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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Post for/from my Father, and Notes on Hunting/Fishing

Greetings everybody!

I was inspired to write this post when my father gave me some serious crap about not posting a recipe that he'd sent me back in October.  See, as the food blogger around here, I get pictures and notes about the things my family and friends cook.  I feel like a proud mama when they show off their work.  In my mind, I'm no authority on cooking.  It's something that belongs to all of us, and is an essential part of our culture. I feel privileged to share in cooking and eating with people both near and far.  This community is one of the best parts of food blogging, for me.

When I was a child, I was completely opposed to hunting.  My uncle Chuck solidified my position when he brought home a deer and declared that it was Bambi's mother.  (It was, of course, a buck, but I was too young to know the difference and too horrified to ask any follow-up questions.)  But aside from this traumatic event, hunting wild animals ran directly against my general sense of passivism.  This combined with my typical contrarian attitude, and a too-long lingering delusion that I had a special connection to animals (if they could only understand that I was different than other humans! Fern Gully also convinced me that I could converse with plants.) put me squarely in the anti-hunting camp.

As I grew up, the disgust and opposition faded to apathy, and as I have become a more rational person, I have started to realize that hunting is not only an ethical thing to do, but it's a vital part of midwestern culture.  My passion for local foods has only strengthened my conviction that hunting and fishing are not barbaric rituals, but a source of high-quality sustainable protein.  My father did not hunt in my lifetime, but he has always been an avid fisherman.  It's something that he did with his father, and we did with him.  We camped often, and these trips almost always included a fishing trip.  These sojourns alone were comforting, and I'll always crave the placid fresh water and slow rocking of the row boat.  Though every trip did not end with a large harvest, we almost always got something.  I'm interested in what people do with what little they can get, and small fish from lakes and rivers offer a potential for creativity.

My father (who shares a name with my husband, by the way.) likes to keep his cooking very simple so the quality of the ingredients shines through.  When he sent me his recipe for fish breading and a photo, I knew I had to share it with you guys.  It's dead easy, and the results are mouthwatering.

He began with some small white fillets caught in Palo, Iowa, just north of my hometown of Cedar Rapids.

After patting the fillets dry, he began by dipping the fillets in beaten eggs.  After shaking off the excess egg, Dad rolled the fish in breading.  Here's the ratio:

2 parts Shore Lunch breading mix

1 part Potato Buds dehydrated potatoes

1 part Lemon Pepper Panko breadcrumbs


He checked his canola oil for proper temperature by dropping in some breading.  Once the breading fried he knew the oil was hot enough, so he cooked the fillets for two minutes on each side.

Here's what Papa said:

"Here's a great picture for your blog, but most people would consider the
recipe nothing special, but that's the point, its simple. Love, Master Khan"

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Looks good, huh?

So Pa, I'm sorry I took so long to put this up, but I'm ready for any fish you want to cook me.

Readers, what are your thoughts on hunting?  Is it something you've always known?  Or something you care to never see or deal with?  What ethical issues do you think it raises? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

I wouldn't want to post just one picture, and this one is too cute not to share, so here' s a picture of my little friend Maggie and some photos from her recent visit to our house.  You can read about her father's discoveries about adopting a real food diet on his new blog, The Selective Omnivore.

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This is what we ate:

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She liked Timmy.

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See you soon, loves.

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