Sunday, May 11, 2008

Berger Beer-Battered Bass

One of the things I dearly loved to do as a teen was visit mom's relatives in Washington state. Grandma and Grandpa had a house on a lake, and during the summer, any kids there had free run of the place as long as the chores were done.

For me that meant fishing and swimming just about every day. One of my most relaxing and cherished memories is me reclining in an innertube (a real one, not these beach-y things they sell these days) in the sun on the lake, about 25 yards from the shore. I'd passed the swim test (swim 200 yards without stopping) and so was allowed to be out beyond the dock. I was too far away from the little kids for them to bug me, but close enough to hurry in if there was trouble. To this day if I'm asked to visualize myself relaxing in some self-help excercise, that's where I go.

As for the fishing, I'd learned the bobber and hook method on trips with dad's side of the family. Now I learned bass hunting: lures, places to fish, how to set the hook, and how to get the bugger off and measure it.

I liked the bass fishing better - I could keep my hands occupied and yet not work very hard and usually could bring a few home for dinner.

We'd usually have beer battered fish when I did bring in a catch. First we'd skin the fish, then fillet. The beer batter would be flour or crackers, with salt and pepper, and whatever beer we happened to be drinking that evening. Dredge the fish planks in the batter and shallow fry on medium heat. The fish was done pretty quickly - once the batter crusted and turned golden brown.

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