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April 23, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — ros @ 5:48 pm

Putting two foodies in a flat with three typical students can occasionally have disastrous consequences.

It seems that Goon’s dislike for his squeamish blonde flatmate ran a little deeper than I thought. True, she did throw away the pheasant pasta that was supposed to be his lunch because she didn’t like its smell. True, she does appear to have a cleaning OCD and whines constantly. True,she does squeal and make yuck faces at us and our food (particularly offal), before tucking into processed sausages and burgers. And true, she whinges it’s ‘horrible and mean’ to eat wild rabbit but doesn’t mind eating intensively farmed animals.

But apart from that there’s not that much to dislike about her. ;)

I can totally see why this flatmate irritates the hell out of Goon. She irritates me too. This is why I couldn’t stop laughing when this happened.

On Thursday I popped round to our local fishmongers with Goon to choose something for dinner. I had my eye on the John Dory but Goon disagreed.

GOON: No. The stripy fish.
ME: But there’s a Gordon Ramsay recipe I want to try for this John Dory.
GOON: No! The stripy fish.
ME: Do you even know what the stripy fish IS?


ME: It’s mackerel. Do you even like mackerel? 
GOON: (shrugs)
ME: I’ll get the John Dory

And there you have the Goon way of winning an argument. You have to agree that it is  effective. To be honest, I was happy enough with mackerel. They are tasty and cheap. I decided cook them simply, so studded them with slices of lemon (a slice went inside each cavity too), baked them and made a garlic and chilli infused oil to drizzle over them.

mackerel dinner

Ok, I admit Goon is right. They are very pretty fish. 

Recently, inpired by the River Cottage Meat book, I have been trying to make as much use of our food as I can. In particular, I’ve been trying to make stocks from all my leftover whole animals. I hadn’t got around to making fish stock before so I’d asked the fishmonger to just gut our mackerel and leave me the rest. I thought the bones, leftover skin and heads would make great stock.

That evening, whilst cooking, I told Goon to cut off the fish heads pop them in a bowl with clingfilm to use later. Instead, Goon decided to torment his other squeamish (but not at all irritating) flatmate with them for a while. It seems that to the right people, a pair of fishheads by a door is a better barrier than an electrified fence.  

After our meal, I told Goon to put all the fish leftovers together, covered, in the fridge so I could make my stock the next day. And that, I thought, would be the end of it.

It appears that Goon had other, slightly mean, but extremely funny ideas. Apparently Miss Squeamish got up the following morning at 5:45am, opened the fridge door and found…..

fish headfish head


the two heads of our mackerel, placed with care in the cheese box so that when you opened the fridge they were staring straight back at you.

Apprently the scream woke up the whole flat and possibly some of the neighbouring ones too. The fish heads got binned, which was a shame, but  worth it for the amusement it caused us.

The next day, when Goon encountered the blonde one, there was a lot more angry jibbering, squealing and whining. Trust me, it is best not to show weakness in front of Goon. Particularly not an idiotic weakness like that one. All Goon will do is take the piss, which he did to an enormous degree. He even took the fish heads out of the bin and chased her out of the flat with them. :D

Hehehe. If it had been anyone else,  I might have felt sorry for them  The prissy one currently appears to not be talking to Goon. Goon is happy with that and to be honest, we’re finding it hard to not provoke her again. After all, I still have those octopuses in the freezer and they will have to be defrosted at some point. That should be fun. Hmmmm….. I wonder what would happen if I got myself a couple of lobsters (a treat I’d been saving for when I had a flat of my own) and put them in the bath. :twisted:  


  1. :-D that’s so funny, fantastic story!!!

    Comment by Julia — April 23, 2007 @ 9:41 pm

  2. Yes! Har! That’s a brilliant story. Triumph!

    I’ve always been a bit nervous about buying fresh mackerel - does it need really strong flavours? I’ve had mackerel sashimi once or twice. Now, i love japanese food, but mackerel sashimi? Bleurgh! The boyfriend loved it.

    Comment by Schmoofaloof — April 24, 2007 @ 12:39 pm

  3. I love mackerel to bits - but I’m not sure about making stock with it - I find stock works better when made from non-oily fish - I’ll be interested to hear if you give it a go again.

    When I was a student, I knew a local fisherman who provided me with the occasional cheap(ish) lobster. A flatmate once tried to liberate a couple from the bottom of my fridge - but I caught her in the act. She’s now my wife and has learned the error of her ways…

    Comment by Richard — April 24, 2007 @ 1:39 pm

  4. Hahaha that’s well mean Ros, but in all fairness it does sound like Miss Squeemish deserved it. I have fond memories from 2nd year of secretly putting the eyes we cut out of fish onto friends backs and letting them walk around unsuspecting all day! Popular pranks for 3rd (final) year students include telling 2nd years to go and get 10 bottles of Chateaubriand, and one even fell for a request to come back with veg bones!!

    Comment by Trig — April 24, 2007 @ 6:33 pm

  5. Dontcha just love people who whinge about the poor dead bunnikins but tuck into cheap chicken breasts from debeaked, crippled chickens wallowing about in their own faeces?!? I don’t have a lot of time for people who don’t like their food to look like the animal from whence it came. Not sure how Goon copes!!

    And Trig - 10 bottles of Chateaubriand, LOL! Mean, mean, mean :P

    Comment by Jeanne — April 30, 2007 @ 1:03 pm

  6. Hi Ros - dunno if you’re around Soho during the day, but there’s going to be a bbc food board meeting for dim sum in chinatown on the 17th May, if you’re interested. The thread is called “Meal at St John Restaurant” or something like that (the original idea was to go to St johns, but its not accessible for everyone nor is it friendly on the wallet!)

    Comment by Schmoofaloof — May 2, 2007 @ 2:19 pm

  7. Hi Julia… you know I’m starting to worry that, when Goon moves out of his flat in a few weeks, half my blogging material will be gone! No more mad people in the flat - What will I do?!

    Hi Schmoof - thanks for letting me know about the meet. I think I should be able to make it.
    Mackerel does have a distinctive flavour. Personally I like it all three ways - fresh, smoked and as sashimi. If you don’t like smoked mackerel I would guess you probably wouldn’t like fresh either but, if you do give it a try. It doesn’t need ’strong’ flavours as such. Just something to cut through the oiliness. Citrus flavour are good. Gooseberry sauce is a classic and one I would recommend.

    Hi Richard - Thank goodnes your wife has been converted! It would be such a shame for her to miss out. I don’t think there’s any way of getting through to this lot though- they’re well stuck in their Tesco value meat habit.

    Hi Trig - I don’t believe you! Veg bones?! You’ve got to wonder why some of that lot are trying to become chefs if they don’t know that much about food. I suppose I can see why they’d fall for the chateaubriand trick though. I hardly see it on any menus now.

    Hi Jeanne - I mut admit it’s one of my pet hates. I can’t stand getting dirty looks from a bunch of idiots who don’t even have a clue where their food comes from. These two happen to play the religous high ground card a lot too. Kind of ironic, given that pretty much eveything they eat and drink and wear comes from either intensvely reared animals or sweat shops.

    Comment by ros — May 7, 2007 @ 8:11 pm

  8. Hi Ros, This is hilarious. My dad used to fish and when I was v.small I used to love his caught mackerel the most. I’d take their eyes out and push them around a bowl for hours (great toys!). My father is a bit of a joker too, it drove my mum mad!

    Comment by Amanda — May 15, 2007 @ 8:42 am

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