Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

fish or vegetable

Saturday I'm going to do a challenge I have not done since I was much younger--indeed, now that I think about it, perhaps I've never done it, but only talked about doing it since I was 10. Maybe I have done it--I'm often surprised by what I forget. I think it's a worthy challenge, in any event. It's the "fish or potatoes" challenge.

It works like this--one goes fishing at a nearby promising lake. One takes along vegetables, aluminum foil, and charcoal and an easy-to-predict list of similar things. Then one fishes. If fish of keeper size are caught, then lunch is grilled fish and vegetables. If no keeper size fish are caught, then lunch is vegetables.

I usually catch and release, so that it will be an experience I have not had in years to clean fish. The plan will involve using old-fashioned charcoal in a park grill rather than bringing a proper gas grill, so I'm intrigued to see how well it all works out. Perhaps it will be sublime. Perhaps it will be disaster. It's like trying a new cafe.

The weather here is seasonably hot, beginning in the low 70s and increasing to the low 90s almost every day.
I like extremely warm weather. Even its tendency to send other people indoors is a good thing if one enjoys, as I do, a bit of solitude with one's nature walks. Mimosa are in bloom here and there. When I was a kid, mimosa trees were ubiquitous--now they are considered "undesirables", and only appear in a few yards. Fashions change.

Now that I think about it, we'll get some of the vegetables at a local farmer's stand on the way to the pond. I am all for eating locally-grown food, because some of my fondest childhood memories are of fresh produce. My father was a small-town doctor in a fairly rural area. People would give us squash and blackberries and corn and black-eyed peas, all grown in local gardens. There's something amazing about fresh-shelled black-eyed peas.

I'm always grateful to my small-town upbringing for a lot of reasons--its emphasis on the best of the middle class virtues and de-emphasis on the worst of them; the casual assumption that everyone can and should be able to keep himself/herself entertained; the reinforced assumption that in some ways we are all in this together; a love for observation of small things in nature and in people; and a sense that the center of the universe is where one plants one's own map, rather than some elusive map-point off in the distance.

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