LONDON UK – It was about six years ago and my mother and I were about to leave her flat on Steeles Rd. in Primrose Hill. We were standing in the small hallway when she put on her new navy blue gabardine coat with a hood.
“Bland, intractably beige, and (most unforgivably of all) suspended in jelly, the bottled version seemed to have been fashioned, golem-like, from a combination of packing material and crushed hope.” From an article about gefilte fish by Rebecca Flint Marx in The New Yorker (October, 2016)
The above is eloquent testimony to the bad reputation of gefilte fish – a downhome, humble staple at the Jewish holiday table.
“Immaturity and hair dye keep me young.”
I’m repeating the title of this post for a few reasons: First, everything clever is worth repeating. It usually gets a good laugh – one of life’s giddiest pleasures, especially at my age. It’s true and unabashedly honest. It sums up what’s to follow – the announcement that I turn 70 in a few days. And last, it’s original.
My love of fish and chips dates back to formative years growing up in London, U.K., the historical home of this popular, populist, down-home dish.
In my early teens, I recall joining Girl Guides where we lived in the North London suburb of Finchley – then a white-collar, white-bread enclave where my Jewish family stood out like a sore thumb.
My Jewishness is fraught with complexities and contradictions.
Raised without any religion in the North London suburb of Finchley in post-war Britain, it was white-bread, white-collar and Anglo-Saxon all the way. (This is not the case today, I’ve noted on recent visits, in a neighbourhood where kebab shops, curry houses and the Tally Ho! pub rub shoulders in a somewhat seedy multicultural mix).
Marion Kane has been a leader in the world of food journalism for a few decades. She is an intrepid populist whose work combines social commentary with a consuming passion for all things culinary. For 18 years, she was food editor/columnist for Canada's largest newspaper: the Toronto Star. She lives in Toronto's colourful Kensington Market and is currently a free-wheeling freelance food sleuth®, podcaster, writer and cook.