Boat. I had forgotten about Love Boat!
Love this! Love Sean over Roger! (Have you seen him singing in DARBY O’GILL AND THE LITTLE PEOPLE ? Still VERY scary to me since the banshee in it scared me as a 6-year old when I first saw it.)
Do you know about Judith Jones’s book about cooking for one?
I have now! Do you think that is really his voice? Pretty good if so. I did NOT know about the Judith Jones book, but naturally, I have just ordered it from eBay, also a book she wrote about bread. Dontcha just love the internet?! Thanks for the tip-off!