Thursday, 17 May 2012

Fish fingers


I’m cooking tea. I’ve designed a new mushroom burger, which is made out of mushrooms, breadcrumbs, port, potatoes and herbs. It’s well lush. Imagine the tastiest thing in the world, and times it by five. Nathan’s a very lucky man to have it two nights running!

I read with sadness about the death of Donna Summer today. She apparently had “a long battle with cancer.” I’m never quite sure what a “long battle” is. It’s one of the things that people say about cancer, like you’re going to do anything other than battle the dreadful disease as hard as you can. Whether or not you dig the whole disco vibe or understand the crazy “am I a Lezza or a God-fearing Christian?” thing, there’s no denying that the woman had some decent pipes on her and some serious gall for singing (or should that be feeling) “Love to Love You Baby.”Abigail’s Party would never have been as good without it!

My mushroom burgers have already gone wrong. I think I’ve added too much potato and they’ve become the consistency of melted plastercine, which it’s going to be impossible to fry. I tried to scoop the mixture out of the bowl but it immediately coated my entire hand like a dose of Glastonbury mud. I have now scraped the gloopy mess into a dear little porcelain dish and thrown it in the oven the dry out. Obviously the dish is going to crack with the heat, and the mud-like mixture is going to spill all over the floor of the oven, thereby destroying tea, activating my hypoglycaemia, causing a horrible stench and turning what was a lovely day into a disaster of Biblical proportions. That, or I can just stick a Linda McCartney burger on instead.

When I see fish fingers on the television I want to eat them. Is this strange? As a card carrying vegetarian, I find it slightly worrying. I know I’m more drawn to the little radioactive breadcrumbs on the outside than the fish itself, but I have a vague memory of eating fish fingers soaked in vinegar as a child, at the little poor girl’s house who lived in a prefab in a wood by Sandy television mast. I seem to remember quite enjoying them even though I didn’t think much to the little girl’s companionship, or her house, for that matter, which genuinely smelt of pig poo. I have, of course, entirely forgotten what fish tastes like in my adult years. I often eat bacon and chicken-flavoured things, so I don’t think the taste of meat would surprise me a great deal, but Nathan laughed recently when I asked if fish tasted like the sea. I guess I’ve started to imagine that fish fingers might taste like Haloumi cheese wrapped in hyperactivity-inducing orange grains, and I think this would be a somewhat enjoyable sensation.  

May 17th, 1662 was a Saturday and Pepys went to dinner at the Wardrobe with one Mrs Sanderson, whom he described as “mother-of-the-maids.” There’s very little to suggest what this title involved; one assumes she had a fairly distinguished role in Charles II’s court. In any case, she went with Pepys and Lady Jemima to Paternoster Row to buy the latter a petticoat to wear when the new Queen arrived in London.

On his way home, Pepys called in to see his brother, the tailor, who was altering a black velvet cloak which Pepys had bought off his friend, the lawyer, Henry Moore. Pepys bought the garment for just over 8l, a full two pounds more than Moore had paid for it. Who’d have thought that black velvet coats appreciated in value? Just like Morgan cars, only black... and made of fabric.

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