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Guess who’s coming to dinner?

Cold poached salmon for emergencies. Or every day.

A friend of mine recently called in a panic. It seems her fiancé had run into an old girlfriend from whom he parted on amicable terms and had – wait for it now – invited her to have dinner. At their apartment!

Hey hon, guess who I ran into today?

Gentlemen, just in case you’re wondering what the problem is here, let me enlighten you: We may say this kind of situation is just fine, and occasionally we may even mean it (if your ex has gained 100 pounds or married George Clooney, though it’s probably too much to hope that she’s done both), but as a general rule it is not okay, especially if she (or he) is still single. If you must consort with former flames, at least have the decency to book an expensive restaurant and suggest that your life partner spend some quality time at Bloomingdales accompanied by your Visa and warmed by the glow of your effusive apologies and genuine remorse. Failing that, you’d best offer to cook or be willing to order takeout from 21 (think Grace Kelly in Rear Window).


As none of the above had gone down, I suggested the following to the soon-to-be Mrs. Deadbeat. “Turn that frown upside down and look upon it as an opportunity to shine.” Yeah, sure I did. What I really advised was to pull out the big guns: Manolos and a black dress, expensive wines and the easiest menu possible. Then I offered to let her borrow my big diamond earrings, the ones I got after Mr. Slattern invited HIS old flame to dinner many years ago – on a work night. It was then that I developed this life saver: cold poached salmon with yogurt dill sauce, and it worked a treat for my pal too.

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