Friday night is often fish and chip night.
There were, of course, mushy peas too! It is so much cheaper to make fish and chips than to get them as a takeaway and not really difficult to make. We use an very old very large saucepan to make the chips in (in fact it is an old pressure cooker, obviously not now used as a pressure cooker but it has the depth to make cooking chips safe). Our trick for perfect chips is to peel and chop your potatoes and then put them in the oil in the pan and then switch the hob on and put the ring to full.
This may seem unusual but it does make the most perfect chips – as the oil heats up the chips cook through completely and then crisp up nicely. Often when you cook chips by putting them straight in to hot oil the outside can be all lovely and crispy but the inside can seem flabby and undercooked. I realise that chips cooked on the hob might seem scary to some but it is perfectly safe if you are sensible. Make sure the pan is not more than half full of oil and don’t leave them unattended.
While the chips are cooking you need to make your batter (this is not so much a recipe as a vague direction as we do it by sight). You will need plain flour (about 4 tablespoons), water (enough to make a thick pouring consistency) and a good pinch of bicarbonate of soda.
When the chips are cooked put them in a colander standing in a dish for the excess oil to drain off. Then coat your fish in the batter and drop in to the now very hot oil you have just taken the chips out of. The fish takes less than 10 minutes to cook – the batter will puff up and turn golden. Plate up your fish, chips and mushy peas, add salt, vinegar and tomato sauce and tuck in!