Bert fell asleep in his pram while I was walking Ray today. (Yes, looking like a sixty-year-old man in an armchair.) After an hour we were back at the car and I attempted to lift Bert in – the way I did when he was a baby – but he’s huge and woke up as I tried to haul him in. He cried loudly and angrily as I wrestled him into the seat, and I drove off with him screaming.
After a couple of minutes he stopped crying and was perfectly cheerful. ‘Do you feel better?’ I said. ‘Yes,’ he said conversationally, ‘I was just a bit shocked.’
2 skinless hake fillets (like cod but tastier and more sustainable)
2 tablespoons cornflour
100ml milk (enough to dip the fish)
2-3 tablespoons breadcrumbs (if using home made, toast them on a baking sheet in a low oven for an hour first – they keep like this for a few weeks)
Zest of one lemon, finely grated into the breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
Slice the fish into strips, around a centimetre thick. Dust in flour, dip in milk then coat in lemony crumbs. Get the oil hot in a large frying pan then turn the heat down to medium and fry the fish fingers till they’re golden and crisp on all sides.
The trick is toasting the crumbs first, adding the zest and frying instead of baking.