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I think last time I watched Last of the Summer Wine my mum made us Birds Eye Fish Finger sandwiches with white bread and butter, tomato ketchup and Sarsons Vinegar. Brian Wilde (Foggy) used to live in Hertford where I went to school *

This weekend we saw a fine looking loin of cod at the fishmonger’s and bought it on impulse to make our own, homemade fish fingers. They were delicious and simple to make. We also baked some bread, made some tartare sauce and washed down our fish finger sandwiches with a bottle of Chateau d’Or et de Gueules “Cimels” Rosé 2013 whilst watching an early episode of Last of the Summer Wine to add a touch of nostalgia to the event.  Aahhh, simple pleasures! See recipe below.

* Interesting facts about Hertford (debatable)

  • Old Boys from my school; Captain W.E. Johns, author of Biggles, Rupert Grint of Harry Potter fame. No others, sadly!
  • In 1633, Samuel Stone emigrated from Hertford to America and set up a colony near a Dutch Trading settlement on the Connecticut River. They called the new town Hartford, which now the state capital of Connecticut. The Dutch nicknamed the English settlers “John Cheese”, a hilarious play on the name John Bull. In Dutch it was “Jan Quese” which sounded like “Yan Kees” to the English ear, but that’s how they all came to be known – Yankees.

Homemade Fish Fingers – makes 8 fingers


  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • freshly ground salt and black pepper
  • 1 or 2 beaten eggs
  • Make your own breadcrumbs in the food processor or buy some.
  • 250g skinless cod loin (or other white fish), cut into fish finger-like pieces, but not too thick as they fall out of the sandwich.
  • Sunflower oil for frying


What to do

  •  Put the flour in a freezer bag and season with salt and black pepper. Pour the beaten egg into a shallow dish. Put the breadcrumbs in a separate shallow dish.
  • Gently toss each fish piece in the seasoned flour bag until evenly coated, then dip into the beaten egg, then the breadcrumbs until evenly coated. Leave to one side.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it. (Or use a deep-fat fryer heated to 180C/350F.) Add the fish fingers and fry for 4-5 minutes, turning occasionally until golden brown and crisp on all sides. (You may need to do this in batches.)
  • Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
  •  Serve the fish fingers with slices of freshly buttered white bread and tartare sauce.

 Make your own easy tartare sauce

Mix a good-quality mayonnaise with a little Dijon mustard, lemon juice, chopped parsley, drained and rinsed capers and chopped gherkins.

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