Posted by Tania Kindersley.
Today was a calm day. The sun shone serenely on the snow. There are lovely relatives here, and I went to visit. My younger niece is home for half term, with a fierce new fringe. Tonight, there is a slender new moon hanging over the pines like a tiny beacon of hope.
I made an early supper of fish with peas and bacon. I know it does not sound the most enticing idea in the world, but there was some responsibly caught cod on special offer in the shop, and I was unsure what to do with it. Officially, I hate cod, but I get terribly cross with people who decide they dislike certain foods and refuse ever to touch them and do that special sneering face when you even mention the name of the stuff, so every so often I make myself try something I do not adore. And it was on special offer. Those words are like a beacon to me. So I flipped through my cookery books and ran about on the internet and, as usual, refused to take one perfectly fine recipe and follow it, as a normal person might, but got a few ideas and then made it up as I went along.
I still do not worship cod, even if it is fished from sustainable stocks by saintly Icelanders, but this was quite good. I imagine you might do it with any firm white fish.
Take a couple of handfuls of cubed pancetta and fry it up. Turn the heat down, throw in some ribbons of lettuce (very important to slice them as finely as you can), some chopped garlic and a handful of frozen petit pois. Cook for about four or five minutes until everything is tender. You could add a pinch of dried chilli if you felt like it. At the end, add a little good olive oil, for flavour and texture. Check for seasoning: the pancetta is salty, so you will only need a very tiny bit of sea salt, if any at all.
Meanwhile, fry the fish in olive oil for about three minutes each side.
And that's it. Really quite a grown up supper for a cold Wednesday night.
And here is a slightly blurry shot of the new moon, so you can wish on it: