Tuesday, 29 September 2009

a country mouse makes fish popcorn (really) and gets a gadget

This was not country mouse's finest hour. Perhaps the clue was in the name: fish popcorn. Henceforth I will speak of it in the tones used by Peter Kay's father upon learning there was such a thing as garlic bread. Little R chose it from the recipe book, encouraged by the photo of a small girl in pink holding a paper cone of popcorn (below), and I, being so desperate to find dinners she will eat these days, agreed to have a go. It's a Fay Ripley recipe (p.176).

Things were going great, with Little R whisking the eggs and having a fine old time dipping the fish chunks into the plain flour, then into the beaten eggs then rolling them in crushed cornflakes and laying them out on the baking tray. It made a hell of a mess of the place but hey, it was all in a good cause so I wasn't getting (too) stressed.

We even put them in a paper cone (baking paper) just like the girl in the photo.

And then we tasted them. YUCK. They tasted exactly as you would expect haddock in cornflakes to taste. Fay, how could you.
Last night's dinner was more of a success. I made a sausage stew with pork sausages, quorn sausages, carrots, onions, leeks, flageolet beans, tinned tomatoes and vegetable stock and served it with mashed potatoes and broccoli. This was country mouse's own made-up recipe, concocted out of what the local co-op could provide at short notice, but it was tasty and it all got eaten.
I used a new gadget I'd bought a while ago in the charity shop for £1. It's a brabantia chopper-thingy. I remember that the Pampered Chef party I went to was selling one for some crazy sum like £20 so I was certainly willing to part with a quid to try this one.

I thought at first that it was going to be no good for carrots (see first attempt, above) but soon worked out that cutting the carrots into smaller pieces first and banging harder on the gadget would do the trick, and it did. The same applied to onions (below). If you keep bashing away the bits just get smaller and smaller so it is probably easier than grating carrots but it's not easier than chopping onions as you still have to cut the onions into pieces before putting them into the contraption so you don't even avoid the onion tears. And all the bashing is a lot noisier, if quite cathartic. Verdict: worth £1 plus perhaps a wee bit more for therapeutic value.


  1. I had to look twice to see if I could figure out where you are from. Looks just like the fish we cook up in Wisconsin... The crisper the better.... Keep going on the blogging you are doing great.

  2. The fish LOOKS delicious, shame it didn't taste nice!