Do we still have fish because it’s Friday? Smoked Mackerel Pate for Leaner Lines.

What a momentous first week of blogging I have had. A few statistics are called for in the circumstances I feel, if everyone can just humour me for a second.

Update: have adjusted recipe description to make it clearer, I hope. 

I’ve had 181 overall views (awesome), best day was 52 views with the Cake Pops post (not surprising), 50 referrals from Facebook (such lovely friends), 4 of my friends commented (big thanks guys), 2 people not known to me very kindly commented about the Granola (just for the record I am a big fan of the stuff, and was pleased to see I was not alone in the universe) and I have 1 follower which I’m extremely excited about and it appears not to be my Mother.

A web-based community.

For those of us working from home it does transform our day and provides some ‘office bonhomie’.

‘Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers’. Alfred Lord Tennyson

This sharing of information and advice used to be all word of mouth, and the passing on of cooking knowhow was of course a generational, family affair.

My Mum is a good cook. I’ve always loved her food, and naturally she learnt from my Grandmother.  Very unassuming, Granny would beaver away in her kitchen producing classic british food that just tasted good and she was always interested in what you were wanting to eat next. Breakfasts of white toast smothered in butter and Marmite, boiled eggs, maybe crispy bacon, nothing unusual, but for some reason delicious and memorable. So I watched her and my Mother, subconsciously mainly, but absorbing the knowledge and skills to give me the confidence to get stuck in.

This point can thrown into sharp relief with the following, for which I have permission to share; I shared a house for a couple of years whilst at college with three other female friends, at least one of whom had received a similar educational background in cooking. So, she and I were hanging out in our student kitchen, a natural place for us to be, when another flatmate/friend arrived to make something to eat. She wasn’t much into cooking at the time, preferring the more usual social activites of an 18/19 year old and was a little prone to the odd culinary mishap, today was such a day and so when she eventually left with a sheepish grin, a hastily made sandwich, thoughts of what she would rather be doing and a mildy resigned air, my companion turned to me and declared with a sigh,

‘Of course, Wigs, the reason you and I can at least give the appearance of being able to cook is because we must have been pretty boring as younger teens and sat in the kitchen around tea-time watching our mothers!’

That wiped the slightly wry smiles off our nerdy little faces as unfortunately I suspect there was never a truer word spoken… So we might have been a little uncool, and in my case reading cookbooks rather than classics, but we had absorbed how to check the potatoes are cooked, test if a sponge is baked and peel the pith and peel from an orange (see veg box fruit salad post!). Although anything can be described in print watching it being performed makes it much easier to learn, not to mention finding oneself actually tasked with checking if the spuds are done, with competent verification coming along behind. I’m not really saying anything new or that this is good or a bad thing, it just seems like that’s the way it is.

Fish Fridays

But the overarching legacy my Granny has left (apart from her copy of Delia’s Complete Cookery Course) is that fact that she was Catholic and so my Mother always had fish on Fridays and this practice lingers on with me.

So, to the recipe for today, this I think may have been inspired originally by the aforementioned Delia, (who I will discuss at length at some other point) but it’s been stuck in my head for years and no doubt tweaked accordingly: take 2 smoked mackerel fillets and flake them into a large bowl or food processor, add to them 125ml or more easily 1/2 cup each of both cottage cheese and fromage frais or soured cream. Squeeze in a little lemon juice and either blitz in the processor, or if you want something less homogenous you can just mash it up with a fork (à la The Fabulous Baker Brothers), add a sprinkling of finely chopped parsley or dill and a little black pepper and lemon zest. Good with toast, bread sticks, carrot or cucumber sticks….

N.B. I think this will work for those on the Dukan Diet, followers of which I seem to be surrounded by at the moment so this is dedicated to all you and my much beloved ex-flatmates. Keep the faith.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Pete
    Feb 03, 2012 @ 08:30:39

    fish on friday – if the practice has no other benefot than making people eat more fish that has to be a good thing


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