My younger brother, Scott, and his son, Matt, just returned from a fishing trip to Temple Bay Lodge in Ontario.
Fishing runs in the family. We all grew up around water and boats, spending our summer vacation trapping frogs and turtles, catching fish and swimming. My stepfather's sole goal for many years was to catch just one muskie in northern Wisconsin.
I admit that my enjoyment of fishing was directly related to being in a boat on the water with a book, where my younger siblings were far away and no one would interrupt me reading. On the other hand, I'm not squeamish, so I could set a line and clean fish when needed.
My brother said the total fish count for him and his son during the six-day trip was 400. It's mostly catch and release, but the photos he sent were astounding. My nephew Matt got his Northern Pike on a jig and minnow. It was 34 inches long and weighed 11 pounds. Scott got a 37-inch, 14-pounder with what he called a "Rattle Trap."
"They fileted my Northern, and when we took it out of the dry ice (at home), the package looked like we had a roast," Scott said. "They stacked four fillets on top of each other."
But they also had a "shore lunch" while they were out on the lake with a guide. Scott's no wimp around the kitchen, so here's how he described the meal they prepared.
Two-burner Coleman stove.
One bucket, two frying pans.
Two 20-ounce soda bottles filled with cooking oil.
You fill the bucket with water, and put a can of corn and a can of beans in the water and start heating it up on the stove.
The lodge boils small red potatoes the night before and puts them in a plastic bag. You are also given a large onion and a green pepper.
Put cooking oil in one frying pan, slice up the potatoes, onion and green pepper and add them in.
Stir so the 1950s frying pan doesn't burn the food.
Meanwhile, the guide is cleaning the fish and rinsing them off in the lake. He then pats the fish dry and puts the fish in a plastic bag with cornmeal breading.
The potatoes, onion and peppers are done, so you place the frying pan on top of the bucket with the hot water to keep them warm.
You fry up the fish skin side down and fry until golden brown in the other skillet. You don't flip the fish.
Doesn't take long. Pat with paper towels to get off the extra grease. Serve with white bread and butter. Open up the cans of corn and beans. It's great.
Do not toss the hot water. You clean the plates and silverware in the hot water.
The horse flies and mosquitoes aren't so great, but that's part of the shore lunch.
I've been thinking of a light dessert for a summer dinner. This recipe is from Taste of Home.
1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained and patted dry
1 cup (8 ounces) vanilla yogurt
2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
2 cups whipped topping
In a large bowl, combine the oranges, yogurt and orange juice concentrate. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon into serving dishes. Cover and freeze until firm. Remove from the freezer 10 minutes before serving. Yield: 4 servings.
This recipe, also from Taste of Home, was part of a story by Susan M. Selasky of the Detroit Free Press Test Kitchen. She tested the recipe using two different ice creams: Southern Butter Pecan Crunch and Triple Brownie. she said an Internet search turned up all sorts of comments and recipes that used a variety of ice creams. Some even added fruit, like blueberries and bananas, to the batter, with good results.
Tips she pointed out: The ice cream needs to be softened so it mixes easily with the flour. Scoop out what you need, place in a bowl and let it sit out a good 30 minutes. "The rest is gravy," she said. "Mix the two with sugar, spoon the batter into a loaf pan sprayed with nonstick spray and then bake.
Easy as pie." She said her batch seemed to take longer to bake, but the end results were fine. She said the butter pecan bread had a floury taste, but the triple brownie tasted much better.
ICE CREAM BREAD
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup butter pecan ice cream or favorite ice cream, softened
3/4 cup self-rising flour (see cook's note)
1 tablespoon sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Coat a mini (5 3/4-inch-by-3-inch-by-2-inch) loaf pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine the ice cream, flour and sugar. Transfer to the loaf pan.
Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.
Cook's note: As a substitute for self-rising flour, place 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a measuring cup. Add all-purpose flour to measure 3/4 cup and combine well.
Makes 1 mini-loaf (6 servings). Per slice: 217 calories, 4 grams fat, 18 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams protein, 217 mg sodium, 8 mg cholesterol.
This is a recipe I saved that was created by the late Chef Ollie Sommer of Southwestern Illinois College. It is a classic and perfect for any dinner party.
PRINCESS ANNE POTATOES
3 Russet potatoes, medium size, peeled and sliced 1/4 -inch thick
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons all-purpose seasoning
1 teaspoon paprika
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2-quarter casserole dish.
Place sliced potatoes in dish shingle style (layered diagonally on top of one another).
Add 1 cup chicken broth to potatoes and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and seasoning.
Cover and bake 1 hour. Remove cover. Garnish potatoes with paprika. Bake 15 minutes more, or until potatoes are lightly brown. Remove from oven. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired. Makes six portions.
Here's how to reach me: Phone, 239-2664; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org; or write, Suzanne Boyle, Belleville News-Democrat, P.O. Box 427, 120 S. Illinois St., Belleville, IL 62222-0427.