A Time To Remember: A stroll down Memory Lane
|Our three children all grown up!!!|
Taylor and CJ on the bottom row.
When my children were little, my husband and I both enjoyed fishing with them. On a Sunday afternoon, a great family memory comes to mind when Jeff’s dad Guy, and Jeff and I would take the 3 kids and go fish.
Jeff’s mom didn’t really care to fish, so she would stay home and start preparations for our traditional fish fry upon our return. I see now that she had great confidence in us catching enough fish for the traditional fish fry. The power of positive thinking back then still holds true today. We never disappointed her.
|Papaw shows them how to cast their line.|
With excitement, they fetched the minnow trap from the barn, a piece of bread from the breadbox then took off, the two of them, on the golf cart to set the trap in the pool of water in the crossing. Bingo. Two hours later, they proudly brought home a bucket of minnows for the next morning’s fish. Papaw helped them put the minnow bucket in the water and secured it to the dock for the next day though he had to work.
At the pond it there was a cool breeze blowing and nature at its finest. “First, we have to put on a bigger hook, this tiny one is fine for bluegills, but it will bend from the weight of the big fish we are going to catch this morning,” I encouraged them with positive thinking. Next, I instructed them on how to tie the hook properly, though I struggled without my reading glasses. “Thread, wrap, wrap, wrap, then knot, pull and then do it again,” I instructed. Helping me made them pay more attention, by being my eyes as I struggled to see the clear fishing line while tying the knot in the morning sun. Then it was a lesson in how to stick your hand in the minnow bucket and pull out a minnow in your hand with just his mouth showing so that you can hook both his lips. Then both headed to the end of the dock to get started.
|While we fish, the Corgyns wait patiently for their next ride.|
|Looky, Looky! Bass & Crappie|
After the fish were cleaned and soaking in salt water, Mamaw Mitchell, Gerry, my mother-in-law placed the traditional fish fry pan, an oversize, cast-iron skillet, which was once her mother-in-law’s fish frying skillet, on the burner. Next she added some Crisco and while it was heating, she began rolling the fish in whipped eggs with a dash of milk and next in flour seasoned with only salt and pepper, placing each piece on a big platter until the grease was just the right temperature then she started transferring them to the skillet. By now, we all had worked up a huge appetite and could hardly wait. (So in the meantime, Guy would insist that I try his homemade dandelion, blackberry, strawberry, elderberry or peach wine, whichever he had made that year. Wow. And that is all I will say about that!)
Finally we sat down to one of the best meals and memories one could have. The perfectly, golden brown fish, the homemade, oven baked macaroni and cheese with cracker crumbs on top, giant, meaty lima beans the size of quarters, Silver Queen corn from her deep freeze that she put up every year and taught us newlyweds how to do the same. Oh and here was the best, while we were fishing, she also made her famous Refrigerator Yeast Crescent Rolls. We sat at her round kitchen table, with oval, platter sized, restaurant plates of good food, a little homemade wine. All was well with the world!
So you can imagine, how on this morning, while, the grandchildren where pulling in the fish, all these fine memories were running through my mind. I smiled to the heavens, hoping that I too would be giving them a sweet memory that they would remember for a life time.
“We are going to have a fish fry,” I told Jeff when I sent him the pictures. So I pulled out a medium Wagner, cast-iron skillet. It wasn’t the gigantic-one his mother used through the years, though we have that skillet somewhere in our house. I let my memory serve me as I rolled the fish in the egg mixture and flour. The fish turned out beautiful, just like my mother-in-law taught me. I was proud of me too.