So last night around 9:30pm I was in bed with LittleBit, trying in vain to get him to sleep (have I mentioned that this midnight-sun thing, while poetic and weirdly beautiful, has wreaked havoc with all of our sleep habits?) when the doorbell rang. I called out to Esquire to get the door (I was not dressed to do it myself). Turns out it was a kid from church, sharing some fish he had caught while out fishing for the day. A very kind gesture. I can't imagine how many fish he and his family caught, since the parcels they were sharing around were huge. What to do with about fifty pounds of smelt? I've never eaten smelt, and while the seem like they'll be tasty enough, they are tiny little fishes and to me tiny fish says time-consuming prep work. Last night we just rinsed, bagged, and froze them whole. If we'd stayed up to gut and behead them all, we'd have been up all night (just like the sun, ha-ha-ha). We'll gut and possibly filet them by the batch, as we thaw them out.
Anyway, I mentioned it on facebook and between friends' suggestions and a little interweb digging I did on my own, I've discovered that they are usually either pickled (¡qué asco!) or fried. I can fry up a fish. I'm not too keen on leaving the bones in, even if sources say they become soft and edible with frying. I have to head home to Colorado for a bit here soon (more on that later, because it will be accompanied by a tirade about the lack of decent mental health care in the bush), and while I'm there I'll get some fileting lessons from my mom. She is the queen of tasty fish. Not only can she prepare it dozens of delicious ways, but she also always pulls in her bag limit or more every time we go fishing. She has some kind of special fish mojo. And, she can filet-debone even the most delicate little brook trout. Since the smelt are about the same size as small brookies, I think the skill will translate just fine, if I can get the hang of it.
I sense we'll be eating lots of fried fish this summer.
So, Esquire and I were up a good part of the night cleaning fish (and LittleBit was up, happy as a clam, chattering away in his high chair). At one point, both of us up to our elbows in dead fish, he turns to me and smiles, and says,
"So is this sexy or what?"
I paused before responding. "If you're suggesting that this is foreplay, you're wrong."
Laughs all around. Seriously, Esquire? I know that he thinks that it's sexy that we're having this crazy adventure, but some things just aren't sexy. Ever.
More tomorrow on why I am at my wit's end trying to get some crazy-care around here. For today I will just be grateful for the fish.