Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gone Fishin’

There’s much to look forward to in the sunny month of June: the end of school, longer days to enjoy and, of course, Father’s Day on June 19 this year. Honoring the Daddies and Granddaddies of the world is always done on the third Sunday of June, and being that this date is just around the corner, many of our families have made special plans already.


Fishing is the quintessential father/child activity. It’s the perfect opportunity to get reflective, share some quality time surrounded by beauty and nature, and last but not least: bring something home for Ma to fry up. Whether you catch your entrée yourself or buy the fish, my Fried Tilapia Fingers recipe works well with any fillet that’s a firm white catch—just remember to pick up a few choice lemons to squirt on your finished product and garnish the dinner plate. You’ll also need a trusty container of Old Bay Seasoning; it’s the perfect compliment on fish! To kick up your next fish fry Nana Style, you’re looking at catching asomewhere between 8 to 10 tlipaia and/or catfish; you can purchase that amont at an average “per pound” price of about $8.

It’s well worth the expenditure! These nibbles are a great snack! Paired with French fries and served with vinegar, it reminds one of an authentic English fish and chips meal. But incomplete, to my mind, without a sweet side (read on!). Because it’s summer and in many places, watermelon is already in the height of its growing season, I like to accompany my Father’s Day fish fry with some fresh watermelon slices, drizzled with olive oil and generously sprinkled with fresh mint.

Extra Fisherman’s Notes

I’m sure Daddy’s and Grandpas are born with knowledge on all things bait n’ tackle, but just in case you’re looking for some pointers that will bring amazing success on fishing day, TOP NANA has one to share. Funny disclaimer first: I saw it on a rerun of Little House on the Prairie! Half Pint singlehandedly overfished the local creek using her ma’s doughball recipe as bait. I found Caroline Ingall’s recipe—it’s a little gross, but makes the fisherman a lot less sqeamish than using live crawdaddies, etc.

Classic Doughball recipe:
1 cup bacon grease
3 cups of oats
2-ounce tuna fish or juice from can to add tuna flavoring
7 ounces of chicken liver
3 ounces of Limburger cheese
1 cup of cornmeal
1 tsp. of vanilla
Mix it all into a large bowl and form small doughballs with your hands, and viola—you’re ready for some awesome fresh water fishing; to get more ideas like these that attract every breed of fish in every body of water (including ocean), check out this wonderful resource I found: takemefishing.org. I could have “surfed” forever on their Fishopedia page alone! Their database may just be the start of every cyber-savy fisherman’s tall tale ; )! The one take-away message that really stuck with me is to share a beer or fresh lemonade with Dad, and wait to fish until just before sundown—this is when waters cool and fish rise up from the depths. I suppose the same is true of water temperatures in the early morning, so have Mom or Nana send you off with a proper breakfast and hit the pond early. Here are some links to amazing grab-and-go breakfasts served by TOP NANA and her alter ego, EXTREME PARTY PLANNER:

Blueberry Pie Muffins
Strawberry Scones and Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits

Whoever readies the troops on Father’s Day, make sure it’s a worthy adventure. Everyday, and right now, espcially, we honor all our Dads and father figures. Happy June everyone—relax and make merry. School’s out for summer!


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