Thursday, April 06, 2006

Fish from the Ocean

Living as we do on a small lake, it may seem odd that neither Gerald nor I fish. He has a fishing rod, but I doubt if he has fished four times in the over four years we have lived here.

Over at Pondside Farm, it used to be an ambition of mine to learn to fish and to clean them, so that I could take the grandchildren fishing, let them help me clean them, and then fry them. But I never did that, and I have given up the ambition.

However, good friends and neighbors, Jay and Winnie Payne, not only bring us fish, but Jay cleans it ready for our freezer!! And on occasion, Winnie has even called and told us she is bringing us fish and fixings for our supper. Winnie is such a good cook that I wouldn't dare tell her not to, or I'd be in trouble.

I don't really think anyone can fry fish so it is not tasty, but I know it is not necessarily good for us. So for years I tried to bake fish according to recipes, and all I ever got for my efforts was a stinky kitchen and a not very good fish meal.

We went to visit friends Sonje and Scott and Katie recently when they got back home from visiting her parents in Florida. We enjoyed all the photos of the HUGE fish Scott and his father-in-law's party had caught. Scott presented us not only with oranges but also with a couple of packages of fish he'd caught in the ocean. I was excited at the prospect of cooking fish from way out there in the deep. Admittedly I can and have bought frozen fish at the store, but that did not seem the same as fixing fish that Scott had caught.

I got up my nerve to fix the snapper, and decided to bake it with lemon and butter as Scott said he sometimes does. With the fish thawed, I realized that I didn't have a lemon in the house, and on the farm you don't jump in your car and drive to the corner grocery.

But I had lemon juice which I mixed with melted butter and probably put some sort of spices in the mixture. I can't remember now what I did use exactly; I started to say cumin, but that was what I added to the soup last week the second night I heated it up and thought it had been a bit dull the night before.

Then having recently heard a TV cook advise using capers on fish, I added some capers. (I'd bought them probably a year ago for another recipe, which I misplaced before I used them. I do that more than I'd like myself to do.) I'd learned from the TV cook that capers were pickled flower buds--the dictionary says from a Mediterranean shrub. Although I can't say Gerald or I liked the cooking smell, the snapper was delicious, and we enjoyed knowing we were eating healthy.

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