Peter Gor­don’s taste of home

Fresh fish for break­fast, canned oys­ters from the phar­macy and his dad’s frit­ters make up

The Guardian - Cook - - To Finish -

hen I was grow­ing up, my fa­ther Bruce wanted us all to like oys­ters. In New Zealand, you get spe­cial bluff oys­ters from the south of South Is­land: lovely spec­i­mens with the creami­est flavour.

When I was lit­tle, though, for some rea­son you could only get them in a can. Which you bought in a phar­macy. Not sure why. New Zealand was strange in those days.

WSo we weren’t at all con­vinced about oys­ters. The tex­ture was too much for us. We’d watch our dad shove one in his gob and think “that is so dis­gust­ing”. So he de­cided to cut stale white bread into cubes and pour the juice from a can of oys­ters (which he ate) over them, then dip those into a fish-and-chips-style beer bat­ter. He’d fry them – a de­li­cious oys­ter-flavoured crunch – and that’s how he got us all hooked. We’re all great oys­ter fans now.

We lived in Castle­cliff, a part of Whanganui, a coastal town on the west coast of North Is­land. Our house was known as the Zigzag House – you can see the colour­ful roof-tile pat­tern from which it got its name on Google Earth. It sits on a half-acre plot. We had a swim­ming pool that my fa­ther built, and an elec­tric merry-go-round based on a wash­ing ma­chine mo­tor that he knocked to­gether, too. All the kids were given a bit of land, and we’d

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