Fish and Chips, Rough Night at the Chippy: Monday Night Martha

This week was, for whatever reason, a week of misconnections, a few failed experiments and crossed wires. One in which feelings were raw and the emotional landscape was brittle. So we decided to try this recipe for Battered Cod.

The battered cod is part of a meal of homemade fish and chips, that dynamic duo of fried fish in batter -usually cod, haddock or flounder - and fried potatoes.

Two dipping sauces with lovely sounding names -- Marie Rose Sauce and Kitty O'Shea Sauce, will complement ours.

The Marie Rose is gussied up Russian dressing. It's just mayonnaise, ketchup, lemon juice and salt. Tasty but nothing we haven't tried before. The Kitty O'Shea was preferred. This sauce is mayonnaise, capers, nicoise olives, chopped oven-dried tomatoes, salt and ground pepper. It was a great complement to the fish.

Have you ever thumbed through a gardening catalog? The names of the roses always have romantic fairytale names like Fair Bianca, Happy Child, April Moon, Rosemary Harkness. They beckon to us.

But our time in the kitchen was not a dreamy affair; it was more like an explosive pub altercation. In the best of times working together in the kitchen can be where we come together as friends and family and break bread and commune --where we work together to prepare a meal that will strengthen the ties between us.

But sometimes it just doesn't work out this way. Sometimes it's a place of drama, and tension, and drudgery -- an explosive mix.

And so it was when we took on fish and chips.

The batter is just three ingredients: flour, coarse salt, and baking soda. You heat oil in a large saucepan and then with each piece of fish dredge it first in flour, then place in batter to coat. Carefully place in hot oil and fry until crisp, about 7 minutes.

The truth is, we wanted our evening to unfold like the names of those idealistic roses but it was closer to the sizzling and popping and searing temperatures of the fish deep-frying.

The meal came together. We ate, and the fish was good. The storm passed. We will try again. The scent of fried fish lingered like evidence.


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