I made this dish for New Year’s Eve noshing as I’d just completed the brandade de morue and really just wanted something a little decadent, even if I didn’t stay up past 10 pm or so. Well, I did wake up at 11:55 pm for a bit on my own so I “rang in the new year” half asleep, ha.
My brother texted me happy new year wishes–well, just the phrase that has come to be the jokey stand-in for it among me and my 2 siblings: “drink your champagne and go to bed!” My dad, for whatever reason, was the one who would stay up with us on New Year’s Eve when we were kids. This is a man who naturally awakened every day at 4 am. He’d just sleep on his easy chair while us kids watched the Dick Clark show, or whatever, all night waiting for the re-played ball drop in Times Square (west coast kids that we were). We’d wake him up (ack!) about 10 minutes before midnight because it was one of the times we got to drink actual sparkling wine! He must have felt so gross, tearing away the cobwebs of sleep to get up and fetch 3 excitable kids some champagne, but he did and he sure seemed grumbly. Then, with the ball dropping in the background on the tv, we’d toast to the new year and within seconds my dad would give his quintessential, irritable phrase: “Now, drink your champagne and GO TO BED.” Major party pooper.
So, cue to tipping into 2017 and here I am shallow frying these fritters and my 4-year-old shouts from the den, “Mmmmmmm! What is that smell?!?” I told her they were accras since that sounds more appetizing to her little mind than “salt cod fritters.” (She still didn’t eat any, which was fine: more for us!) After rolling the leftover brandade into balls, tipping them into the very hot oil (eek!) and then quickly whipping up some mayonnaise and the tartar sauce, this was a fabulous fried feast for our New Year’s Eve. Great with champagne, I tell you!
Thanks for reading my long post. With my freshman seminar on food writing, we are working in these initial weeks to show and not tell. Part of that is making anything you can into a story. This week’s assignment is to tell a funny story (or describe a food you hated as a kid and now love) and so I’m doing double duty with this here blog post, though I’m thinking it’s only funny to me…and my sister and brother if they read this. 🙂