When I heard a couple of weeks ago that we won’t be going back to the film archive until January 2021 at the earliest, I had a little meltdown. Six more months of working from home. I did the maths – I would be on my own five days a week for 27 more weeks at least. Lumme. That is a lot of alone time.

I have lived on my own for about 15 years now and I am pretty good at it, but my first thought was, “Oh Gawd, 3 meals a day every day to think about for the next 6 months.” It’s a bit daunting when you think about it. There will not be a single opportunity to grab something from Pret a Manger on the way to work…

So I have decided not to think about the working days and weeks and months stretching ahead. I am trying to just take each day as it comes and use up stuff that is hanging around the fridge. Like a Tessie O’Shea Scotch Egg that didn’t get its sausagemeat casing. A nudie scotch egg if you will.

When I spotted Richard’s recipe in the same gorgeous little pamphlet as the Billie Burke Asparagus Salad recipe I was all for it.

Especially as I loved the idea of serving the dressing in little lettuce cups. WHAT?! How does one make a lettuce cup sturdy enough to hold dressing without it falling over? This was obviously very much on my mind, as shortly after I spotted this recipe I had a vivid dream that someone I had recently seen undergoing a transformation on Queer Eye was hosting a party.

I was there and she pointed out to me some enormous lettuce cups she had made all by her own self. I have googled it now of course, and see that lettuce cups are all over the interwebs

but this was a new concept to me so I just got one of my fancy lady cocktail sticks and did my best.

Unusually for me, there were no sardines in the cupboard so I used a tin of pilchards the lovely Catherine Sloman of Kitchen Confidence brought me back from a holiday in Cornwall.

Remember those? Holidays? These had been in my cupboard for years (Cathy, can you remember when you went to Cornwall?!) but regular readers will know that I am devil-may-care about use-by dates. The pilchards (is it just me or is pilchards an inherently funny word?) were gorgeous.

This salad was delicious, I think its a very cheery-puppy thing (predictive text for cheery-uppy which cheers me up too) to spend a little bit of time making a salad that looks this fancy. It actually only took about 5 minutes to make and 30 seconds to demolish.

Of course, whenever I make myself a slightly elaborate salad and am feeling all puffed up and pleased with myself, I think about the brilliant internet phenomenon “Woman Laughing Alone With Salad”.

That’s me folks! Or it will be for most lunchtimes for the foreseeable future until the weather changes. Then I’ll transition into “Woman Laughing Alone With Soup.”

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