Fish and chips

Fish and chips are a Friday night staple in our editor's house.

A series of unfortunate events has left our cupboards and fridge pretty bare for the past few weeks. The husband has been in charge of supermarket shopping, and he never seems to buy enough food. By Friday night, all that’s left in the fridge is the ends of the bread loaf (why does no one eat these?), one egg, and half a bottle of paracetamol that expired in 2014. So we do what any self-respecting Kiwi family does on a Friday night, and we order fish and chips.

Now, everyone has a preference when it comes to fish and chips. Crumbed or battered? Gurnard or snapper? Oysters on the side? How many scoops of chips? Our kids love prawn twisters, so we have to get those — but two orders, since the local sells them in lots of five, and five prawn twisters do not divide evenly between two big kids (thank goodness Miss One isn’t on to fish and chips yet so she doesn’t know what she’s missing). I occasionally order one of those fried potato patties but then regret it as soon as I have one bite, as they are just too greasy.

Then it’s rock-paper-scissors with the husband to determine who gets to go up to the fish and chip shop and do the ordering. Picking up those newsprint-wrapped bundles, trying not to burn my fingers as I fumble for the car door handle, and driving home while the mouthwatering aroma of fish and chips wafts from the passenger side of the car. We don’t bother with plates — just open the paper and use our fingers. Inevitably someone eats a prawn twister too many or gets tomato sauce on their clothing. The dog hangs around desperate for crumbs, or at least a lick of the grease-spotted paper afterward.

This week I took over the supermarket shopping, and for once there has been enough food in the house. Miss 11 came bouncing home from school the other day, asking, “What’s for dinner this week?”

I rattled off the meals we had planned — grilled cheese, omelettes, spaghetti. “But we’re still having fish and chips on Friday, right?” she asked worriedly. “Because I’ve invited so-and-so from school over and I told them we always have Fish and Chip Friday.”

Well, I guess that’s one night this week I don’t have to cook.

Katherine Granich

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