WELL, IN FACT, fish cakes. When we were first married and quite poor we used to have canned fish for dinner fairly often. In fact I think that was the only fish we ever ate in those days: canned tuna, and canned fish cakes. I didn't think too much about what exactly was in those cans. Scraps, I suppose.
Canned fish always makes me think of Cannery Row, in Pacific Grove, just down coast from Monterey. Monterey Bay is incredibly rich with sea life, and in the 1920s, 30s and 40s there were blocks and blocks of canneries there, processing mostly small fish — anchovies, sardines, what my father used to call surf fish, I think. His aunts Gladys and Myrtle had settled in Pacific Grove, and when he was twenty or so he rode the freight cars out to join them, and met my mother who was working in Carmel, and one thing led to another. I guess canned fish was part of the conspiracy that led to my existence.
Cook made these fish cakes herself. She said it was canned fish, and I didn't investigate any further. They were full of flavor: fish and onion, salt and cayenne I think. Lemon, of course. A baked potato and some romanesco, and green salad afterward.