Supermoons and Super-tasty Salmon and Dill Fishcakes

Last month there was a significant date in the astrological calendar. Yep, it was the night of the 'supermoon'. To be honest, although it sounded good, I really didn't know what a supermoon was. A normal moon but with a cape?

So I did a bit of research and found out that we were going to encounter the nearest approach of the Moon to Earth for the past 18 years, bringing it some 30,000 miles closer than usual. Ok, that's fairly cool in itself. But what was really cool, was all the hocus-pocus myths, facts and theories associated with the supermoons. Below I present you with some of that hocus-pocus stuff that was being banded about.......

 Pic.No.1 I went to the fields at the back of my house and took this picture of the supermoon rising over Oxford. It's a bit rubbish really - the moon looks a all weedy

1.  The supermoon will cause chaos on earth

As the title suggests, the astrologer who coined the phrase 'supermoon' (Richard Nolle) predicted that it would coincide with chaos on earth. I was keen to found out why this would be the case and undertook some further research because I am a sad puppy like that, and I need to get out more.

His theory was that the gravitational pull of the moon (the same gravitational pull that causes high and low tides) is stronger when the moon is nearer the earth, strong enough in fact, to cause significant tectonic shifts as well as geothermal and seismic activity. And then the same Mr Astrologer chappy went on to claim that the supermoon was behind the New Zealand and Japan earthquakes. Coincidence? More than likely; especially as scientists claim there is no evidence to support the theory, which is a posh way of saying that Mr Astrologer is talking bollocks.

 Pic.No.2 The supermoon again. How come my supermoon looks smaller than everyone elses?

2. The supermoon turns you into a mentalist

Apparently, during full- and supermoons, there is a far higher rate of suicides and homicides. Not only that, but psychiatric facilities time and again report far higher levels of aggression amongst patients when there is a full- or supermoon. This theory is not a new one. Indeed, the words 'lunatic' and 'lunacy' are dervied from Luna, the Roman moon goddess.

Coincidence? It appears not, because I actually found some proper research* concluding that schizophrenic patients show a deterioration in mental well-being during a full moon.

So there you go my lovelies .......... if you have any particularly troublesome neighbours, go and bump them off on the night of a full moon, and then blame it on the white blob in the sky. Job done. Defence sorted. I'm helpful like that.

Pic.No.3 See what I mean about my supermoon being crap compared to everyone elses? This picture (which I nicked from a newspaper) was taken at Glastonbury which is about 50 miles away from Oxford. I feel like I am being discriminated against, moonwise that is

3. A supermoon is a sight to behold

No it isn't. In actual fact, a supermoon is only 0.3% bigger than a normal full-moon. And as such, experts claim that it's unlikely that a novice on the ground (that'll be me) would be able to discern the difference between a full-moon and a supermoon. Which probably explains why my supermoon pictures were not quite living up to my expectations shall we say.

* Barr, W. (2000). Lunacy revisited: The influence of the moon on mental health and quality of life. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Service, 38 28-35.


After all the "excitement" of the supermoon, I had to hotfoot it to Steve's (Izzy's dad) house in the village because we had arranged to have dinner together with Izzy. Yep, I know it is an unconventional set-up, but I liken it to Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, except that Steve isn't interested in adopting kids and then boffing them.

Pic.No.1 Steve had decided to cook salmon fishcakes. He poached the salmon in milk and then spooned it out so he could mix it in with the potato to make the fishcakes


Pic.No.2 The fishcakes were covered in 'Jamie Oliver' tangy lemon breadcrumbs and then baked in the oven


Pic.No.3 The candles were lit in readiness for the meal


Pic.No.4 Then the fishcakes were served with stir-fried noodles and greens 


Pic.No.5 Chocks Away! Everyone tuck in! This is a picture of Steve and Izzy stuffing their faces with tangy lemon fishcakes

I have to say, the meal was the dog's danglies. It was so tasty that it made up for the fact that my supermoon photos looked rubbish.
Here is the recipe if you fancy trying it:
  • 800g (1.8 lbs) skinless salmon fillets
  • 2 bay leaves
  • small bunch dill, stalks and fronds separated
  • 500ml (1 pint) milk
  • 600g (1.3 lbs) Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and chopped into even sized chunks
  • zest 1 lemon 
  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 tbsp capers, rinsed and dried
  • Flour for dusting your hands
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100g (half a cup) breadcrumbs (or use Jamie Oliver ready-made lemony breadcrumbs for extra 'tang'
  • 4 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
  • Lemon wedges and watercress, to serve 
Pic.No.6  Look! A picture of the ingredients


1. Poaching the salmon: Put the salmon in a frying pan with the bay leaves and dill stalks. Pour over enough milk to cover the fish (you may not need all the milk), bring to the boil, then lower heat to a gentle simmer and leave to poach for 4 mins. Turn off the heat, then leave the fish to continue cooking in the poaching liquid for 5 mins. Lift the salmon out with a fish slice onto a plate. Flake into large pieces with a fork, then leave to cool.

2. Making and drying out the mash: Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for about 10 mins, or until tender. Drain well, then leave to cool in a colander for 2 mins. Tip back into the pan and return to the hob on a low setting. Mash the potatoes, watching that the mash doesn't catch at the bottom of the pan, for 2-3 mins - it should be dry and fluffy. Stir in lemon zest, mayonnaise, mustard, capers and some seasoning.

3. Mixing and shaping fish cakes. Pat away any liquid from the fish, then carefully lift the pieces into the pan with the mash. With your hands, gently mix together until roughly combined; it should take just a few movements or the fish will break up. Dust hands and work surface with flour. Shape a handful of the mix into a patty-shaped cake, about 2.5cm (1 inch) thick. Repeat to make 8 cakes.

4. Breadcrumbing and browning. Dip the cakes into the egg, then press into the breadcrumbs all over. Heat half the oil in a frying pan until very hot. Fry 4 fish cakes for 5 mins each side until golden. Alternatively for a healthy option, you can cook them in the oven at 200 degrees (Gas Mark 6, 400F) until the breadcrumbs are golden brown (that is what Steve did). Remove; keep warm. Repeat with the rest, or freeze. Serve with lemon wedges and watercress.

 Pic.No.7 Fishcakes baked in the oven

Nutrition (if fried. Obviously calories and fat will be significantly reduced if oven-baked)

431 kcalories, protein 27g, carbohydrate 27g, fat 25 g, saturated fat 5g, fibre 2g, sugar 4g, salt 1.05 g

So let me know what you think if you decide to give it a go!
P.S. Did you manage to get any pictures of the supermoon, or have you experienced any supermoon lunacy?

Annie (Lady M) x

Anne Dickens | The day after yesterday


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