My mother Ruth Schachter (née Nisse) in the garden of her flat in Primrose Hill, London UK, in 2014
I wrote this in 2002 when I was food editor for the Toronto Star. My dear mother, 95, died peacefully in her sleep a month ago on April 21, 2018
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 mother Ruth Schachter (nee Nisse), age 88, is one live-wire.
She reminds me (and others) of the cute little old lady in the original “Ladykillers” starring Alec Guinness and a young, dashing Peter Sellers. White-haired and blue-eyed, that sweet, seemingly innocent, slightly scatter-brained octogenarian is far more savvy than she looks. ‘Nuff said.
My recent annual visit to London (U.K.) was the best yet. And, as a long-time defender of British food – yes, this in the face of doubters and haters who think gray roast meat and overcooked brussels sprouts typify that island’s grub – even I was surprised at the high quality of chow (almost) everywhere we ate.
U.K. – In January, 2009, I wound up my annual trip to London to visit my mother with dinner at Gordon Ramsay’s newest restaurant York & Albany located at 127-129 Parkway in my favourite neighborhood, Camden Town.
Here’s my article from The Toronto Star, February 23, 2008, that I wrote about Acorn House after a recent visit to the U.K.
“Acorn House is the most important restaurant to open in London in 200 years,” Giles Coren, The Times magazine (December, 2006).
In case you didn’t catch my chat with host Jeff Goodes on Fresh Air on CBC Radio on Saturday morning, January 27, here’s a list of places I mentioned during our discussion about eating out in winter:
Down the Street, Stratford, Ontario, especially for its warm welcome but also for the cozy decor and excellent food.
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.