A Fishy Summer

Gosh, school summer vacation is already over, time sure flies! I spent a good portion of vacation with my husband and teen-age son and a good friend and his three teen-age sons. Just like at work, me and a bunch of boys...

The guys took a bicycle trip from Berlin to Sweden (470 km!), I played team support for the last part of the trip, driving around a car full of tents, sleeping bags, food, and wet clothes. It was actually kind of fun, the very best picnic being the one I set up in V. Sallerup, halfway between Trelleborg and Ystad. We had just picked the place on the map on account of it being half-way and there was a church there, which is easy to find. There was a lovely lawn just outside of the church with a Viking stone engraving set up, so I put out the red checkered tablecloth, loaded it up with food, put out a blanket and sat down to "enjoy" the emails I had just downloaded from an open hotspot in Trelleborg. You have 312 emails!

The sun was shining a gentle breeze was blowing, and the guys really tucked into the food when they arrived. Riding a bike along the seaside seems to make them hungrier than they normally are!

By the time we got to our cabin the weather had turned to cloudy and rainy. To stave off the screams of boredom our friend bravely volunteered to accompany the boys to go fishing. They biked to a store, bought 2 fishing poles, purchased a weekly fishing permit for the Kvesarumsjön, and off they went! Peace. Quiet. Able to read.

They were gone for almost 8 hours! When they came home, they had a bucket filled with little roach fish! And they were so excited and wanted to eat the fish, but were squeamish about fixing them. But that's what we have a Mom for, so she got our her knives, chipped off the scales, and cleaned 20 little fish. Just a little strip of fish from each side of the fish, really.

They wanted fish fingers, so we breaded up the bits, fried them (had to use cornmeal because there wer no bread crumbs to be had in the house!), and they enjoyed it!

The next day, they went out again, and came back again with a mess of fish. Mom insisted on help this time, so it was a communal thing. Not that it was fun or anything, but at least it wasn't all my work. Note the oldest teenager "working" in the background learning to play Kubb.....

No one wanted to eat fish again, so I put the filets on a cookie sheet and shoved them in the freezer.

The next day, they went fishing AGAIN. And caught a bucket full of fish AGAIN. And came home just as a thunderstorm descended on the village, dumping 62 mm of water per square meter in just a few hours. No, Mom did not want to clean fish in a thunderstorm, and not in her kitchen either. So the bucket stayed outside. During the night I heard strange noises - the village cats had found the bucket and were doing a lot of fishing.... we found cat vomit the next morning with lots of fins and fish eyes and stuff in it.... So the fishing dad got assigned burial duty, he went off to the forest and buried the mess.

You would think that this was enough fish, but no, the last day at the cabin was sunny and warm for a change. We decided to fire up the grill. My husband and I went into town to see if we could scare up some grilling meat and some charcol, and the guys said they would get "some fish". Yeah, sure, but be back in 2 hours.

We were working on fanning the fire when the hoarde returned - yep, with a bucket of fish. 13 (count 'em) roach (mört) and 4 carp bream (braxen). And of course, they want the bream grilled. At least that seemed like a good sized fish!

But oh, trying to clean those fish was terrible - hard to cut, millions of bones, and I sure didn't get all of them. In the middle of cleaning the fish the skies darkened and it began to pour. As long as there wasn't lightening and since I was dirty anyway, I just sat outside and cleaned fish in the rain while my husband practiced underwater grilling (a roof on the grill works wonders). We grilled the fish, which fell apart into a million pieces on attempting to remove from the pan. Oh well, it was delicious! The bream was plenty, so I froze the rest of the roach, we have more than enough for a fish dinner some day. Hope the electricity holds up, or we will be having one smelly cabin...

I don't think that I want to have any fish for the next few weeks....


Pterygolepsis said...

Hi Debbie!

Yeah! That was really a great time.
I think we all enjoied it up from the beginning on the bikes just until the calm hours at the lake. Many activities like "Fotbolgolf" or the "Kräftor" made this holidays unforgettable. And next time we' ll control you in "Doppelkopf"!
And by the way, the 4 big fishes are called "Brassen" not carps.
I asked a friend about it, he was really surprised that we' ve got some fish out of the water with that equipment.


P.S. Thanks for the book!

WiseWoman said...

Oh, right, I forgot the fotbollsgolf, playing miniature golf on a biiig field with a foot ball, kicking it around nasty obstacles and into a big sewer-pipe-for-a-hole. The guys beat me into the ground, I guess that was revenge for me winning so handily at Doppelkopf!

Braxen is pronounced Brassen for German ears. But whatever - nice fish!