If wishes were fishes, we’d have a fish fry.
One of the most challenging aspects of living in the “suburbs” is getting along with the neighbors. We built our home more than 20 years ago in a subdivision of more than 1,200 homes. This opened up a world with every type of person you could imagine. When we first moved in, the majority of the homes were owned by young families. There was the occasional bachelor, a few retirees, and a few homes with two or more extended generations. On our street and directly surrounding us there was a mix of young and old and for the most part we got along fairly well.
Twenty years later, we’ve watched the neighborhood grow-up, age, suffer through illness, die and then slowly a new generation is beginning to join the mix. We hadn’t planned on living here this long, but the economy hasn’t been kind. Our dreams of moving out farther into the country, buying a plot of land, and leaving suburbia have all but died. Still, we have been very lucky in that several of our neighbors are “old timers” like ourselves and been here since the subdivisions inception. These neighbors have evolved from passing acquaintances to friends that we can count on. This is what has made living here tolerable.
Yesterday our neighbor John came home from a morning of fishing on his boat. I watched as he backed his boat into his garage and then sat in a chair cleaning fish. While he worked, our dog Bell sat in the middle of our yard staring at him. He knew what she wanted — a treat. You’d think after three years she’d finally stop playing this game of cat and mouse and go up to him for her treat. I think she must like the game though because this is what they do every time John opens his garage.
John called to her several times for her to come and get her treat. Bell kept still. Not so much as standing up. I could hear John explaining to her that he was busy and couldn’t come to her. Bell didn’t care, she kept her vigil, staring him down, doing her best to break him. Well, it didn’t take too long. With fish still to be cleaned, John got up and walked to where Bell was sitting. Before he got within arms length however she ran away barking. So John turned, pretending he was going to walk away. This made Bell bark even more as she turned and chased after him. When he turned to face her, again she turned and barked as she ran away.
This little game went on until finally Bell ran right up to him so he could give her the treat. The moment she had it safely in her jaw, she sprinted all the way back to our yard. I couldn’t help but wonder, if I went and sat in the middle of our yard, would John give me a treat as well?
Later in the afternoon, John walked across our yards and met me at the back door. In his hands he had a plastic bag with four large, freshly cleaned and boned walleye filets. And I didn’t even have to play cat and mouse with him. Dinner! I’d never had walleye, but John told me it was excellent and similar to perch.
After John left I mixed up some batter, cut the filets into strips, and deep-fried them. What a treat. Living in Michigan, no more than 30 minutes from The Great Lakes, you’d think fresh fish wouldn’t be something new, but it was.
Deep Fried Walleye
- Four Freshly Caught & Cleaned Walleye Filets (these can be caught by you or if you’re as lucky as I am, caught by a very generous neighbor)
- Peanut Oil for deep-frying
- 1 Cup Flour divided
- 1 egg
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- 1/2 tsp. salt
Mix 1/2 Cup flour with salt – set aside. Combine milk and egg. Add to flour mixture and whisk till smooth.
Dredge fish in remaining 1/2 Cup flour.
Heat oil to 375.
Dip fish in batter.
Fry battered filets in oil. Cook 2-3 minutes per side depending on thickness.
Drain on paper towel before serving.
It’s nice to know that there are still new experiences to indulge in, even after all these years, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.