The Sirens of “Jerry Cod”

Choice 11
Cod Meuniere

Every Wednesday, and like a lot of towns around France, we were treated to an alert horn. An old tradition from the Second World War, when powerful sirens were tested at noon; the urban legend said that one was just a test, two an accident, three casualties and of course 10 or 12 meant nuclear fallout, post cold war obliging. The sirens were hooked on top of high non residential buildings, or water towers that coloured the urban landscape, in all their glorious ugliness, reminding  tax payers how much they were going to get screwed. If you think water charges is an Irish problem, you should ask a French family how much they are paying!

Choice 2
The town of Vannes
Chateau d'eau
Water Castle in Brittany – photo credit, my awesome friend Jenny Joye

The sirens didn’t scare me as such; I quite enjoyed them in fact. When they rang their sinister screams outside of the test zone that was Wednesday, it created a sense of excitement, local drama and small tragedies’ children feed of in an enthusiastic sense of exaggerations. What terrified me though, is when the screams started from Winston Churchill’s Avenue; the midweek dreading sound meant that I had to come home for lunch, an unspoken about deal my Mother and I had. At the time, we were off school on that day, but for some reasons, she decided that this non Holly midweek day would be a fish day. It was either ravioli from a tin with some grated Gruyère or, to my fearful expectation, floured pan fried cod filets with butter… We were from a sea side town, a region which culture is rich in Lighthouse Keepers’ tales; we have to support our lads, the men at sea! And since my mother was an anti religion type of person, she would rather starve the whole family than serve fish on a Friday… This ain’t gonna happen! One has to stick to their principles. I guess…

Choice 5
Buckwheat floured cod frying

The problem was, that every time I heard the Wednesday Sirens puking their sad rant, it reminded me how much I hated fish; yes, this little Hungry Breton comes a long way. But from being an aggravating child when it came to food; I grew to up be interested, then passionate, then so freakin’ demoralised at the way the world goes with mass fishing and an insane agriculture that I would be happy not to eat fish again, or beef, or chicken for that matter. But that is for another time, another story maybe…

Choice 9
Buckwheat floured Cod with Meuniere sauce…

Recipe will follow step by step of my Cod with Meunière sauce…

Eat well and keep happy…

Fanch Ar Moenner




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