The Great Divide……Chips

April 24, 2016 at 12:31 pm Leave a comment

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C and I are finding the search for a buyer of our Cheshire house and for a place to rent in Surrey quite stressful. And so, occasionally, we have forgone our low carb, low cholesterol, five-a-day for some good old-fashioned comfort food.

Last night we succumbed to an old favourite – a fish finger sandwich. Fish finger sandwiches used to be our meal of choice on a Friday night when we had just got together all those years ago. We would leave Shell-Mex House early and dash home to our flat in Kilburn, throw a couple of bags into the faithful Vauxhall Nova and belt it up the M6 (at least until the IRA bombed it) to my first home of my own in Galley Common, Nuneaton, stopping only at the local store to acquire fish fingers and a video.

And so, last night I assembled Captain BirdsEye’s (no relation) finest breadcrumbed fish fingers on white, buttered rolls, with a sprinkling of salt and vinegar, and a dash or two of ketchup.

It felt like we had reclaimed our Northern/Midland roots once more ahead of our imminent immersion in the South. These were proper fish fingers instead of goujons; Sarsons not Balsamic; and HP instead of sun-dried tomato….

We forsook a side portion of chips. We are watching our waistlines. C’s looks a lot more attractive than mine….

Chips are another thing which divides this great nation between North and South. Suggest to a Southerner that you would like your chips with curry sauce or gravy (even if accompanied by some beer battered cod) and they will wrinkle their aloof noses and roll their eyes. Their loss….

I bemoan the demise of the proper chip. None of your oven-cooked, twice-cooked, triple-cooked, French fry, chunky rubbish….but proper chips. Chips bought from a traditional chip shop with a huge jar of pickled eggs on the counter. Or chips peeled, cut (carved) and fried at home in a proper chip pan.

None of your deep fat or air fried rubbish. A proper, purpose-built, single-purpose chip pan. None of your sunflower or vegetable oil but a secret blend of dripping, lard, and full-fat butter. In my family chip pans were handed down from generation to generation like a family heirloom together with the secret of the fat therein. A pan which would never be cleaned and fat which would never be changed but constantly topped up.

C threw my chip pan out the day she moved in, together with my red plastic washing up bowl and matching brush and drainer. I’m not bitter….

The South still seems quite an alien and distant place. But we will do our very best to assimilate while trying very hard not to forget our roots….

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#OldGuysOnTour What a rollercoaster….

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