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photographs © J. Lowe 2008

Ah, fish and chips. What is a Friday night in London after the pub if not followed by fish and chips? What is more conducive to describing Britishness than this? Soggy, greasy, battered fish doused with malt vinegar, smattered with salt, all wrapped in a besmirched section of paper and eaten whilst walking stumblingly to the bus stop.

Oh, that’s right, I’m in Michigan.  Now what’s a girl from London to do in dire need of edible nostalgia?  Hello Lake Perch. A local fish.  Mild in flavour, flakey and delicate.  Perfect.

Off I trot to the shops, purchase a deep fat fryer and excitedly return home in anticipation of creating a fish and chips dinner, reminiscent of my London days.  I have to say though, soggy and greasy is not my want.   I’m seeking crisp batter so I turn to the internet for recipes.

Much like my search on morel mushrooms, I found many a fish fry fanatic out there. This is the one I chose:

here’s a link to this site for other batter recipes.

Bloody hell, the deep fryer I bought did not work! I ended up getting out my trusty old heavy bottomed saucepan, filling it with oil and doing it the old fashioned way. The batter turned out fabulously crisp and delicious, the fish was light and moist and perfectly separated from the batter.  Coating the fish in flour prior to battering, which was not in the recipe, might have contributed to this.   I also used a pale ale instead of a light beer….good drinking too.  The batter was still crisp the following morning.  That’s almost unheard of.

I didn’t sit down to eat my meal. I stood at my kitchen island crunching through the crispyness, relishing the hot moistness beneath and imagining the wet streets of London beneath my feet with the long awaited No. 37 bus appearing in the distance.