Holy mackerel?

For a lot of people here in town, Friday is ‘fish day’. Not for religious reasons (almost half of the Dutch claim to be non-religious) or because there isn’t a fish shop or fish stand open most days of the week. On Friday there’s a huge fresh produce market in the center of town with, amongst lots of other food sellers, several sellers of fresh sea food.

It’s not just fresh seafood they sell though but also prepared seafood like a variety of fried fish, smoked eel, salted herring, fried mussels or smoked mackerel. Smoked mackerel is very affordable on the Friday market and great food too, especially on a slice of wholemeal bread with finely chopped raw onions and a little bit of mayonaise… yummy!

I’m not the only one in my neighbourhood who likes smoked mackerel. My thieving cat Maria delivers proof of this every Friday night when she deposits the skin and attached head of a smoked mackerel right in the centre of my living room carpet

Now I wouldn’t object as much if Maria brought home the whole mackerel – after all, every little bit helps when you’re on a tight budget – and was willing to share. I do have a problem though with being snarled at while taking the skin away from her and then having to remove the greasy stains from my carpet.

However, today was payback day. This time I brought home the smoked mackerel – a whole one, not just the skin and head. After letting Maria out who claimed to have urgent business elsewhere, I made a great sandwich for myself and shared some of the fish with the other cats. All Maria will find when she gets home is the smell of what she missed out on…

There’s enough smoked mackerel left to make another sandwich tomorrow and IF Maria behaves, she’ll get her share of fish too. But no more mackerel skins on my carpet!

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