Elsie Hogfat

Lagom Food. Lagom Philosophy.

Flounder as food, and metaphor.

Sometimes even your happy go lucky aunt gets frustrated.

Getting and spending, we lay waste to our powers.   Some economic accounts would have you believe that if your rate of pay is greater than the time it takes to wash a plate, it is better to smash the plate and buy a new one.  Hard to believe?  Do the sums.

Sophisticated accounts will argue no, no, for you must factor in the time it takes to purchase the plate… missing the point entirely.  Cost and price are not the same.

What can you measure and what can’t you measure?  Obvious isn’t it, that you can measure all those variable over which as a citizen you have limited control other than as a good little consumer at the supermarket queue, your agency is reduced to consumer choices.  All your well meaning sums would come quite undone were you to include all the fruitless hours you have spent guilty and paralysed and confused about what the right choice might be.  Give that an hourly rate and weep.

Not so obvious as Ayn Rand devotees in their mid teens refusing to wash their dishes and buying plastic plates instead, ecologists in good faith attempt to dismantle the master’s house using the master’s tools and come up with many and various energy equations relating to the sustainability of various foods measuring quantities of fossil fuel used up, quantities of calories produced and divide them by area of land or by the land’s price per acre.

They are all flawed.  There is no blank slate upon which to write these accounts.  Cost and price are not the same.  And people do like their fish in boneless squares.

This is flounder and fresh garden salad.  I bought the flounder at a fish shop.  It was vacuum packed and frozen whole.  It cost $2.60.  I baked it with coconut fat, kaffir lime leaves coriander seeds and chilli.  Then I put it on a plate.  Really, it’s not very difficult.  Sometimes it can take longer to find the can opener.  When it was eaten I stocked the bones and head.  Again, this is not difficult.  I just scraped the plate into a saucepan, added water and simmered for a quarter of an hour.   This will make a good gravy for something tomorrow or the next day.

Flounders are in no danger of extinction, flat on the sandy floors of the oceans… everywhere.  Lentilla, splashing by the seaside has stood on, with a squeal, as many as she’s eaten.  They are not a highly regarded little fish, thus cheap.   Apparently we’re too busy to eat fish with bones.  But it wasn’t always so.

Exhibit A.  A Fish Fork.


The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

Wordsworth

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1 Comment»

  yoni wrote @

ahhh, thanks for the wordsworth and interesting comments re the time I spend labouring over ethical food choices 🙂


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