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14 October 2020


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The filets broke because of my clumsiness. You need two fish spatulas to handle these.


Nice looking fish. I'm doing the grilled chicken w/broccoli and white wine.


They look tasty, even if imperfect!



Very moist and flaky.


Looks good! Beats the hell out of the codfish cakes I grew up on. Grandma also used to serve her infamous creamed saltcod and once in awhile a codfish stew. My cousin told me that the creamed saltcod plus the daily tablespoon of cod liver oil was God's vengeance on our ten year old souls for joking and fidgeting in church.



Called "morue" in French and "bacalao" in Spanish and Portuguese.

A Portuguese Man

"Bacalhau", gringo.

English Outsider

Requires cool judgement that, Colonel. Just the right amount of time to get it cooked without drying it out. Needs good quality to start with. I shan't attempt to emulate it with the stuff that claims to be cod that we haul out of the freezer occasionally. But it jogged my memory.

It must be twenty years ago I was staying in an old fashioned country house with all as it was in the '30s. And had the run of an old fashioned library as well.

One of the old books dealt with everything you could possibly want to know about cod. Before getting down to the heavy duty technical stuff the writer threw into the mix a theory that accounted for the fact that Canada and the United States are two different countries. Being interested in fish and nothing else this single minded historian ignored all other factors and ascribed that difference to one thing only. Cod.

His theory was that Newfoundland was so inhospitable that the fishermen there went home for the winter thus remaining based in Europe, mostly England. But further South down in Boston the fishermen could make it through the winter so stayed there all the year round. Hence, over time, and I think much to the regret of the author, becoming an obstreperous rabble of independence minded Americans rather than remaining dutiful subjects of the Crown.

Lovely theory. Perhaps better not to examine it too closely. Beats 1619 for a foundational myth anyway.



I had it right yesterday until the end when I tried to pick the filets off the grill one handed and that caused a couple of them to break, marring the esthetics of my effort. You really need two fish flippers to do this right. But, the fish was lovely, moist, flaky and tasty as good cod always is. We have the fish delivered to our door under plague conditions. Never frozen. One of the benefits of 60 years of hard work is that I can afford that. Swordfish, halibut, yellow fin tuna, cod, love 'em all. I like to cook outdoors and can do so in this climate from April to November. I cooked this the way they cook Scrod (young cod) in Boston. There used to be some absolutely splendid seafood restaurants in Boston. Maybe there still are. Our favorite was Dini's Seafood Grill on Tremont St across from the "Old Granary Burial Ground" where Sam Adams and a few of my forebears are in the ground. I am reminded that the Pilgrims at Plymouth were startled when a couple of Indians wandered into their camp speaking English. They had been employed by English cod fishermen who had drying "factories" up on the Maine coast where I lived while in high school. One of the Indians had traveled to England with the fishing fleet and had traveled around Europe, visiting Madris among other places.


Cod liver oil is now trending since now "vitamins" re touted as covid resistance boosters.

Just in time if the Norwegians stop selling their North Sea fossil fuels and get everyone to swill their cod fish by-products instead. No wonder Norway can afford "socialized medicine" - they subscribe to healthy daily habits.

BTW: anyone who has not yet read the book "Cod" is in for a treat; second only the other similar book "Salt" - supply and demand for common food stuffs that changed the world.


Cod is my favorite fish to fish and to eat. I have many fond memories of deep sea fishing off the coast of New Hampshire, the colder the better the fishing is.

Remember, when lobster is cheap, the cod stock is way down.

May I recommend a fish bbq basket:


There's several to choose from, makes life easy. Since moving to Florida about a decade ago, I've been mostly grilling whole fish like grouper, red snapper, and pompano, yum.



I like to close the lid and fish baskets don't really work if you do. I will do better next time.

Mark K Logan

Here's one that allows you to close the lid.

Had that same problem with cod, ling cod specifically. No structural integrity when cooked.





English Outsider

Colonel - I think it was following your earlier articles on barbecuing that the Outsider household made a kit. We took an oil drum, cut out and hinged a good third of it for a lid, perforated the bottom, and for the stand welded the whole to some thick steel rods we happened to have left over from previous work. The "we" was one of my sons. I'm no hand at welding such thin stuff as oil drums. Looks very pretty and has the supreme virtue of being portable. Leave it out in the rain and I reckon the thin steel would rust out in a month or two.

The kit came in very handy during "lockdown". I was told by those who studied such matters that gathering outside satisfied "social distancing" rules so plenty of people could come over to eat. Later I found they hadn't studied hard or accurately enough so we had probably committed a variety of criminal acts.

More worrying was that I found I could not reproduce the results illustrated in your articles. Perhaps a video showing the finer points of technique? But the results didn't taste bad and we seemed to end up with satisfied guests.

Kipling wrote a children's story about the cod fishing you refer to. Whether he'd actually been out with the fishing fleet I don't know but he somehow soaked up the essentials and got them down on paper in his usual vivid way. Fog over the banks, Gaelic speakers among the fishermen (that might have been poetic licence since the Gaelic speakers were, I believe, more commonly found further north), the risk of the work, and then the memorial service in the Church to commemorate those who had lost their lives during the season. That would have been early twentieth century so I assume all that was gone by the time you went to school.



"Captains Courageous?"


EO -

The fishing boats out of Portland Maine back in the late 1940s/early 1950s when I was a boy were still bringing back lots of cod and haddock. And there were Gaelic speakers on the crews and living in the local community, as well as Sicilians and some Portuguese families who emigrated from the Azores.

I think Kipling got his story from acquaintances in Gloucester Mass. But I would bet the demographics there were similar even at the turn of the century.

English Outsider

Yes, Colonel, but I should have checked details before I wrote in. They were in fact fishing on the Grand Banks, so there would still have been Irish speakers around -


Kipling did not in fact go out with the fleet but researched details thoroughly with a friend who had -


Kipling says "I wanted to see if I could catch and hold something of a rather beautiful localised American atmosphere that was already beginning to fade."

It's a while since I read it but I think he did.

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