Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

First fast-food experience

History has always been one of my favourite subjects at school. I therefore almost jumped for joy when Mats told me that his mother used to be a history teacher and that she had volunteered to show me the historic sights of Stockholm. But more about that later ...

Mats’ mother was not only an excellent history teacher; she also was a great cook. On the first evening of my stay she made a delicious fish casserole. At the time I wasn’t into food and cooking yet, so I never asked her the recipe. And now it is too late as she died some three years ago. And although Mats is a fine gourmet, something I learned when he came to see me in 2007, I’m not sure he’s a real chef!

The main ingredient of the fish casserole was fresh herring. I’m pretty sure about that. And then there were a lot of onions and potatoes and bay leaves. Maybe you recognize the dish; so if you happen to know the complete recipe, don’t hesitate to send me an email. I really would appreciate it.

During my trip to Sweden I also had my first fast-food experience; although at the time I didn’t realize it. Mats’ mother made something which I, till today, still refer to as a Swedish hamburger. What you do is this: you simple panfry a beef burger. In the meantime, you finely chop an onion and slice a tomato. When the burger is done, you put it on a plate. Next you put a generous blob of ketchup on it, top it with the chopped raw onion, next comes a layer of tomato slices, topped with a generous helping of mayonnaise! Yum!

I know this may sound silly, but I’ve been brought up on solid traditional Belgian food, always including meat, vegetables and boiled potatoes or French fries (of course!). Until I went to England for the first time in 1972, I had never eaten rice or spaghetti. My first rice dish was a cold Indian style dish including rice, tuna, mayonnaise, onions and paprika. My first pasta experience was tinned Heinz spaghetti on toast with a fried egg, sunny side up! And my first spaghetti bolognaises goes back to my first year at university in 1975. That's a lot of 'firsts', isn't it?

I like to believe that I've come a long way since ... 



chm said...

That fish casserole could be a "brandade de harengs". Why not? Morue doesn't have the exclusivity, I think.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I sure hope you have come on a long way regarding your food from the past ... I am not sure that the first rice dish you had was Indian at all, they didn't normally use Tuna or mayonnaise .. and to be honest it does not sound that good ... also I hope that you have grown away from Heinz tinned spaghetti... I think it is disgusting, although my husband likes it ..!

ladybird said...

Chm, I don't think it was a brandade, as the chunks of fish and the potatoes were too large, unlike a brandade which almost looks like a mash.

Ann, You're probably right about the rice dish not being Indian at all. However, it was very nice. You should try it! I forgot to mention that it also had chopped onion in it. As for the Heinz spaghetti ... don't worry I don't eat that anymore, and not only because it's hard to find in Belgium, but also because I prefer a slow-cooked and spicy homemade bolognaises with fresh ingredients! :)