Guilty Pleasures: Fish fingers

The Small Girl is going through what child experts call a developmental phase. In other words, she is turning into one of those children that kicks, screams, wails – and refuses to eat. I know it’s not about me, but it breaks my heart when she pushes away the things I’ve made for her, even if it’s a piece of toast. Actually, toast is one of the few things she will eat. Toast, plain penne, peas and crackers. Her attitude to food reminds me of a sign I once saw above a racecourse cafe: “If you can’t fry it, don’t buy it.” Now I know why people end up feeding their children Turkey Twizzlers and McDonalds, because they are emotionally ruined by years of tantrums at dinner time.

But before Social Services come and take me away, I want it on record that the empty fish finger packet in our recycling bin is not a sign of my unfit mothering. No, I bought fish fingers (‘Simply Natural Oat Crumbed Hoki Fillets’) because I genuinely love them. I KNOW they’re only 50 per cent fish and that the crumb coating is nothing more than a cellulite enhancer, but there’s something about fish fingers that I find inherently comforting. They have to be crumbed though – I haven’t fallen so far that I’ll eat those vile faux tempura ones. Anyway, every now and then we have them with the Boy Wonder’s home made oven chips and my new favourite invention, Yoghurt Tartare Sauce. It makes me feel less guilty about my culinary failings and momentarily distracts me from my maternal ones.

Yoghurt Tartare Sauce
Pour about a cup of natural, unsweetened yoghurt into a pretty serving bowl. Add the zest and juice of a lemon, a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, a tiny clove of garlic (crushed with some salt), a tablespoon of capers and a few finely chopped gherkins (about 1/3 of a cup). Stir gently to mix, then taste for seasoning. Good with fish and chips, even if they’ve come out of a packet.



  1. October 18, 2010 / 10:38 pm

    That looks a very classy fish finger meal! Yum.
    I certainly don't feel a failure if I serve my kids some fish fingers from a packet from time to time. In fact, I want to defrost my freezer so they're going to be getting quite a few processed meals this week. I'm sure they'll survive.
    The tartare sauce looks nice too. I may very well try that. Thanks.

  2. October 19, 2010 / 5:47 am

    I cannot picture that sweet little girl throwing tantrums.. but I do know kids! I recall son number one throwing a bit of a paddy once and I jumped up and down and copied him. My Mum was there and calmly said..'I don't think you're meant to do that'. ( He was 20 at the kidding! make it 2)

  3. October 19, 2010 / 9:18 am

    I love fish fingers too! But as the last five times I managed to leave them in the oven too long until they were so hard, the kids wouldn't even eat them, I figured it might be time to stop buying them for a while until I can learn not to get too distracted (even with a timer) because I think it is an easy dinner! I love this honest post and I love your yoghurt dip idea! You just have to do packet things every now and then – no guilt allowed. Thanks for joining in again!

  4. October 19, 2010 / 7:40 pm

    I'll steer clear of the fish, but love the tartare sauce recipe – lots of vegggie things that would go nicely with – thanks.

  5. October 19, 2010 / 8:41 pm

    Oh…In my opinion this is my perfect dinner!
    thanks for share it
    Good evening

  6. February 2, 2011 / 7:40 am

    This post brings back lots of memories! When my daughter turned 2 she suddenly stopped eating and existed on frozen peas & corn, pasta, peanut butter and that was about it. She still grew, I survived, time passed (lots of time) and she started eating again. Now at 4, her favourite foods are sushi and rice paper rolls and she starts every meal with "this looks yummy".

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