Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Fishy Story

alan bennettThe Edinburgh Festival has less than a week to go. One day I’ll have £12K to spare, and go up there to put on my own one-woman show. But not for a few years yet! It is 51 years since Alan Bennett and his crew did “Beyond The Fringe there.

The Sardine Sermon [aka Take A Pew]is out-of-date now, because the tins have ringpulls, and we don’t need a key anymore..

Life, you know, is rather like opening a tin of sardines. We are all of us looking for the key. And, I wonder, how many of you here tonight have wasted years of your lives looking behind the kitchen dressers of this life for that key…Others think they've found the key, don't they? They roll back the lid of the sardine tin of life, they reveal the sardines, the riches of life, therein, and they get them out, they enjoy them. But, you know, there's always a little bit in the corner you can't get out. I wonder — I wonder, is there a little bit in the corner of your life? I know there is in mine…

Liz was extolling the virtues of Waitrose Sardines last week – and I lamented that we do not have a W. near us. Then Bob had to take his motorbike for its MOT and I went in the car to bring him back – and realised that I was passing a newly opened branch. So I went in. And rang my daughter at 8am [sorry Liz!] to ask “Which sardines should I be buying?” She said that the lemon ones in the pretty tin were what she’d been talking about. In the end, in the interests of science, I bought all three varieties for a taste test. It is a pretty tin!


When I checked my emails later, Liz had even sent me a message, thoughtful child!

Three of my favourite things to do with sardines:

- in a salade nicoise with potatoes, eggs, tomatoes and vinaigrette

- in couscous salad with spring onions, coriander and lemon

- sautéed in a little of the oil from the can with a chopped onion and a handful of spinach or rocket, then stirred through hot spaghetti.

So for lunch today I made a salade nicoise, using Delia’s recipe. It is online here – although that one differs slightly from her original Cookery Course Book which is what I used. I made half the quantity, replacing tuna and anchovies with sardines. I omitted the green beans [didn’t have any] and used regular lettuce and spring onions [as per book], not rocket and shallots – and I used the drained lemony oil for the vinaigrette.


Here’s Delia’s salad – I am sorry, I forgot to take a picture of ours before we ate it!

The potatoes I used were ones our neighbour in Norfolk gave me, and having no parsley, I garnished the salad with my homegrown chives.

It was a lovely summer lunch on a sunny day. And I have two cans left for trying out the other suggestions from Liz later! Thanks, Liz.

1 comment:

  1. I can never quite get over how prolific you are! Such energy- I'm wiped by boys and sinuses today, so am very much in your shade- not least because of how may posts I had to scroll through to find the title of the Himalyan book! I wanted to order a copy of it for my brother who is off to Everest in the Autumn, indeed!, and one for mountaineering PC for Christmas- like the love one woman t-shirt! Anyway- Amazon only have 8 copies of Rum thingy left, and are telling people to order now, though more are on the way. They'll have to add "doing an Angela" to "doing a Delia" to the dictionary soon! Did I ever tell you that I eventually found one of those t-shirts for last Christmas, but they had sold out on your recommended site!!


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