I was really sad when I heard that ONJ had headed off to that Hollywood in the sky.

A thing that brought me extreme joy in the first pandemic lockdown was dancing with over a hundred other writers to Xanadu at the end of one of the London Writers’ Salon’s 24 hour writing marathon hours (thanks to my favourite Stoic Kathryn Koromilas).  We all went totally mental!

We also had tango breaks…

I made Olivia’s salad niçoise on a hot, hot, hot London day last week and it was gorgeous.  No olives, peppers or cucumbers as found in Olivia de Havilland’s version or anchovies as in Yvonne Mitchell’s but potatoes like Benny Hill’s.  His “Nice Salad” has capers too.  One day I might do a mash-up of all of these and create a huge salad niçoise that includes THE LOT.

(This one from Whip and Wander has artichokes too – and why not?)

But on Wednesday, this was a perfect lunch, just as it was in Olivia’s recipe (I didn’t have a tuna steak but Olivia says the tinned stuff is OK too).

I only did one thing differently.  I ordered a bottle of Bragg’s Amino Acid specified for the dressing on the internet as I’d never heard of it before.  It didn’t arrive in time, but as it is HUGE I’ll be trying the dressing soon and probably having it on ALL my salad niçoises for a lifetime.

When I was telling Mr Rathbone how much I loved Olivia, he pulled one of his food related gags out of thin air and said, “Olivia is hopelessly devoted to stew…”  Which naturally made me laugh.

I imagine that most women who are a similar age to me will have the image of ONJ as Sandy stubbing out a cigarette in Grease seared into their brain…

My chum Karie hosted an Olivia Newton John recipe on her Hollywood Kitchen show on Sunday night – here’s a link for all you Olivia fans – Hollywood Kitchen Show – Olivia Newton John As always, Karie’s shows are always lots of fun to watch, she and three of her chums all made recipes from Livwise – it’s a rather lovely cookbook.  Healthy, healthy, healthy…

Here’s Olivia’s recipe, plus a clip from one of the greatest films of all time (I’m joking here of course).  If you have never seen Xanadu, please take seven minutes out of your day to see the splendour of Gene Kelly on roller-skates.  I’m watching this film folly again next week with my chum Julie.  We have fortnightly online watch-parties as we live in different parts of the country.  I’m sure Julie will have LOTS to say about Xanadu.  I will report back.

Here’s a pic that I think Mr R will especially like…

and one more for luck…

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