Watching my dinner swim

In my quest to eat healthfully and locally, I’ve zeroed in on fish as the most obvious way to go. Living in Florida means that dinner can often be found swimming just hours before it’s on the table. Not really knowing too much about fishing, I looked to a colleague for information, advice, and, well, the actual catching of the fish to be honest. I’m afraid I did little more than ask questions and take a lot of pictures. But to anyone who would listen, I went fishing.

On a gorgeous January evening after work, I met said colleague at a friend’s dock. He pointed out a few different kinds of fish – mullet and sheepshead are the two I can remember – and pointed out the dorsal fin of a nearby dolphin. Quite a few pelicans hung out with what turned out to be two feeding dolphins. They were probably hoping to catch a few fish themselves. Duck, egrets and a few seagulls rounded out the resident wildlife in a scene that can only be described as breathtaking.

Enter the net. This was a big heavy thing that I’m not sure I could drag around let alone hurl out into the water. So I watched. And took pictures. And asked questions. Then it snagged a fish. A big (by my standards) mullet. The poor thing flopped around and looked quite helpless. I felt a bit sorry for it, but had visions of the perfect flour dredging and a pan of hot oil. I did blurt out an apology, though. I’ve been far too removed from my food source for far too long. A hunter I’m not. Not much of a fisherman either. My friend wasn’t doing too badly, though. Another mullet made its way into the net. This one a bit smaller.

Filleting was another occasion for me to stand around taking pictures. I don’t really care to cut up grocery store-bought chicken, so I’m certainly not ready to butcher something with eyes and a slightly shocked expression.

It wasn’t too much longer before I was in the kitchen watching Husband fry up some lovely pieces of tender perfectly-cooked mullet. He’s quite the chef is my husband and we all sat down for a very fresh, very local, very healthful dinner.

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