Here is a picture of the cod casserole my mother cooked this Good Friday in Melbourne, my cousin Robyn took the photo and sent it to me. I wanted to dig right in.
Unfortunately I don’t make cod casserole anymore because my husband is allergic to fish. And no I can’t make it just for myself – salted cod, or stinky fish as we called it as kids, permeates the house when it is cooking and there is nowhere to escape it our apartment. So cod casserole is just a delicious memory for me. I order salt cod anytime I can in a restaurant, but somehow it never seems quite as delicious as I remember this casserole being. The cod is mixed with a béchamel sauce spiced with paprika and, as you can see, topped with bread and cheese, the best part.
In this closeup I see tomatoes in the sauce, I don’t remember them at all. My taste memory was all about the salty fish, spicy creamy sauce and crunchy cheese topping.
I like keeping the tradition of eating a dish or food on a certain day, this makes both the food and day special. For me Easter is not about lamb or chocolate, but cod casserole and hot cross buns.