I have always been a lover of autumn: warm days, brisk evenings, overwhelming colors, pumpkins, ahh…. But recently, I have been having an affair with a month called May. Its refreshing, colorful, giving, and boy is it tasty. The strawberries have began seducing market goers with their vibrant juicy bodies, rhubarb is adding tang to all desserts, radishes are spicing up my sandwiches and salads, the snap peas and carrots are sweeter than ever, and the asparagus… oh asparagus… well, to say the least, I am a happy girl. With all the amazing variety around me, I am inspired and my belly is full.
Also, opening day of fishing was April 28 and we finally managed to get out to Blue River Reservoir last weekend. We caught five trout. And by “we caught,” I mean Shane caught four and I caught one (it was the first and the biggest though!). We brought them home and I took the liberty of gutting and filleting them for a learning experience. I have done portions of the work before, but never the whole process. I took kind of nitty gritty photos of the process, so those with a weak stomach quickly scroll down or stay tuned for my next post!
Step One: I like to soak/wash the fish in icy cold water to get rid of the debris on the outside and to kind of stiffen them up (I’m sorry, kind of sad and weird, but true!)
Step Two: Make an incision from the jaw down to the anus. Over a bucket or bowl, remove organs. If you are a real geeky science-y type, dissect the stomach open and see what the little guys been eating. (Maybe you’ll want to get bait like that next time you go out… just saying…).
Step Three: Cut off the head (unless you want it there, but I think its easier for the next step for it to be gone). Now the head and parts of the fish can be used to make stock. I chose not to do this, but its a great way to use all the parts of the fish.
Step Four: (This is the grossest step) I find it easiest-and its the way my dad taught me- to run my thumb nail down the underpart of the spine to remove the veins and excrement. You can also use a spoon or something with a blunt edge.
Step Five: Rinse the fish inside and out and store/cook properly.
Bam. That wasn’t so bad now, was it?
After I finished cleaning all the fish, I froze three (with date and lake written on the bag) and cooked two of the rainbow beauties up. I stuffed the insides with slices of new onion, butter, basil, and garlic. I sprinkled the skin with salt, pepper, and a bit of lemon juice. I find with cooking fish: the simpler the better. I grilled up some zucchini, asparagus, and spring garlic with salt and pepper. Simple, delicious, and oh so satisfying.
Headed out fishing at Dexter Lake yesterday with no luck at all. We are going back to Blue River this weekend to try and get the freezer stocked up for the months to come.
I love these spring days where I can eat a pint of strawberries and bunch of carrots or a “salad” of basil, snap peas, and radishes for lunch. Stew (the bunny) is happy with all the tops from the turnips and radishes. The potatoes I planted (on a whim) are gorgeous and thriving. I graduate in 3.5 weeks from the University in Oregon. All seems beautiful and right with the world.