COOKING UP SOME MEMORIES

( THIS STORY RELATES TO A PART OF THE PREVIOUS STORY SET IN VIDALIA. IT IS THE PRESENT DAY STORY OF THAT LONG AGO MEMORY)

AS I WAS WASHING THE POTS AND PANS RECENTLY, I BEGAN TO LOOK, REALLY, LOOK AT WHAT I WAS WASHING. IT WAS A FISH POACHER. A WHOLE FLOOD OF MEMORIES CAME BACK AS I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS PAN AND THE STORY BEHIND IT.

MY MOTHER WANTED TO BAKE A SHAD. SINCE SHAD IS SUCH A LARGE FISH, SHE DIDN’T HAVE A PAN BIG ENOUGH TO HOLD ONE. IN A KITCHEN STORE IN SAVANNAH, SHE FOUND THE FISH POACHER. IT IS A LONG NARROW PAN, 22 INCHES LONG AND 7 INCHES WIDE AND HAS A RACK INSIDE WITH HANDLES SO THAT WHAT IS COOKED CAN BE EASILY LIFTED UP. IT WAS PERFECT FOR SHAD, BUT NOW THE QUESTION WAS, WHERE TO GET ONE. AT THAT TIME THERE WAS NOT A SEAFOOD STORE IN HINESVILLE BUT ONE OF THE EMPLOYEES AT THE SCHOOL WHERE I WAS TEACHING SAID SHE COULD GET US A NICE FRESH ONE. SHE DID AND MOTHER AND I PROCEEDED TO BAKE A SHAD.

I STILL HAVE THE ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN RECIPE FOR COOKING THE SHAD. IT IS AS FOLLOWS:

  • * * PREHEAT OVEN TO 475 FOR 45 MINUTES AND THEN TURN DOWN TO 275.

“LINE PAN WITH BUTTERED BROWN PAPER. PAT THE FISH DRY INSIDE AND OUT WITH PAPER TOWEL. BUTTER FISH INSIDE AND OUT, THEN SEASON.

LAY FISH IN PAN WITH BACON STRIPS ACROSS IT. ADD 1 1/2 (ONE AND ONE HALF) CUPS VERY HOT WATER (POUR ALONG SIDES OF FISH). PUT THE LID IN PLACE AND PUT IN PREHEATED OVEN. COOK 5 TO 6 HOURS (OR 7 DEPENDING UPON SIZE). AT THE END UNCOVER AND BROWN BACON STRIPS. WHEN COMPLETED THE BONES ( SHAD IS A VERY BONY FISH) WILL BE SOFT LIKE SALMON BONES.” THE PERSON WRITING THE RECIPE ENDED IT IT D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S! SHE WAS RIGHT.

I OFTEN USE THE PAN TO STEAM LARGE PIECES OF SALMON ( SUCH A HEALTHY PROCESS SINCE NO OIL OR FAT IS USED.) I WILL RELATED THAT RECIPE SHORTLY, BUT FIRST, IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN BUYING A FISH POACHER HERE IS A LINK TO ONE ON AMAZON:https://amzn.to/2IE7dVs.

FOR SALMON I HEAT THE OVEN TO 375 AND PUT WATER IN THE BOTTOM OF THE PAN UNDER THE RACK. I SEASON THE SALMON WITH SALT AND PEPPER AND LOTS OF FRESH LEMON JUICE. THEN I STEAM THE SALMON FOR ABOUT 15 TO 20 MINUTES (DEPENDING ON SIZE) UNTIL IT FLAKES EASILY. THIS IS THE BEST SALMON I HAVE EVER EATEN, AND SO GOOD FOR US ALL WITH THE OMEGA 3 FATS (THE HEALTHY FATS!) HOPE YOU WILL TRY IT!

Author: Judy Shippey

I was an elementary teacher for 36 years with three degrees in education, young children being my speciality. I also enjoy gardening, reading and my main interest is cooking, hence the Adventures.

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