Cleavies Fish Counter #17
Hey! Fish-heads, where have you been my dears? What do you mean, where have I been? In therapy, obviously. Celebrity has it’s casualties, fish-heads, and all the global adulation [well deserved though it is!] has driven me and the boys back to our old lives for a period of respite. The brothers have been crabbing about the price of bait and lobsters and diesel and the Spanish and their bleddy great trawlers, Leftie’s been up at 3.30 every morning for an early start in the milking parlours of North Cornwall [or so he says], Trev and the Johney Mac are building as if there’s a housing shortage, Pete’s old farting about in the garden [he’s 78 you know – did I mention that?], Bill’s been churning out pots [playing golf according to Leftie], and I’ve been baking pasties with mother.
What better therapy for a Cornish boy? I love to cook, but had never even attempted to make pastry, let alone to bake a pasty. So I said to mother, who lives just up the hill from me [next to John Mac and next but one from Jeremy in fact], how do you fancy teaching your dear little boy how to make pasties?
I’ve got to say that it was one of the nicest things I’ve ever done. Mother and I have been spending Wednesday mornings together deep in conversation about nothing in particular, you know family stuff and village stuff and matters of extreme global importance as well, whilst slicing potatoes, onions and swede, cutting up skirt beef into tiny pieces, and trying out various pastry mixtures [not bought ones!]. It’s brilliant.
A little technical pointer or two should any of you decide to try this at home…
Firstly, please don’t even attempt to bake a pasty anywhere outside the county border. It is bound to taste disgusting and could even poison you or explode. This rule only applies to the Cornish pasty, and is not applicable to Yorkshire puddings, Welsh cakes or Lancashire hotpot, which can apparently all be made anywhere [according to Delia].
Secondly, you must slice your vegetable ingredients. Diced ones can tumble out of the pasty and can fall scalding hot onto your lap. Be especially careful if you are eating one on a naturist beach somewhere…
Finally, always use the most delicious and accordingly least healthy ingredients that you can find. We’re talking one third lard in the pastry mix here, and lashings of butter in the pasty itself, and plenty of seasoning especially salt. The heavier and more discomforted you feel after eating the pasty, the better it would have been. Come on, let’s block up those arteries!
Anyone transgressing these laws can expect an early morning knock on the door from the PIPPs [Port Isaac Pasty Police], that is to say mother and her mates, and I don’t give much for your chances if they find you guilty of baking a ‘nasty pasty’. You’ve been warned…
Just like the way our singing has almost become secondary to the whole social thing on Friday evenings on the Platt, so the pasties are but a delicious by-product of our mornings together. This week we’re doing yeast and saffron buns, and we will be discussing the Italian debt crisis and the demise of Mr Berlusconni, the tormented genius of Van Gogh, whether that other famous Dutchman Dick Van Dyke was in fact really a cockney, and evidencing whether Offa’s Dyke was a dark ages earthwork constructed to keep out the marauding Welsh, or in fact the King of Mercia’s first wife with whom he was incompatible for obvious reasons. Oh, and the price of fish of course….
On tour next week fish-heads! Looking forward to seeing all the girls from Redland College in Bristol on Friday week….well, I say girls, you know what I mean. I’m sure you’re all still drop dead gorgeous 35 years on. Just like me in fact. The years have been nothing but kind, haven’t they? Can’t wait!!
Dreckly dears xx