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Folklore: Blind Fish

Rapparee 10 Sep 06 - 06:45 PM
GUEST 10 Sep 06 - 06:52 PM
Bonecruncher 10 Sep 06 - 07:03 PM
GUEST 10 Sep 06 - 07:04 PM
Sorcha 10 Sep 06 - 07:37 PM
s&r 11 Sep 06 - 07:04 AM
Hovering Bob 12 Sep 06 - 07:02 AM
Grab 12 Sep 06 - 07:13 AM
Rapparee 12 Sep 06 - 08:43 AM
dick greenhaus 12 Sep 06 - 11:19 AM
Uncle_DaveO 12 Sep 06 - 02:50 PM
Snuffy 12 Sep 06 - 02:58 PM
Acme 12 Sep 06 - 03:53 PM
GUEST 20 May 12 - 04:58 PM
GUEST,Monica 22 Feb 13 - 06:33 PM
GUEST 16 Jun 13 - 08:45 AM
GUEST,Guest 25 Dec 13 - 10:37 AM
GUEST,IanG 25 Dec 13 - 10:49 AM
Rapparee 25 Dec 13 - 11:36 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Dec 13 - 02:45 PM
Joe_F 25 Dec 13 - 06:28 PM
Reinhard 25 Dec 13 - 07:06 PM
GUEST,Karen 31 Mar 14 - 10:20 AM
Ebbie 31 Mar 14 - 10:32 AM
GUEST, Dayton Ky/Cincinnati other side of river 02 Dec 14 - 01:03 PM
Jack Campin 02 Dec 14 - 01:39 PM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 02 Dec 14 - 01:46 PM
GUEST,Vicky Schmidt 18 Jan 16 - 10:54 AM
Harry Rivers 19 Jan 16 - 03:27 AM
GUEST,Susan Cole 10 Feb 16 - 03:17 PM
Acme 10 Feb 16 - 06:07 PM
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Subject: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: Rapparee
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 06:45 PM

Azizi's thread on food memories reminded me that I wanted to see if anyone could contribute to this.

Growing up in West-Central Illinois, on the banks of the BIG Muddy, my grandmother would sometimes prepare a dish called "Blind Fish." It was tasty, and later I learned another name for it: French Toast (or to you in the UK, Fried Bread).

Much later I began wondering why Grandma called it "Blind Fish." My sister-in-law said that the name came from the fact that it was often served when a fisherman would come home empy-handed, or "blind."

Has anyone heard of this? Could my SIL's explanation possibly be correct?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 06:52 PM

There is meal I heard about from a Maritime friend. It was Potatoes and Point. When I asked what Point was, I was told it was the bare spot where the meat or fish should have been.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: Bonecruncher
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 07:03 PM

Here in UK "French Toast" is usually bread dipped in beaten egg, then fried. I understand it came about during WW11 when food was rationed here. More people could be fed on a small amount of ingredients.
Another one was Bread and Pullet.
Hold the bread in your teeth and pull the crust!
Colyn.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 07:04 PM

LOL

Had lots of that when I was a kid.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: Sorcha
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 07:37 PM

Shit on a Shingle....chipped beef gravy (white sauce) over toast.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: s&r
Date: 11 Sep 06 - 07:04 AM

Fsh (no i)

Stu


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: Hovering Bob
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 07:02 AM

That's awful Stu! Almost as bad as the 'bread and milk' my grandmother used to make me eat.

BobH


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: Grab
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 07:13 AM

Cooking a pie crust without a filling (you fill with rice or something similar to keep the crust from collapsing, then replace with the proper filling later) is called "blind baking". Maybe that's a link to the origin?

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: Rapparee
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 08:43 AM

My mother and grandmother used to bake pie crusts that way (I don't know what they filled them with when they baked them), but they never called them much of anything other than "pie crusts" that I know of.

Perhaps "Blind Fish" is too regional?

And I've eaten "Spaghetti With Out Sauce".


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 11:19 AM

Back in the 1930s a depression meal was often a Western sandwich--two slices of bread with wide open spaces between thm.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 02:50 PM

When I was a kid, my step-father, an oldish Irishman, when talking about hard times and the like, would say, "When I was a kid, lots of times our supper was 'breaded nothing'."

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: Snuffy
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 02:58 PM

Bacon Shapes: fry a rasher of bacon and press it between two slices of bread. Remove bacon and give a slice of bread each to the kids. Put bacon between 2 more slices and give to father.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: Acme
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 03:53 PM

Just so you're not scooping up pup fish to slap on the bread, Rapaire!

I remember my mom telling us about food rationing and how it was portrayed during WWII. She loved to describe a scene from a wartime Betty Grable movie, in which the person cooking took a fat slice of bread, cut a square hole (maybe 1.5 x 1.5 inches) in the middle, put the bread on a griddle then broke an egg into the middle of the bread to cook in the hole. She said the audience in the theater would sigh with pleasure at the sight of that egg cooking.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: GUEST
Date: 20 May 12 - 04:58 PM

I had Blind Fish as a child. It was the same as French Toast. I mentioned it yesterday and nobody had ever heard of French Toast being called that. Glad someone else knows what I am talking about. I live in Missouri and my family is German.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: GUEST,Monica
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 06:33 PM

My family hails from Southern Illinois. They are German and Catholic.

The secret to the whole blind fish thing is Lent. You eat fish on Fridays, and french toast is an acceptable meatless alternative.

In the early days of this tradition, loaves of bread were more elongated,and when dipped and fried looked very fish like. Hence, 'blind fish'.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jun 13 - 08:45 AM

Wow! My Grandmother used to call French toast Blind Fish because her mother did. They were German as well. I never understood why it was called that. Good to know others call it that as well.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 25 Dec 13 - 10:37 AM

Wow!
Nobody I know has every associated "blind fish" with French toast!
My grandmother called French toast blind fish as well. She was of Italian decent and very catholic. We are also from Missouri.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: GUEST,IanG
Date: 25 Dec 13 - 10:49 AM

"Bobbies be some 'ot water and bread and sugar, sugar was 2d a pound and yo' could buy 'a'porth. We'd have bobby every mornin' only we knowed it was no good for we. It was bread and waiter but it was a banquet"
George Dunn, chainmaker and singer, Quarry Bank, Dudley 1970


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: Rapparee
Date: 25 Dec 13 - 11:36 AM

Missouri and Illinois, in an area directly across from Missouri, and linked to those of German descent and possibly Catholic. Hmmm...Watson, there may be a clew here!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Dec 13 - 02:45 PM

German Wikipedia article-

Toast- "for a version made with spiced wine instead of milk: versoffene Jungfrau. or Drunken Virgin.

blinde Fische, blind fish, for savory toast.
reiche Ritter, rich Knights, toast served with jam or sauce.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: Joe_F
Date: 25 Dec 13 - 06:28 PM

There are actually blind fish. They live in the pools in caves. (That brings up a question I have never seen answered: Plenty of animals make light, but always to be seen by, never to see by. Why? A fish with a lamp might do very well in one of those dark pools.)

French toast in the US means what Colin says it means in the UK (except that some milk is usually mixed with the egg). I had some this morning & did not consider it short rations. On the contrary, I have always considered it a luxurious breakfast.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: Reinhard
Date: 25 Dec 13 - 07:06 PM

I know this from my childhood as "Arme Ritter" (poor knights) as it was a way to make stale bread eatable. Maybe not short rations but definitely making good usage of available food.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: GUEST,Karen
Date: 31 Mar 14 - 10:20 AM

My mother made "blind fish" on Fridays when I was growing up in Cincinnati. I never heard it called French toast till I was in high school.   My family is also of German Catholic origin.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: Ebbie
Date: 31 Mar 14 - 10:32 AM

Back in 1880 when gold was first discovered in Juneau, Alaska, most of the miners went 'home' that first winter but some stayed over. Supplies were skimpy and one miner reported they had subsisted mainly on "snowballs and pepper."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: GUEST, Dayton Ky/Cincinnati other side of river
Date: 02 Dec 14 - 01:03 PM

my parents full German on father, German/Scottish on my mother side.
it was always call blind fish in our house and it would be served at suppertime on rare occasions , I liked it cause it was a sweet meal with the maple syrup.
As being the youngest I spent the most time living with my Grandparents before going to school, I dont remember ever eating this there.

Bread ( the heal was the best part for me.) dipped in scrambled egg no milk added. 2 second dip & flip and out into pan.

none of my friends at school ever heard it call that so I always assumed it was a Scottish descent term rather than a German phrase, but I only had 1 Grandfather that served in WWI he got his citizenship by serving for the US Army from Scotland. He never made it to the front line but was stationed in France for the last 6 months of the war..   So did he bring the term with him and where did he get it from ..... hows that for guessing where the term originated


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Dec 14 - 01:39 PM

I've never heard "blind fish" in Scotland, it's always "French toast" (though it's not very common here).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 02 Dec 14 - 01:46 PM

I've only just noticed this thread, so apologies if this has been said before.

Here in Liverpool, the staple diet of the labouring poor was scouse, aka Irish stew or Lancashire hotpot. However, when times were particularly bad, the woman of the house would often find that she couldn't afford the price of meat - a very necessary ingredient. When that happened she'd serve up what was known as blind scouse, because you'd lose your eyes looking for the meat.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: GUEST,Vicky Schmidt
Date: 18 Jan 16 - 10:54 AM

I am so glad to find this site.I was beginning to think I was crazy. My parents were both of German decent and I grew up calling french toast "blind fish". When I went into nursing and was passing out food trays I had the hardest time remembering to call it french toast. I would love to find out the origin of the term "blind fish".


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: Harry Rivers
Date: 19 Jan 16 - 03:27 AM

"French toast"? Too posh!

In our house (Black Country, UK) it was Eggy Bread.

Harry


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: GUEST,Susan Cole
Date: 10 Feb 16 - 03:17 PM

We frequently had blind fish for dinner. I didn't know it was really what others call French toast until I left home. I come from a German family. Third generation. Still love blind fish.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Blind Fish
From: Acme
Date: 10 Feb 16 - 06:07 PM

Send a question (call or write) to the radio program A Way With Words. They love these kinds of regional imported phrases.


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