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Fish

Monkfish Cheek in Tomato SauceAs you look forward into another new year full of promise, you want your life to be simpler, less pressured and healthier. You are thinking about joining (or rejoining) the gym. You have resolved to eat healthier, to exercise more and to get up earlier in the day. It’s time you looked at your alcohol consumption too. Not that it is too high. It’s just average amongst the people (drunks) you know. If you are a smoker, you are going to give up the evil weed as soon as you go to bed in the early hours of January 1st.  You know you are going to do all these things because it’s a new year approaching and a time for renewal. A time for hope. A time to make a list of promises to yourself…

When I brought up the serious topic of ploughed potato fields versus potato mountains on Shepherds Pie, I thought I had put all the arguments to bed. There were some feeble-minded individuals who suggested that I might have been wrong about the ploughed fields. I will deal with them another time. Flori over at Flori Cooks had the effrontery to suggest that the mountains on a Fish Pie should be replaced with waves. “WAVES?” I thought. Where does she get off telling me how to do my fish pie?

ScallopsI dedicate this post to innovation. Our advertising business is now a broad communications company because we have been innovating like mad over the last few years. If we hadn’t, it would have gone the way of hot metal (I am long enough at it to remember the compositors in the Irish Times, Irish Press and Irish Independent newspapers outputting the lines of type from molten lead on huge noisy typewriter like machines.). Those skilled craftsmen are now a part of publishing folklore as will be the UX Specialists of today (User Experience to ye outside the know).  It’s all about change management and innovation. This is an excellent thing because it keeps us mentally agile, interested and hopefully, interesting.

Last weekend, eldest daughter roped me into walking the dog with her. As we made our way, throwing the ball and trying to get the mutt to retrieve, the conversation fell, as it so often does, to food. Eldest put it to me that, despite my best efforts, she had an ongoing hankering for fish fingers and beans. I accused her of idiocy or some such but the thought stuck with me.

Later in the morning we found ourselves in the queue in George’s Fish Shop. (Recently voted an Irish Times top 50 retailer. This accolade does not impress me as I had been enjoying it as a reasonably well-kept secret without the queues.) Fine chunky haddock was on special and a plan began to form.

Fish Fingers and Beans Everything you will need for a traditional supper.

I grew up beside the sea at Seapoint, just south of Dublin city. From the age of four, my father gave me an interest in fishing and seafood. Sadly, there has been little point in my taking the fishing rods out over the past 20 years. The disastrous mismanagement of our coastal fisheries over the long-term has led to there being very little fish of any sort left within a decent beach cast of the Irish east coast.

I was reading about speed reading today. By working at it, you can really improve your performance. Skim over sentences. Pay attention only to the important words. Let the meaning flow and you will rapidly learn to read and absorb information at a far quicker pace. I want you to try this while reading this post. To assist, I am going to put the important words in bold. Now, speed read on…

Gratuitous meat picture of sorts. Fish meat this time.

Picture the scene. Saturday evening and the Wife is getting a bit fidgety, sticking her head around the kitchen door and asking when we will be eating. I am with her long enough that I should know the signs. I have bought a couple of nice pieces of plaice and plan to do something. Something that I should photograph as I do it. My mind is on the cooking and not where it should be. On her plaintive questions…..

OK, that’s IT. I’ve had all I am going to take. A few days ago, we got back from holidays, to be greeted by grey skies and rain. The same grey skies and rain we had left behind a couple of weeks earlier. Things didn’t improve either. As I type, it is bucketing down outside. I now suspect that the sun only comes out in the middle of the night. So, as the powers that be refuse to give us any summer, I’m going to make a bit of my own.

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