There are days sometimes when I have moments of calm clarity. Often on these days, I am hungover. Strange that these moments come when I’m feeling most detached mentally; perhaps those are real moments of me, and ironically I’m able to think clearly because the monkey mind has been momentarily put to bed with a headache.
At this moment, I am sat in the sun, in my garden, listening to the Smiths, and I don’t think today could get any better. There was a moment this morning that I thought maybe I was going to be non-functioning today but I seem to have been revived by two cups of tea and a fish finger sandwich.
I only discovered fish finger sandwiches via my lovely friend C, about 5 years ago. The first one she made for me was a revelation – warm, crunchy and slightly fishy, with a hint of tangy, sweet but savoury ketchup and fresh crunchy iceberg lettuce on toast. I had found the holy grail of hangover foods. See, our body craves sugar and carbs after drinking because it’s missing the sugar in the alcohol. That is why it is a dangerous thing to be wandering around a supermarket when you’re slightly worse for wear, lest you come back with donuts and a packet of crisps. And whilst there is little sugar in the sandwich, you can still get your carb hit with the bread. But a fish finger sandwich does more than just fill the sugar void left by 4 (ahem) glasses of wine. We all know fish is brain food and I have never once finished one without feeling a million times better, and since that point I have always defaulted to these after nights on the trot.
Food writing should be less about recipes and more about experiences and circumstances and I once heard it said that writing about food should really be writing about life, because food is really a metaphor for life. And whilst it may seem a bit silly to write an love letter to a sandwich, these little noshes are representative of nights out with people I love and one of the best things is devouring one of these babies whilst piecing together the events from the night before.
This morning was once such morning. I woke up in a dear friend’s flat in Hackney and after a few “urghs” we both drank pints of apple juice and began the assemblage of the sandwich whose sole job was going to make us feel more human. H had bought fresh bread from the bakery so there was some debate over leaving it fresh and soft or toasted. H went soft; I opted for toasted. I kept it simple: four fish fingers, some ketchup and some pea shoots to give it a freshness. H went for a more involved one which included cheese and mayo. Quel blasphème! But the heart wants what it wants, and I shan’t judge. And so we sat, ate, and laughed and talked about the night before. It was wonderful, and again, this little inconsequential sandwich finished off what was a remarkable Friday.
Have a great weekend everyone. Enjoy the sun. As someone said to me last night, there is no other city the world but London that is as confident and amazing despite its consistent lack of sun. But on the days when the sun does comes out, it truly becomes the greatest city in the world.
Photo courtesy of www.dicksdaily.co.uk