Forgetfulness and fish pie


I’ve been a little … vague … recently. Example: the kids and I arrived home on Saturday to discover I’d left the front door wide open all afternoon.

They were so horrified that they regaled my ex with a “we can’t believe mum did this” anecdote the next day (he tells me).

I am not in the habit of leaving my front door open all afternoon while I am out. Being a little on the anxious side I always over-imagine worst case scenarios. (And so, it would seem, do my offspring. I think they were mainly worried about someone stealing the dog. I was more worried about the electronic equipment.)

Earlier this year, I was quite startled after leaving my car keys at a friend’s house – ok, maybe I’ve had vague moments before – when she told me I could drop over anytime to collect them because she never locks her front door. Cue tightness in my chest on her behalf.

I’ve also been a little … distracted … recently. I was supposed to have a friend over for dinner last night but I’ve been so out of whack that I hadn’t gotten around to cleaning the house. I looked around despondently at the dust and the mess and the grimy bathtub and wondered how the hell I was going to make dinner AND make the house presentable in time.

So I asked if I could bring dinner to their place instead. Their house is always immaculate. I really don’t understand how people manage it. God I miss my princess days when I had a cleaner.

Fortunately, despite my disorientation, I served my friend a fantastic fish pie dinner. If I do say so myself.

Here’s the recipe.

RECIPE: Luscious fish pie


1 onion, thickly sliced

2 cloves; 1 bay leaf

600ml milk

300ml cream

500g white fish (I used ling)

250g smoked fish (I used thickly sliced smoked salmon, but that scary orange dyed fish possibly gives a better flavour)

4 eggs + 1 egg yolk

1 onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

100g butter


salt and white pepper

1.25kg floury potatoes.

METHOD: Put onion slices, cloves, bay leaf, milk, cream and fish into a pan. Bring just to the boil and simmer 8 minutes. Lift fish out onto a plate and strain the cooking liquid into a jug. When the fish cools, break into large flakes, throw away any skin and bones. Sprinkle it over the base of a shallow oven-proof dish (or make individual pies, they’re easier to serve). Hard boil the eggs for 8 minutes, then drain and leave to cool. Peel, cut into chunky slices and arrange on top of the fish. Melt 50g of butter in a pan, saute onion and garlic until soft. Add the reserved cooking liquid to the pan. Return it to the heat and bring slowly to the boil, stirring all the time. Thicken with cornflour mixed with a little water. Stir in salt and pepper. Pour over the fish and leave to cool. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour. Boil the potatoes for 15-20 minutes. Drain, mash and add the rest of the butter and the egg yolk. Season with salt and freshly ground white pepper. Beat in enough of the remaining milk to form a soft, spreadable mash. Preheat oven to 200C. Spoon potato over filling and bake for 35-40 minutes until piping hot and golden brown.

Song of the day: Josh Hoge “Beautiful distraction”

One thought on “Forgetfulness and fish pie

  1. I rarely say this but I might even try that recipe. It looks like something even I could manage. I bought some groceries on the way home so I wouldn’t have to go shopping tomorrow and left a big rump steak behind. It’s either still sitting in the trolley or on the counter because it’s on the receipt so I paid for the bloody thing. I blame the girl who served me. She kept asking me how my day was and I got distracted. Don’t worry Alana… memory lapse will only get worse 🙂

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