Since giving up eating meat but still eating fish, I’ve been trying to figure out what I am in food terms. I’ve decided on fishetarian — I saw it in a magazine last week and decided to adopt it as my own invention. It’s quite suprising really (liking fish, not plagiarism) as I hated it as a child. My parents were friendly with a river-owning farmer who would swing by on the weekend to deliver a big stinky scaly fish gift. I still remember seeing them laid out in the kitchen on old newspaper, big bulging eyes signalling that their moment of realization had come just too late. I actually envied friends whose parents served those oh so handy ‘boil-in-the-bag’ single servings of cod in white sauce, which I later lived on as a student.
Anyway, said farmer, who I suspect may actually have been a poacher, would also bring other delicacies such as rabbits and pheasants, the latter of which would come complete with all their feathers, which my mother never felt the need to fully extract. And I know the word is pluck, but just saying it in my head makes me feel queasy. But the real bonus? Finding a fragment of shot – gunshot – as you were trying to force down this foul (ha ha) meat. Bizarrely (even for her), my mother would say that we were lucky should we find such a thing during Sunday lunch. About as lucky as the pheasant was I suppose.