South Arkansas summer evenings tend to linger—even more so, if you have pole in hand in pursuit of fish. And when the Boar fishes —he eats! If you doubt it, click “here” for a reminder.
Boar and Sons recently devoured such an evening. Lend an ear as the elder Son of Boar tells the story in the first ever guest post at Marrow & Nectar…
Near the end of a hot summer day, we decided to take our canoe out for another run down the Ouachita river. As soon as we hit water, we cast our lines in hope that soon they would dance with the tugging of a fish. At first nothing. Later a few bites. But no fish. Our hopes dashed a bit, we drifted with the current and frolicked a bit along the way.
As we made our way down the muddy river, we continued to fish with little hope of actually catching one. Absent the thrill of a fish, entertainment came form the scenery and the constant humor—three boys in a canoe seems to bring out the joke-filled banter.
Soon we noticed it was growing dark quickly, and we were only about half way back to the cabin. At this point, Dad (or as you know him “Convivial Boar”), who was plopped down in the rear of the canoe started paddling more forcefully, making the fishing even more difficult. Just before we approached our destination Dad suggested we should troll our lures behind the canoe to attract some smallmouth bass. By this time, we had very little hope of catching a fish.
Then, right before we reached the cabin, my bait got hung on something. I figured another limb, as I had caught several of those along the way prompting lots of jokes about how we might go hungry… “but we could build some furniture.” We stopped the canoe. Then the limb began pulling and tugging. The fight was on! The fish hopped out of the water and raced back and forth hoping to break free. But fortune smiled upon the fisherman this night. Soon the fish was brought aboard and strung up behind the canoe as we raced back to the cabin on the moonlit river.
Nothing like a well-told fishing tale, my friend—except maybe the tasty tale of an appetizer of…
Bass Bites, Crispy Onions, and Heirloom Tomatoes
One feisty, storied, smallmouth bass (filleted and cut into bite size pieces)
Four small Vidalia onions (cut into wedges)
One fresh heirloom tomato (cut into wedges, seasoned with sea salt, black pepper, and oregano)
Cornmeal (about half a cup)
Creole seasoning (Zatarains or Tony Chachere’s, about a tablespoon)
Ground white pepper (teaspoon)
Ground black pepper (teaspoon)
Granulated garlic (teaspoon)
Sea Salt (about two teaspoons)
Bacon Grease or cooking Oil (enough to cover the griddle or pan).
Sprinkle sea salt on the bass bites. Mix the Cornmeal and other seasonings together and batter the onion wedges. Next batter the bass bites.
Heat the griddle over medium heat. Add the cooking oil. (Note: we were lucky enough to have bacon grease leftover from breakfast which infused the onions and fish with a strong note of conviviality).
Add the battered onion wedges to the griddle and allow them to brown a bit on all sides, moving them gently.
Once the onions begin to brown nicely and soften (5 to 7 minutes), move them to one side of the griddle to continue cooking—stirring occasionally.
Place the bass bites on the griddle. Allow the first side to fully brown before flipping—about three minutes.
Flip each bass bite over to brown the other side —about another three minutes.
Remove the bass bites and crispy onions from the griddle and arrange on a platter with the tomato wedges. For an added festive flare and convenient devouring, skewer a few of each item with toothpicks.
Savor the bass bites of summer, my friend.