Not as good as my Mum’s Fish Pie


When I was in Australia, I got really homesick one day, and made this fish pie. It’s nowhere near as good as my Mum’s, but it’s near enough to make me feel 6 years old again, in our old house, on a cold day, snacking on fish in an unctuous sauce, and the creamy potato.

Hopefully my Mum will read this and give me her recipe, but it’s that good I’m fairly sure it’s only ever handed down the female line, and then only on their death beds. It’s that good.

Edit- My Mum let me know- apparently it’s pretty close! I forgot to include a sliced up boiled egg or two along with the fish, which in hindsight was one of my favourite bits!!!

This is merely comforting and tasty.


  • A mix of salmon, haddock, white fish, prawns… about 500g
  • 750g potatoes, peeled
  • 400ml milk
  • 25g butter
  • 25g plain flour
  • A leek
  • Parsley
  • Chives
  • 25g parmesan
  • 1tsp mustard
  • Vegetables- about 2 handfuls of peas, sweetcorn, green beans, broccoli. Your call here.
  • Cheddar cheese, to top


Stick the spuds on boil. About 20 minutes, or until the spuds are falling apart.

While they boil, put the butter and the chopped leek into a pan over a very low heat. As the butter melts, add the flour, stirring vigorously, in about 4 small measures. This should coat the leeks, as they cook, in a kind of stealth roux.


Add the milk, bit by bit, stirring thoroughly then cook out on a slightly higher temperature for about 5 minutes, till thickened. Take off the heat, and stir in the parmesan, chives, fish, parsley and veg, and transfer to an oven proof dish.


Preheat the oven to 185c. When the potatoes are done, mash them up with some butter and milk. Spread all over the top of the fish mix, put some nice lines in with a fork (this helps crisp the top up) then put a layer of cheese on top.

Bake for 20 minutes or so. Let it cool on the side for 5 minutes then scoff it greedily.


Link up your recipe of the week

Now That’s What I Call Music 55


Released-  21st July 2003

Music History

It’s a quiet few months really. Pete Townshend forgets to clean his internet history, I go to Glastonbury for the third time, REM and Radiohead are brilliant.

Me History

Summer 2003. I move in with my band. Of four massive slobs, I am probably the worst of the bunch. Our kitchen is a nightmare. At one point we get ants, and make a flamethrower out of a can of Lynx and a lighter to solve this problem. This about sums up our talent for domesticity. Bloody good fun though.

If I had to save one track from this album, which us much easier than last time, that track would be…  side one, track one.

Track by Track Breakdown


R Kelly“Ignition (Remix)”

Still bringing it 13 years later. Possibly his greatest song. Along with 4 or 5 others. Gimme that toot toot!

50 Cent“In da Club”

I remember thinking he was a ridiculous fraud at the time with all the ‘I got shot 9 times’ stuff. This is still a great track, mind, and the bankruptcy and miserable loss in a face off with Kanye has softened my views on Fiddy.

Justin Timberlake –  “Cry Me a River”

And now it’s a one two punch of great singles for him. This more maudlin but no less danceable one is brilliant. Great video too. Is it about Britney? Had you forgotten that he and Britney were a thing too?

Wayne Wonder“No Letting Go”

Nice piano sounds. Vague reggaeton attempts. But it doesn’t really have much direction.

Javine – “Real Things”

Nah. If I hear those horns, I want to hear Ante Up by MOP, not this limp imitation of R&B. Bleh.

Kym Marsh – “Come on Over”

I knew her singles had to get bad at some point, or she wouldn’t be in Coronation Street. I just didn’t expect it to be this soon. Like a reheated Shania Twain.

Girls Aloud – “No Good Advice”

So good, I can forgive them for shoplifting the entire backing from a favourite of mine, The Knack’s My Sharona.

t.A.T.u. – “Not Gonna Get Us”

One hit wonder. This isn’t the one. It has some quite good big drums though.

S Club 8“Fool No More”

Still creepy. The first time they’ve made an effort to put together a half decent song though.

Fast Food Rockers –  “Fast Food Song”

That hideous kids song that just encourages the little bastards to kill themselves with hydrogenated fats, to a beat. You know. The one that’s just a list of fast food chains.

XTM and DJ Chucky presents Annia“Fly on the Wings of Love”


Lisa Scott-Lee“Lately”

STEPS SOLO SINGLES! I say this like they’re going to be brilliant… they’re not. But they are entertaining in the same was slow motion footage of cars crashing is.

One True Voice – “Shakespeare’s (Way with) Words”

I will write a sonnet,
Put your name upon it.

That is actually the nearest they can get to Shakespeare’s actual way with words. A song, written by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Bhangra Knights vs Husan“Husan”

Not as good as Punjabi MC. More a microwave value curry with danky raisins, than a finely made keema with chapattis.

Tomcraft –  “Loneliness”

Lovely. It’s nice to have a bit of a dark bleak stuff back in the house part of the album.

Tiga featuring Jake Shears – “Hot in Here”

One of the best covers of all time. I adore Tiga’s sidelong, obtuse take on pop and dance. He’s still doing it now, Bugatti being a great example.

Lisa Maffia“All Over”

Yeah, still I like wonky agressive RnB. So Solid aren’t quite past it yet.

Benny Benassi presents The Biz –  “Satisfaction”

Still an absolute classic. Just one of those synth drops that will never get old. Raaagh!

Deepest Blue –  “Deepest Blue”

…And then this moronic shite comes along and ruins the whole improvement. Damn it Deepest Blue.

DJ Sammy –  “Sunlight”

And DJ Sammy continues the ruination. He just writes the most hideous, soft as fuck dance for pussyoles.

Plummet –  “Damaged”

A slight improvement. A little more atmospheric and fun. But nothing special.

Paul van Dyk featuring Hemstock and Jennings“Nothing But You”

Boringly solid house from the master of the turgidly reliable.

Scooter – “The Night”

I love that their shouty guy asks ‘who has the skill to test me?’. As the worst hype man ever, I reckon there are people in comas who could take you on lyrically.

Robbie Williams –  “Come Undone”

It’s kind of pleasantly resigned, nut you get the feeling Rob’s lustre has faded, and his golden period has passed.

Busted – “You Said No”

Busted are the best. Why did I hate them? I think it was more because one of them was determined to be taken seriously. The silliness is what’s good about them!

Daniel Bedingfield –  “I Can’t Read You”

Surprisingly convincing rocker from him. He was actually quite versatile, really.

Amy Studt – “Misfit”

It’s wonderfully snarky and has a huge touch of mid 90’s angst rock to it. Brilliant stuff.

The Thrills – “Big Sur”

An attempt to try to bring back some Calafornia tinged melancholy pop rock. They probably would have done way better if they had waited till about 2008, when it became fashionable.

Coldplay – “God Put a Smile upon Your Face”

Much better than Clocks. Not as good as The Scientist.

Appleton –  “Everything Eventually”

So close to being All Saints levels of good I want to rave about it but it’s just inches short of brilliant.

David Sneddon“Don’t Let Go”

The first sung line sounds like it could almost be in a Bond theme. The rest doesn’t. Good chord changes… which isn’t much, but I’m trying to be positive.

Ronan Keating“The Long Goodbye”


Darius“Incredible (What I Meant to Say)”

Some nice, odd reversed tape loops in the production add a little interest to an otherwise rather bland number.

Feeder – “Just the Way I’m Feeling”

And a new generation of earnest knobhead acoustic simperers have a song to cover. I just hate it. So much.

Sinéad Quinn –  “What You Need Is…”

It’s better than her last single. Some nice melodic touches cover slightly more for the lack of authenticity.

Melanie C“On the Horizon”

Okay. Sorry. It I have to say it. The party is over ex Spice Girls. It has been since about 2000. Please go home, until enough time has passed for us to get nostalgic about you.

Emma“Free Me”

Seriously. See what I just said Baby Spice. Nobody was looking for a poundland Sade.

S Club“Say Goodbye”

Okay. It’s a pretty strong goodbye song… I almost feel bad for tearing into their later singles.


Better for having Mutya and squad rather than an increasingly leathery looking Sting taking most of the singing on. He should have stopped around 1992 really.

Jay-Z featuring Pharrell Williams“Excuse Me Miss”

Jigga and Pharrell. Before they both lost it. Got to love it. A1 Neptunes production, no embarrassing rhymes. A joy.

Mariah Carey featuring Cam’Ron“Boy (I Need You)”

The reinvention on Mariah Carey as an R&B genius continues. It’s pretty good fun. And let’s face it, Mariah is always entertainingly batshit. Sure the remix was better though.

Ja Rule featuring Ashanti –  “Mezmerize”

Ja Rule always sounds drunk. Whatever happened to him?

Just looked it up. 2 years in prison for possession of a firearm and finding God apparently. Well, that explains why he’s not been about!

Final Verdict

22 out of 42. 52 %. More consistent than Now 54, but lacking the banquet of classics.

This article is part of a series, chronicling a foolish attempt to chronicle the history of modern pop, through the Now That’s What I Call Music series. All the previous articles, and some other fun stuff, can be found here.