Whoever coined the mantra – ‘do what you love and love what you do’ – surely must have had psychopathic tendencies. Because, let’s be honest, if I could survive on my passions, I would be earning a decent living downing these fish burgers and watching Sex and the City reruns. But in case the negative naysayers in your life haven’t already told you a thousand times (*spoiler alert*) LIFE IS NO WALK IN THE PARK, OK?! And, in actual fact, you have to pay money to eat burgers!! As most Westerners struggling with a tirade of first-world woes, bills and general discontent with our cushy lives already know, working is a largely sucky necessity. And that would be fine, if we didn’t have to pretend otherwise.
Gone are the days where it was perfectly acceptable to work in a toothpaste factory five days a week, 9am – 5pm, and still maintain some kind of mental normalcy and positive self-talk. This expectation that we should be relishing every second we spend at work, PLUS having at least three extra-curricular passion projects, is a pretty infantile notion and one sneakily adopted by our employers. I’ve read the back page of the Sydney Morning Herald, like, at least once over a long black, and so I know the ins and outs of the Australian economy pretty intricately. And I know that all this ‘we want you to love your job' bullshit, is a devious tactic designed to save money and leave us feeling so emotionally satiated we never want to leave. When really, I would be perfectly happy at work if my office was filled with cute baby lambs and I was allowed to drink beer at my desk.
But it is no coincidence that modern workplaces value soft skills, like 'positivity' and 'ability to work with initiative,’ over tangible experience and training in, say, waterslide repairs or IMAX screen cleaning. It doesn't matter if you can type at seven million words per minute, you also must radiate manic enthusiasm for your tasks at all times. Why is it so bad to accept the fact that we are really just working for that sweet, sweet, cash money? I couldn't survive without those dollars that so graciously support my smoked salmon and avocado abuse problem. If we were truly spiritually happy in our workplaces, we wouldn’t be demanding payment for the time we spent there. We would be ever so grateful that we were being paid at all to do what we loved, that bonuses and overtime would be foreign concepts.
All of this is total BS though, considering I recently quit my PR job* to move to New York and chase my fish burger filled dreams – joining the whimsical ranks alongside myriad others who probably take their lives far too seriously.
*Soul-sucking vacuous hole where I would genuinely rather strangle myself with my camera strap than answer the phone chirpily one more time.
Either way, when my recent passport stamping lurched me one step closer to my fantasy of being generously reimbursed to write, eat, and photograph things from the comfort of my pyjamas, I thought it only fitting to celebrate with a big ol’ burger with a twist.
- 2 snapper fillets (or other white fish)
- 1 large orange sweet potato, peeled and grated
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- ½ cup sour cream or greek yoghurt
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 2 eggs
- 4 + 1 tablespoons organic wholemeal spelt flour
- 1 teaspoon ground garlic
- About 10 sprigs finely chopped thyme
- Juice of half a lemon + zest
- 1 tablespoon mustard (I used a sharp English one, but Dijon would be great too!)
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Snow peas, top and tailed
- Himalayan pink salt
- Coat snapper fillets lightly in salt, pepper and remaining flour.
- Fry until in coconut oil until golden.
SNOW PEA CHIPS
- Coat snow peas in olive oil.
- Season with salt.
- Bake on a low heat, turning halfway, until crisp.
- In a large bowl, combine grated sweet potato, eggs, cumin, turmeric, lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste and four tablespoons of flour.
- In a large frypan, heat about 1 cm of coconut oil.
- Form patties using your hands and cook in the oil until crispy and golden.
- Remove and set aside.
- In a saucepan, splash some olive oil and fry peas.
- Once cooked, turn down heat and add mustard, thyme, garlic, lemon juice and salt and pepper.
- Smash with a fork or masher.
- Stir through Greek yoghurt or sour cream. Simmer until majority of liquid has evaporated.
- Place one rosti down. Smear with pea mash.
- Top with fillet of fish and snow pea chips.
- Seal the deal with another rosti.
- Stuff face while watching favourite TV series.