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Happy First Fish!

Here’s our 5 year old proudly displaying the first fish he ever caught, just a couple of days ago. Itty-bitty little bluegill — and he went on to catch four more somewhat larger ones while I caught a decent sunfish, a crappie, and a smallmouth bass.

 

He was THRILLED to have caught more fish than I did. 🙂
When I was a kid we threw small panfish like that bluegill back. I have come to learn that panfish spawn eggs by the thousands, and in small lakes like the one we were fishing in they’ll generate a huge population quickly if someone isn’t eating them.
I’m sure the local bass, herons, and cranes eat way more than our little catch, but we took them home.

 

Small fish are good practice for my needs-work filleting skills. 5 year old Victor got an education in where food comes from: with my hands guiding his, he cleaned the very first fish he caught, and he ate it as a lightly breaded quick-fried fish nugget side dish.
If we eat meat, and all of us do but our 18 year old vegetarian, we should be aware of its origins, yes?

 

Also, with such tiny fish there need be little waste. The same light cornstarch & cornmeal dusting and a longer fry in slightly cooler oil, and you can eat the remaining bones and meat like crunchy fish potato crisps. But fishy and full of calcium. Chew carefully. Take small bites.

 

When I was a kid, we threw the little ones back, even though we often suffered food insecurity in the first 10 years of my life, when we lived in Wisconsin and our main income was my dad’s construction work — which tends to be seasonal, oddly enough, up north where it’s cold as hell in the winter. If we’d had more sense, or less pride, or thought of fishing as a way to get food instead of recreation, we’d have eaten them. Interesting, how our minds partition things based on our life experience. Dad was a city kid from Detroit, mom from a middle class background in a small town in Wisconsin. Fishing was something you did to have a good time, not to eat.

 

Well, times are tough and my family lives below the poverty line. I’ll be damned if I’m paying for a fishing licence and not turning a profit on it in seafood! (Side note: I’m trying to write our way above the poverty line — look above, there’s a tab marked “Support me on Patreon.” Look to the right, there are links to places to buy my ebooks. Even picking up a free one makes me a smidge more visible on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or wherever you get it from. I appreciate the hell our of anything you might do to make my dreams come true and my family’s bottom line healthier!)

 

And I hope you’ve had something wonderful in your life recently, something that compares with watching your kid catch his first fish.
I’m still smiling about it. 🙂

SciFi News Network 2092: Advertisement: Ask Your Doctor If NeroScarfin Is Right For You

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OBESITY WILL KILL YOU!

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Ask your doctor if NeroScarfin is right for you — and it almost certainly will be, as the side effects are infrequent and usually minor. Ask your doctor to discuss them with you, and if NeroScarfin is not right for you, what you can do to achieve the health you need to take NeroScarfin — because you need NeroScarfin!

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[The folks supporting me over on my Patreon page saw this 3 days before it was posted here — plus they have my seriously big and frequent thankyous for their generosity. Head on over and give a self-published indie author struggling for a break — me, silly! — a little love. Thanks!]

Relativity For Your Mouth

Our perceptions are WAY more dependent on our expectations and preconceptions than we like to think.

Do you think, perhaps, that this extends beyond food to our social and political worlds? I’m wondering, too, how it has colored my perception of short stories and novels I’ve liked or disliked in the past.

Hmm!

Thirteen Word Story: The Great War of Bob’s Cat

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As Bob’s horror grew, the cat slowly devoured the tiny alien emissary. War!

Thirteen Word Story: Revenge Of The Food

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He worried endlessly about his diet.

He died young: heart attack from stress.

————-

I like six-word stories, but I thought I’d try a slightly longer form.

And thirteen is my favorite number.

Unless we’re talking money, in which case my favorite number involves a whole bunch of zeroes.

Rice Cooker Cake Update

Cooking a cake in a rice cooker works just fine.

Doing a double batch will take frickin’ forever.  Next time I do this, I’m using a single box of mix (or a recipe for one layer, 8″ round (or is it 9″? I can never remember. A regular made-it-at-home size cake.)).

The cake was particularly dense and moist.  I think a fluffier texture can be attained by removing the vent plug that slows the escape of moisture during normal rice cooking.  So next time I’ll do that.

So, there’s your update.  Feel free to go crazy making cakes in your rice cookers.  You don’t even have to adjust your recipes.

What Do You Do? Nor’easter Edition

What do you do when a nor’easter storm threatens?  Even better, threatens with snow, which here in coastal Virginia pretty much shuts the place down.

If you’re me, you settle in for some writing time.  But that’s not enough.

Time to bake a cake.  Since we have a bunch of cake mixes that my couponing wife picked up for a pittance, I’ve decided to experiment.

One triple chocolate fudge mix, one butter pecan mix.

And just for giggles, I’ve recently found out thanks to the wonder of the internet that you can bake a cake in a rice cooker.  So I’m trying that out.

I’ll let you know if it’s a good idea, or a recipe for distaster.  There might be a picture of an amaterishly frosted cake.  No promises.

What’s With the Pretzel Buns?

Pretzel buns seem to be the new fast-food and not-so-fast food fad.  You want a bun that tastes vaguely like the cousin of a soft pretzel?  Okay, fine.  Whatever.

The pretzel-bunned burgers billed as totally awesome because of their amazing pretzel buns, though… that misses the mark.

A burger or a sandwich is about the filling.  The bread is a sideshow.  It can be a delicious sideshow.  The sideshow can change the way you taste the main event, enhance it.  But the advertisements I’ve seen reverse that.  They’re all about the wow holy shit it’s kinda like a pretzel oh nom nom nom and the patty and trimmings and condiments are just kind of there to prop up those two halves of the pretzel buns and keep them from touching each other for some reason.  Maybe it’s like Ghostbusters where you can’t cross the streams.  Don’t cross the buns, it’ll be terrible.  Which makes me wonder how we can get away with something called ‘hot cross buns’ without a catastrophe befalling us, but that’s a different subject.

In any event: burgers and sandwiches shouldn’t be about what’s outside first and what’s inside second.  Sort of like people.

Dear Fruit Growers : Wrong Way

I’m eating apricots and I think: these are basically tiny peaches. But they have smoother flesh, they’re sweeter, they’re more flavorful than their larger cousins.

Same with cherries. Tiny plums, just way more delicious.

People like the giant Red Globe grapes, but they are bland and watery, if crisp. The modest Concord blows them away in flavor.

And yet producers breed for bigger fruit. Bigger and less delicious.

Where are the visionaries breeding for smaller, tastier fruit? Where are my tiny apricots the size of a dime and so delicious I’d collapse to the ground with my eyes rolled back into my head?

Where’s the Good Corn?

Corn is starting to show up in the grocery stores in my urban habitat.  What I am used to this meaning: figuring out which store has the yellow corn this year, not the white corn that is most prevalent.

 

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This is what I’m looking for.  So far this year, nobody has it.  Instead, they have white corn.

What, you ask, do you have against white corn?  Well, just that it is bland, flavorless, and tastes more like sugar than anything else.  It doesn’t taste like corn.  It doesn’t have that corny corniness that is corn.  White corn is sweet baby food.  Yellow corn is corn.

So where is all of the yellow corn?  Is the white corn early, greenhouse-planted corn, earmarked (no pun intended) for the supermarket?  Is it all white because that’s what most people seem to want to buy?  Is the yellow corn still all in the fields, is it going to be late summer before I see any?

Is it all being made into ethanol to add to gasoline?  Is the less desirable yellow corn all slated for export?  Is it all being turned into syrup to make soft drinks and bread and… well, that crap seems to get added to damn near everything, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn it was in the ground beef, too.

Maybe I should have my eye on the field corn being grown in the fields right outside of town, waiting to be made into animal feed because it’s too starchy for my fellow Americans’ taste… which is itself sort of odd, because we’re all about potatoes, and it doesn’t get much starchier than that.

I bet that field corn is the corniest tasting corn that ever corned.