A Couple of Tarts

We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink, for dining alone is leading the life of a lion or wolf. ~ Epicurus

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Fishing with Karen

I apologize in advance if any of the images or descriptions offend any readers (especially my vegetarian blog sister). If you have an aversion to fish, fishing or anything having to do with getting the fish from the water to the table, you should probably skip this post. (Tune in next week for mangosteens and LA radio!)

Okay, now that it's just us, I can tell you about the amazing time I had this past Saturday fishing off of Long Island. A group of people from one of RFC's circles rented a boat for a day of fishing. Wives, children and girlfriends were invited. Yay! Truthfully, when this was first brought up, I was more looking forward to the prospect of being out on the water that the actual fishing part. I didn't think I would do too much of that, maybe give it a try. In fact, what happened was that I fished just about the whole time we were out. And I actually caught about 15 fish! Most had to be thrown back because they were too small, but I did reel in four "keepers," three sea bass and one porgy. I did a little research and what I caught was specifically a black sea bass. Porgy refers to a number of similar fish and is very flat. I couldn't figure out which kind I had pulled up. RFC was also lucky, catching about the same amount as I did. I do believe luck had a lot to do with it. I am sure under other circumstances skill plays a part, but with at least ten lines going off every side of the boat, it seemed you caught a fish if one decided to nibble on your particular bait (we used clams). It was super cool to learn how to use the fishing pole, the reel, the release. I hooked my own finger many times in the beginning before getting the hang of grabbing the line. The least pleasant part was unhooking the fish. I found myself apologizing to my catch as I struggled to work the hook out of its mouth, and sometimes it's eye (yuck!), even if I was about to throw it back in. Two of the fish I meant to keep made a mad dash for freedom as I finally got the hook out and flopped right back over the side of the boat. Towards the end of the trip, one of the crew collected our catch and filleted them for us. He made quick work of the fish, gutting and skinning them with only a few flicks of the knife.

We took our prized bag to RFC's and fired up the barbecue. We seasoned the fish with salt and pepper, fresh dill, olive oil, and lemon and wrapped in tin foil packets. The end result was simple and light, a perfect late-summer dinner. The sea bass was the more tender of the two, although both were on the firm side. The porgy was fishier tasting and a little bony. It was very satisfying to be cooking and eating the very fish we had caught that morning. Most people, myself included, don't have much of a connection between the source of food and what shows up in the refrigerator. This was just a small way to see the link.


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