B is For Blowfish
Do you remember blowfish? They use to be abundant in the Great South Bay on the south shore of Long Island. They were everywhere—along the piers, in the seaweed grassland, and in a million secrete fishing holes. Blowfishing was an easy way to get kids fishing. My dad would fasten a small hook at the end of a string for each little kid in our tremendous brood. Dad taught us to wrap a piece of clam on the hook. Over the dock or boat railing we would throw the hook. The first big lesson was to remember to hold onto the other end of the string. In no time, (it must have been within seconds because I do not remember any of my siblings or cousins with an attention span that lasted more than a minute), a tiny reverberation, a tug, and finally a pull brought up a buck-tooth blowfish.
My daughters were always game for an hour or so of fishing for blowfish. “Petting” the belly was a favorite activity.
Besides being fun to fish, blowfish are delicious. Blowfish tails are the only edible part of the fish. Rinse the tails, sprinkle seasoned breadcrumbs on them, drizzle oil, and bake. Mix up a little mayonnaise and relish to dip the tails. Ketchup works just as well depending on your palate’s preferences.
Sadly, blowfish are now rarely seen or caught here on the Great South Bay. Their numbers have fallen drastically as had starfish, eelgrass, and clams. Blame is put on pesticide run-off, climate change, overfishing and such. There are a lot of issues that need to be addressed. In the meantime, memories have to suffice.
Welcome to my Blogging A-Z April 2018 Challenge. My theme is Food Stories Remembered because there is always a story when food is involved. I consider myself a good home cook with a great appetite for hearty food. I have witnessed the creation of favorite recipes in friends’ kitchens and have learned from the best—my mother, grandmother, and mother-in-law. Recipes may be included. I am remaining uncommitted on this because when I cook, I seldom measure. If you try any of my recipes, you are cooking at your own risk. Grab a glass of wine. Hope you’re hungry!
Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.