Dick MacKenzie - www.dickshideaway.com
Years ago, on a fly-in fishing trip, my friend Glen and I were in the process of battering and deep frying a catch of walleyes for our group of guys lounging, beers in hand, among clouds of lies stinking up the air in our outpost cabin.
An apple, forgotten on the counter, caught our attention at the same time and, giggling like Sunday School kids playing a prank at the church picnic, we grabbed it up, skinned it, chunked it, and tossed it in the Bisquick, along with a couple dozen delicate morsels of walleye sliced from fillets.
In the spring I planted some potatoes in my garden at camp. It was a new venture. Part way through the summer my plants died. They turned yellow and wilted away.
The rhubarb plants I scooped into a shallow hole beside the garden last fall have flourished like ferns in a rain forest and while breaking off a few stalks to mingle into a peach pie tomorrow, I dug up the dead potato plants, curious to find out what was underneath the surface.
Wow! What a great surprise! I unearthed about three dozen of the most beautiful Yukon Golds I’ve ever fondled. Those potatoes made my heart sing.
I set up a batch of bread dough mid afternoon, mixed my peach/rhubarb pie filling to marry overnight, and whipped up a big jar of blue cheese dip to dance the night away, awaiting tomorrow’s HERF (cigar smoking get-together with “the boys”).
In the morning I’ll bake a loaf of dutch oven bread and the pie in my barbeque, then when the guys, and all our wonderful and intelligent wives, are here at the Palace I’ll fire up a hot burner topped with five gallon cast iron kettle to cook up Buffalo Wings, Sweet Pickerel, and french fries from garden fresh potatoes, to accompany hot bread, smokey pie, wine, single malt, fat cigars, and some of my finest friends.
That fishing trip... part way through supper those many years ago my buddy Pete, puzzled, blurted out over a half bitten hunk of deep fry, “Hey. This one tastes different...”
Smothering a smirk, Glen commented, innocently, “Oh, that’s a sweet pickerel.”
To this day, Sweet Pickerel, discovered accidently, by us anyway, is a traditional delicious part of many cherished meals. Battered, deep fried apple slices...
It was great to be back in Dryden for the Annual Fall Fair this weekend. Thank you to all the organizers and volunteers who once again put on a memorable and entertaining weekend...
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The picture painted here is very similar to my memories of fishing trips I've been on.
I think I'll have to try the battered apple next time we fry up some fish.