By the time Good Friday comes, winter is drawing in. The day seems never hot or cold, but often overcast. Maybe it's been like this for just the past few years.
I went out of the house about seven in the morning and the sky was pale yellow with fingers of rising sun through low clouds like overdramatic painted skies of the stations of the cross. Two thousand years of history, or at the very least, tradition, weigh heavily in the cold morning. I like the peace and quiet of Good Friday. And the dramatic skies.
It stayed cloudy. Mid-afternoon, there was a downpour that lasted an hour, then the rain stopped and it got cold and stayed cold and I turned on the old gas heater that purrs and flickers beneath the mantlepiece in the loungeroom.
Soon it was dinnertime. Good Friday dinner is always the same. We're such stick-in-the-muds.
Smoked cod with white sauce.
Smoked cod, that inexpensive and underrated fish, is delicious when done this way: simmer it in enough milk to barely cover it. Add to the milk a few peppercorns, a bay leaf and a chopped onion. As it simmers, the aroma fills the house. It is distinctive and delicious.
Simmer for about twenty minutes, then remove the fish to plates and whisk sufficient plain flour through the milk to thicken it. Add chopped parsley and you have a delicious white sauce. Drown the fish in the sauce and served with mashed potatoes and peas.
We ate the lot so unfortunately there was no cod left over to make kedgeree. But that's another story.