Remembering When…

If my son had to choose a favorite meal he’d be torn between three choices, tacos, enchiladas and…my personal favorite (NOT!)…tuna and noodles.  That last one is what he requests most often so it’s often his supper of choice.  Not mine!  If that’s what he wants, I’ll almost always have something else.  Soup, oatmeal and toast-anything that doesn’t include tuna.  Nothing will make me nauseous much quicker than that.

Thinking about it brought to mind a couple of different times in my life though.  First, the ‘big’ vacations we would take with my mother’s family when I was growing up.  Everyone would kick in to rent three or four cabins on a lake and then eight families, plus my grandparents, would crowd into them for a week.

One of the highlights was getting to clean the fish.  I don’t know why, especially considering my weak stomach.  But when I was a kid, it was cool.

On the other hand I still have trouble eating peanut butter from one of those vacation lunches.  Should have known when my baby brother offered to make me a sandwich that something was up.  That’s what I get for having my nose stuck in a book I guess.

What did I get?  A sandwich with peanut butter about an inch thick!  Something that came to my attention after taking my first distracted bite.  It might not have been bad had he also brought me a gallon of milk to wash it down…

About a decade later this same brother called and wanted to know if I wanted some fish he and his buddy had caught that day.  I recalled how good fresh-caught fish tasted on those vacations so sure, why not?  They weren’t cleaned, he warned.  well, I had plenty of experience.  No problem.

And so he brought over a five gallon bucket, not quite half full of bluegill.  It’s really quite astounding how many fish were in that bucket.

What I hadn’t considered was the fact that my stomach was about a decade older.  Cleaning fish at thirty is a lot different than cleaning it at fifteen.  Sitting on my screened in porch scaling, sawing heads off, and gutting about five million fish seemed to take hours.

In fact, it did.  I suspect that near constant gagging probably slowed the whole process down a bit.  But eventually it was finished and I froze most of them in water filled packages, anticipating all the fish we’d be eating for months to come.

Until I fried up what had been left out.

I don’t know if it was the particular lake they’d been caught in or what but those were the fishiest tasting fish I’ve ever had the misfortune to eat.  The taste stayed with me for hours, and is probably why my youngest daughter hates fish to this day.

Even worse, when my dad came up for a visit from Tennessee, he specifically asked me to thaw some out for one of the get-togethers.  A get-together for which I’d gone to the trouble of making homemade cinnamon rolls.  This was before I got my bread machine so all the kneading was by hand.

I tried to warn him about how awful the fish was but he assured me that the way he cooked it, it would be perfect (wish I had a picture of him kissing his fingers and thumb like a chef), so I tasted it.  And for the rest of the day that’s all I could taste.

The whole fishy cinnamon roll thing really didn’t work for me.


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9 Responses to Remembering When…

  1. Fabio Bueno says:

    Ugh, your post reminded me that when I was kid, I was a very picky eater. I survived on milk for breakfast, french fries and beef for the main meals, and bananas for snacks. Not a balanced diet.
    Loved the funny clips!

    • Well, you ate from 4 food groups…dairy, veggies, protein and fruit. Just not a wide variety. 🙂

      When I was growing up unless something made you throw up (one of my brothers was good at this), you sat at the table until you cleaned your plate. But now all of us tend to be a little picky. I haven’t bought a can of butter beans since I moved out of my parents house…and I never will!

      Those clips are something, aren’t they? I never know what I’m going to find when I start snooping around YouTube. That fishing guy is hilarious! 🙂

  2. I’m with you, Natalie. Might have been cool when I was a young teenager, but now it falls under the ‘it’s a guy thing.’ All I want to do now is buy Pollock or Cape Capensis and COOK it. 🙂

  3. Eeeeke…this is why hubby handles all fish-related stuff – cleaning, cooking etc!!! I love salmon and haddock (store bought) but hubby loves to catch trout (which are yummy) but I won’t touch the things. LOL!!

  4. I wouldn’t even know where to begin to clean and scale a fish! I do like fish, but when I was pregnant with my youngest, I made salmon one night (which up to then was my favorite!) The smell made me SO sick & of course it lingered in my house for days. It took me a long while to be able to eat it again (& even now, it’s not as much as before) Funny how that stuff stays with you!

    (BTW – I’m a big tuna casserole fan, but kids hate it! – maybe we should switch kids haha)

    • I might know how to do it, but if I can possibly help it, I’ll NEVER do it again, lol.

      Hmm about the salmon. That’s never been a fish I like either. But it’s funny, fish was one of the things I craved when I was pregnant. Not any that was actually good for me. No, more along the lines of batter dipped, deep fried Pollock.

      But I know what you mean about it staying with you. I craved Mountain Dew during my first pregnancy. Haven’t been able to take so much as a sip since.

      LOL about switching kids. My son would LOVE tuna casserole two or three times a week. Maybe more! 🙂

  5. Just watching it again and cringing at the thought of falling into the water where they got stuck on the log. Ewww!

  6. I know! I was giggling through most of it. That guy is so funny when things don’t go right. I’d have loved to have seen a video of what happened with your dad’s motor. And them searching for it. But how cool is it that it STILL worked! You’d have thought a drowned motor would have been shot.

    The only amusing thing I can think of involving a fishing boat is that on those vacations I mentioned, my grandpa would let the smaller kids ski behind his. Looked kind of silly but the kids loved it! 🙂

  7. who knew fishing bloopers could be so funny? reminded me a time, many years ago when the outboard motor on my dad’s little fishing boat flew off and into the lake. Ouch. they toured that lake for hours, holding an aquarium to look thru, to try to see the motor on the bottom of this shallow but dirty lake.

    Ironically after 3 days of looking they found the darned thing. Pulled it out of the lake, drained the water off it and attached it to the boat. A new sparkplug and one pull on the cord and it started. Ran like a top for several years.

    wish I had that on film.

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