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.

Much missed. Who else would pair a Meatloaf track with a George Formby?

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!

Kathleen Nolan, Party Girl

My favourite recipe that serves 1 is the legendary Vincent Price Chicken in Pineapple.

Make this just for your ownself and enjoy the reveal when you take the pineapple lid off!

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.

It can be Delia, it can be…

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.

Photo from the I-Spy book of self-care…

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 Bond it’s Roger Moore. But Sean Connery is pretty pleasing on the eye too…

…once you’ve got your head around the onesie…

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!

Och, I’m so handsome!

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