Yesterday we kind of caught a fish. Ron saw something flapping about on the sand and a seagull circling overhead. He went in for a tentative closer look and saw it was a fish. He grabbed it and brought it back to the camper van – this was to be lunch. Once he did the deed.
I did worry about the health of a fish that had lost its way so fatally, and it had a suspicious looking bulge on its undercarriage. A bulge which made me wonder if in fact it had swum all the way from Japan bringing with it a radioactive tumour. Luckily, I have in my possession a copy of Mobil New Zealand Nature Series Marine Fishes 1 and a quick reference to those pictures determined that what we had was a Red Cod, a hoka, and the bulge was a normal feature.
I have never gutted, nor filleted a fish in my life. But, this was my task. Ron looked in every cook book I had to see if they offered any guides, niks. So I went on the instinctive knowledge of one who has grown up on a farm and seen animals killed and butchered, and made my first incision. Which sounds way more precise than what actually happened. You see, my knives were not really up to the task, and fish skin is pretty fucking tough. So, what I did in reality was hack at it, and hope for the best. Louis was watching while springing about the place with excitement. He literally could not sit nor stand still. Then he said, “Actually, Mama, do you know what the professionals do?” “What?” “They make lots of little cuts, not big ones.” And whaadddya know, when I started to do that, it was a hell of a lot easier!! Yay for hours of watching fishing programmes.
When I’d finished my fillets looked like they’d been extracted with the use of a high powered chainsaw, but we had lunch. I boiled some potatoes, made a salad of spinach, cucumber, marinated onions and avocados, and fried the fish in butter, garlic and lemon zest. It was delicious.
Then, to top it all off (I know this is almost too good to be true, but it did happen, honest) Louis asked for paper and pencils to DRAW A PICTURE about the fish. It was pretty fucking home educated perfect.