Feb 7, 2013 Still Reeling

Written By: Paulette Kenyon, February 7, 2013

I’m still on cloud nine over that sturgeon I caught last month. I think of that story by Ernest Hemingway, “The Old Man & the Sea.” It’s a story as old as time. And, yet, when it happens, it’s an extraordinary moment.

 For me, it’s that moment when I know that the fish on the other end of the line is an intelligent creature and it has earned beyond measure my respect and admiration. It’s also when there is an added challenge or obstacles arise that you must overcome or work around.

 Often, the challenge is weather. I can remember well all the times we caught fish that were fabulous while the boat was spinning in the wind and we could barely stand up or it was pouring down rain. 

It wasn’t the weather this time. At times like this, I am so glad that I met Eric and learned to fish. Before I met him, I loved the outdoors and I’d had outdoor experiences; but, I had very little fishing experience. 

My ex-husband once said, “I had enough of the outdoors in Vietnam.” So, although, we spent too much time smoking cigarettes and talking about the myriad of subjects that rattled through his brain, he did introduce me to eating fish, southern cooking, and the tartar sauce at the Palm Gardens. 

I’ve just started reading a book called “Your Inner Fish.” It sounds like a fishing book; but, it’s a book by an evolutionary scientist/paleontologist. He explains that if you study the bones in the evolution of fish, you will notice that they have just about everything that we have when you get to the part of evolution where they begin to develop limbs and lungs; and, scientists have been finding fish from that period in rock formations where “missing link” fish are now being found – where fish began to develop a neck, lungs or limbs. 

After catching that sturgeon last month, it doesn’t surprise me that we have evolved from fish and their ancestors. Even consider the sturgeon. To me, sometimes sturgeon tastes an awful lot like veal when you bread it and fry it. 

There are so many different kinds of fish. I have to laugh, though, because I use to tell Eric that this woman I use to know looked like a Lingcod. So, maybe that’s where she evolved from. Who knows who our ancestors are? It’s fun to wonder. 

I like that we are all connected and are all distant kin with each other with only a slight jag in the genetic code here and there. Anyway, if I wasn’t so chatty this time, I would’ve shared a recipe for a possible ancestor, the Lingcod. However, usually my clam chowder recipes come out in January; so, here’s a new Clam Chowder recipe for you to enjoy during this cold snap that we’re having. 

A couple of months ago, I discovered these gloriously colorful “mini” sweet peppers in the store. Most of the stores have them in a cellophane package and have red, orange, and varying shades of yellow peppers in the bags. I’ve been roasting them under the broiler, putting them into a bag to steam, then peeling, seeding, and chopping them up to put into the freezer into little bags to use in my cooking. 

 

Colorful Clam & Corn Chowder

1 onion, chopped 

2 Tbsp. flour 

3-1.2 Cups chicken broth 

1/2 lb clams, chopped 

1 Cup chopped, roasted, seeded, peeled, & chopped mini peppers 

2/4 Cup half & half 

2 red potatoes, chopped 

Garlic salt & lemon pepper 

1/2 bag (8 oz) frozen corn 

4 slices bacon, cooked, drained, & crumbled 

1 Tbsp. olive oil 

1 Tbsp. butter 

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley 

 

Heat a pot and add the olive oil and butter. Add in the onions, cover and cook on medium-low heat until softened. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir for a minute until it dissolves into the onions. Add in the chicken broth and stir until the flour is dissolved. Heat the broth and add in the potatoes and corn. Heat until it bubbles. 

Then, turn the heat to medium-low again and cook for 10 minutes. Add in the half and half and cook for another 10 minutes. Add the clams, peppers, and spices. Reheat and cook another 5 minutes. Add in the parsley and bacon a couple minutes before serving. Serves 2-3 people. Serve with salad and crunchy garlic bread. Yum! 

If you have any questions, comments, recipes or cooking tips to share, feel free to write me at: Paulette or Cookin Yer Catch; c/o The Fish Sniffer; PO Box 776; Colfax, CA 95713 or email me at cookcatch@comcast.net.

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