It’s the weekend!
In my home town, Fredericton, my family went to the Boyce Farmers Market every Saturday morning. My parents always made two stops. The first was to buy cheddar. The big orange cheese rounds were displayed on the table, and the merchant would cut off a big triangle for us. We never bought cheese at the grocery store. The other stop was for fresh fish. The fish merchant drove up from the coast for the market. My Mum bought sole or haddock. Haddock is really the very best choice for fish and chips. Every Saturday night she made homemade fish and chips in an aluminum pot with a metal net basket. Before cooking she rubbed soap around the outside so that the fat wouldn’t stick. She always deep fried with Crisco vegetable shortening. The advertisements always boasted that all but a spoonful came back. She strained the oil after cooking and back it went into the refrigerator until the next week. She made a simple batter and dipped the fish in that and then into the bubbling pot. If we were lucky she also cut slices of potato and deep fried them as well. Those were incredibly good. We never had tartar sauce just a big bottle of ketchup. The bottles actually were “ketchup lover” size. Dad got them for me because I loved ketchup. There were usually lemon slices but I never liked squeezing them and then having the juice on my hands. We had white vinegar in a little crystal jug with a glass stopper. I liked malt vinegar better but we didn’t always have that. My Mum greeted every fish dinner with the warning advisory “Watch out for bones.” She was always very careful about picking them out before cooking so it was rarely a problem. I’ve found it difficult to find fish and chips in restaurants as good as hers.
Mum’s Fish and Chips Recipe
Back in 1987 I collected recipes from family and friends, and gave people cookbooks for Christmas. Here’s my Mum’s recipe so that you can make it yourself. My mum never let anyone wander around the kitchen when she was deep frying. I came home from home economics class one day, and announced that I had signed up to cook deep fried chicken the next week at class. I got sent to school with a box of Shake and Bake instead. As an adult I bought a safety fryer where the hot grease is locked inside.
Janet Pullman’s Fish and Chips
fillet of haddock, or sole
for 4 people have 1 lb. cut in 4 pieces
for 2 people have 1/2 lb. cut in 2 pieces
potatoes (cut in strips & a few as thin rounds)
Soap the pan.
Melt grease in deep (!!!) pan. Heat until hot enough to sizzle when a chip or two is added as a test. Then add the chips a few at a time. Cook until golden brown (light). Drain for a few minutes.
Coat the fish and the potato rounds in batter. Cook the fish the same way as the chips. Turn very carefully!!!
Have a box of salt or baking soda near the stobe for emergency use. (If there’s a fire you pour it over to extinguish it.)
1–1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Mix flour, baking powder, and salt with fork or spoon. Then add the egg. Mix until it is a medium paste.
For a lot of people that work office jobs, Saturday is the day that all the week’s chores have to get done. Instead of having a leisurely day at home, they have to dash to the bank, the grocery store, and if they make it home then mow the lawn, weed the garden, or do the laundry.
I always found bank hours to be inconvenient when I was working an office job. The bank was open for business while I was at work but then closing soon after I got off. That’s not a problem for people too much these days since there are the automated tellers available 24/7.
Do you work Monday to Friday with the weekend off? Does the word Saturday make you happy? When I was in school, and then working an office job it certainly appealed to me. Although for four years in Ottawa I got up early to go to Japanese language school. I enjoyed those classes too. For many people Saturday is their main day for socializing. Not for me any less. I’m looking forward to attending a steampunk pool party and pig barbeque tonight. It’s the kind of activity that brings one of my favourite songs to mind. “Saturday in the Park” by Chicago. Have a listen if you aren’t familiar with it. It’s a lazy summer day one. Downtime is what my weekends and vacations used to be for. That and getting outdoors to enjoy nature.
For some people Saturday and Sunday are the only days they get to enjoy being outside. Working in the winter in Ottawa meant going to work when it was still dark, and then returning home after it had become dark. I wouldn’t want to live in the far north where night lasts for months. The reverse when day lasts for months would make sleep difficult too. Not to mention the sense of confusion as to what time of day it is.
Do you live for weekends? That’s okay. Everyone gets to make their own choices in life — at least as much as opportunities let them. The trouble with that is that if you work the standard 9–5 five day work week is that by Friday night you’re nackered (tired, worn out) as the Brits say.
In the ’70s John Travolta danced across the screen in “Saturday Night Fever”, and the music of the BeeGees was immortalized with their song “Stayin’ Alive”. I had a point to make but it’s not surfacing. I think it just goes to show how important partying on Saturdays has been in our culture. It serves as a release from the stress of working all week especially in dead-end jobs.
One of my school mates at art school had a job at the bottle depot where people bring in their glass and plastic bottles to get the refund. It was an unpleasant noisy place where the workers wore earplugs because of all the sounds of glass falling or breaking. On Saturday mornings she wouldn’t answer the phone in case it was work asking her to come in.
When I was studying French in Quebec, quite often people would attend mass on Saturday so they could then go party and sleep in on Sunday.
When you don’t work 9–5 Monday through Friday
When I first stayed home with my first baby, I was concerned with how I would spend my day. The friendly neighbour behind my house said that you just rearrange your life and make new friends. She was right. Whatever you do, you’ll fall into a rhythm. One of my son’s friends works for BC Ferries. He works early mornings for about four days, then gets four days off, then works four days nights. Something like that. It’s good because he gets to spend time with his family when he’s off.
I’m following one person on Twitter whose tag line was “Angela doesn’t live 4 weekends”. I like that. Too many people live for weekends or vacation. Those are such short intervals in our lives. Far better to be like Angela and love the entire week and year. People fall in love on vacation when travelling because they’re relaxed and in a new setting. The affair rarely lasts into their separate realities when they return home.
Many people who have to work Saturday and Sunday, get their “weekend” (i.e. two days off in a row) at a different time of the week. Most parties, and many entertainment events only happen on the traditional weekend. That’s okay but if you have to work the next day (What my friend Scotty always said “Well I should sign off now ’cause tomorrow’s a school day.”) then you may be exhausted or hungover in the morning. Which is never good for your health or continuing gainful employment. Another thing is to not add colleagues and bosses to your Facebook friends list if you post about your partying and then say you’re too sick to go to work the next day. Lots of people still post “TGIF” on their Facebook postings. I’m sure you already know that stands for “Thank God it’s Friday”.
Saturday comes from the Roman’s naming the day Saturn’s Day after the planet named after the god of agriculture. This seems appropriate since many people tend to their gardens on Saturday. It’s also the Jewish Sabbath when you’re not supposed to use machines like cars or telephones. Many Jewish people live in walking distance to a synagogue for this reason. I was brought up that Sunday was the first day of the week and Saturday was the seventh.
Enjoy your Saturday!
I don’t work an office job any more and my big plans for this evening are to attend a party. I’ve waited all month for it. What do you have planned? Enjoy your Saturday too!