Tag Archives: mackerel pate

Another Short Post


When Julia had her funny turn, as I now refer to it, she left her keys with one of the other staff members when she was taken off in the ambulance. Today, we arranged a meeting with suitable social distancing, to get the keys back. I stayed in the car. Did you know that it takes forty minutes for two women to pass over a set of keys? Slightly over forty minutes in fact, but writing “forty three minutes” seems overly pedantic.

It’s amazing to think of the events in between the two things – hospital, holiday, isolation…


Different lighting – different mood

Tomorrow we are going gardening. I’m going to make smoked mackerel pate tonight and we will have sandwiches, Scotch eggs and tea. It will be nice to get out. As a bonus, I should be able to get some decent new photographs.

Julia is currently outside taking yet another work call. She has left the back door open and I can hear the screaming of swifts outside. Inside, Timothy West and Prunella Scales are cruising through Yorkshire on a canal boat.

I’m watching Outback Opal Hunters at the moment. It’s fascinating stuff, though I’d rather be a gold prospector. You don’t have to work underground to find gold, which is a distinct advantage for someone who doesn’t like confined spaces. I don’t want to be crushed under tons of rock either, or poisoned by poor quality air.

Despite everything I say about vegetating in front of the TV, it can be an educational experience.


Front garden – out of control

Adventures with a Pan

We had smoked mackerel pate for lunch yesterday. That involved the use of the food processor, so, for me, was a real technical challenge. I had to ask Julia to dismantle it at the end, because I can never work the catch that releases the bowl. You would have thought that in the 21st Century they would have thought of making this obvious.


Smoked Mackerel Pate

It was a simple recipe, involving two bits of smoked mackerel (about 200 g) and half a pack of cream cheese. I pulled the fish off the skin and broke it up, added the green bits from a large spring onion, a big spoonful of wholegrain mustard, some black pepper and then gave it a whizz in the food processor. Then I opened it up and pushed the big bits of fish down into the mix before having another go. I think that if I’d broken the fish up more I could have omitted that last step. I will aim for pieces about the size of a finger top joint next time – some of the ones I tried were nearly the size of my thumb and managed to ride up to avoid the blades. People often use horseradish, as it is traditional with mackerel, but I didn’t have any so I tried mustard and it seems to have worked.

I’m saving the last lime to make an avocado dip, so didn’t use any citrus, but it didn’t seem to make a difference – the mustard and spring onion gave the mix a good, fresh taste without citrus.

We ate it with toast. There was plenty of pate for four thickly spread rounds of toast.


Smoked Mackerel Pate with Toast

Today’s lunch was vegetable soup with warm rolls and smoked mackerel pate. The rolls were Paul Hollywood part baked rolls and there was enough pate left to be generous, though the rolls weren’t exactly huge.

The soup recipe was four manky carrots (though I suppose good clean ones would be just as good), a chunk of swede (rutabaga) that was starting to change colour at the back of the fridge, the potato offcuts from the oven-baked chips (keep reading for details of them) and some leftover peas. Boil it up with water and a stock cube, reduce to soup with a hand-blender, season, eat. It probably needed onions but we only have enough to last until the next shopping trip so I left them out. I also added garlic from a jar, but should have put more in as we couldn’t really taste it.


Vegetable Soup with Rolls and Smoked Mackerel Pate

Yesterday’s tea (sorry to wander about so much), was chunky oven-baked paprika chips,¬† with fish fingers and mushy peas. It’s not great food, but it is a change as we haven’t had fish fingers for a month. I arranged them like something off Masterchef for the photo. I’m not sure it looks any better than throwing a pile of food together. It just looks like an idiot has been playing with his food.

Paprika Potatoes, Fish Fingers and Mushy Peas - Gourmet Fodder

Paprika Potatoes, Fish Fingers and Mushy Peas – Gourmet Fodder

As they were cooking, I made a pot of curry¬†(chickpea and sweet potato – using a base of last night’s chilli) and the previously mentioned soup.

Tomorrow I will use the rest of the cream cheese in a charred red pepper dip and we will also have an avocado dip using the lime I saved by not using it in the pate. It can be quite tricky cooking when you can’t nip out to the shops.