Radishes and maple popcorn do not make a proper supper. Neither does pull-apart cinnamon bread doused in butter and sugar. Delicious; but inappropriate.
However every now and then my inner adult comes out to play. (I think normally I just have an outer child, one that constantly demands bubbles.) Sometimes I put on a pretty dress and gold earrings and set the table neatly, with a folded napkin and just one wine glass. Although I do share that illicit feeling described in this funny Party of One podcast. Drinking alone, even with food, is odd.
One day last week, a week of smoothies and toast, I sat down to a one-person dinner party. Then jumped up again to light a candle.
Quite apart from the curious joy of my own company, of the shreds of jazz gently interrupting, this was so, so good. Coarse meaty sausages coiled around tomatoes bursting with juice. On top, sweet black figs made even more honey-rich by a quick roasting. Finally, olive oil, half-moon slivers of red onion and a scatter of fennel seeds to add a finishing touch worthy of a pretentious bistro.
Twenty minutes in the oven, time for a lazy shower, done. Every mouthful was a smug acknowledgment of my own invention, recognition that I didn’t have to share.
Don’t make this for someone else. Make it for yourself. Eat it in pyjamas or completely naked. Whatever is the most like you, your most grown-up and fickle you. (Next week it will be too late, you will be a spoiled child again.)
Toulouse sausages with roast figs, tomato and fennel seeds
serves just one
Delicious chunky sausages, as many as you like
One fat juicy tomato
At least six black figs
Half a red onion
A pinch of fennel seeds
salt and pepper
Heat the oven to hot. Say 200C. On a baking tray (maybe with tinfoil for less washing up) make a loose circle with your sausages. Halve the tomato and nestle the halves in the circle. Cut the figs in half as well, slice the onion thinly and scatter both over the top. Finish with a generous slug of olive oil, salt, pepper and fennel seeds.
Bake for about twenty minutes until the sausages are cooked through and the tomato is nicely roasted. Try to resist eating directly out of the pan.