Also from the Woden Boat Festival – the batter I used for the fish proved very popular. It is a recipe with a history.
Many years ago (about 40) an old fisherman’s wife gave me this recipe. She was one of the last permanent residents of Maria Island, an exceptionally good cook, and this recipe has always in our family been called Auntie Pearl’s batter recipe. She scorned the (then) new-fangled beer batters, claiming that the beer detracts from the flavour of the fish – I agree with her. She told me I would never find a better batter recipe than this one and it is surely true.
As well as for fish, I also use it to coat little slices of apple, which I deep fry and then sprinkle with a little sugar and cinnamon and sometimes lemon juice. Back many years ago when pineapple was more popular as an everyday ingredient, I would drain and pat dry (tinned) rings of pineapple and dip these in the batter. My word, they were good too.
So here is the recipe for you to try. As Auntie Pearl steadfastly maintained, I am sure you will never find a better batter.
1 cup self raising flour
¼ to ½ teaspoon salt
Good pinch of bi-carbonate of soda
Cold water to mix.
Sift the flour, salt and bi-carbonate of soda into a bowl.
Mix with enough cold water to a coating consistency.
Leave to stand a few minutes, if possible before using – you may need to add a little extra water just before using.