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Well I made it back in 1 piece - no Killer Catfish got to me, this time. <BG>

My neighbor and her Father didn't catch anything. *sigh* I grilled some pork steaks, burled some corn on the cob, baked some russet potatoes wrapped in AL foil on the grill and cleaned some green onions, so the trip, hopefully, proved worth something for them. I didn't fish while they were there - mostly just setup my campsite for the weekend and prepped and cooked dinner for us. My neighbor said that she and heer Father had to leave the same day to get back to see her younger sister - She's been in a nursing home for much of her life.

I didn't bother putting up a tent - just slept under the stars on a lounge chair, covered with a blanket. It got a little cold, as the temperature dropped to 50 degrees and I hadn't broken out my sleeping bag - I broke out my sleeping bag the next night and that worked to keep me warm.

Saturday I was surprised by 2 of my friends I had asked if they would like to go. They said that they couldn't because they had to work. Apparently, they changed their minds, closed their restaurant inside Scott AFB and made the trip. It was really nice to see them!! They're both really nice people. They invite me and a few other friends to their home for dinner on a weekly basis, and it's always a relaxed and enjoyable experience. Ju works very long and hard hours. He's a lead chef at River City Casino in St Louis, goes to the restaurant they own at Scott AFB when he gets off work at the casino and preps food for the next day. Then, once a week, he cooks dinner at his home after he finishes at their restaurant at Scott. He's very laid back when he cooks. I have never seen him become frustrated in his work... just, consistently, moves steadily forward. Estela is, pretty much, the same way in that respect - I watched her and Ju's Mother and Aunt, who have been visiting with them from their home in Shanghai for the past month or so, work on making 2000 egg rolls for a special event they helped cater the following day - That's quite a few egg rolls to make in a single night, but they didn't appear at all pressured, or at least didn't show signs of stress.

Anyway, while Ju and Estela were at Coffeen Lake, I caught 3 decent size catfish (roughly around 14" to 17" (head to tail)), cleaned them, bagged them in freezer bags and packed them in my cooler. 2 of them were Channel Catfish. 1 was a Flathead. After they left, I caught another small Channel Catfish - maybe about 3/4 to 1 lb, but should be good to eat. Today I caught another 18" Channel Catfish.

Ju and Estela didn't bring any fishing equipment and their girls really wanted to go fishing, so Estela found a couple of sticks, tied some fishing line and hooks from my tackle box on, and they were in bidness, and caught around 6 Bluegill, the longest being (about) 3", but they had fun... and the fish didn't get thrown back <BG>... I guess they'll be on the menu at their home this week.

I'm going to soak the catfish that I caught in buttermilk - Doing so takes ALL of the "fishy" odor and taste from fish... Best fish I've ever eaten. If you haven't, try it sometime - You will not be disappointed.

Playing around with a breading for deep frying fish last year, I mixed some Corn Starch, AP Flour, a little Corn Meal, Sweat Basil, a little Paprika and Salt and Pepper... I wish I had written down the ratios, as it really turned out really well - next time I will try to do that. I pulled the fish from the buttermilk, doused them in an egg wash for some extra "glue", rolled them in the breading - repeat egg wash and breading and deep fried them in corn oil... I likes corn oil better than vegetable oil. I took half of a catfish to my neighbor for a second opinion. She returned an empty plate to me in about 3 minutes, and told me that it was the best fish that she had tasted, ever. I liked it quite a bit, too, so I don't think that she was lying to be polite.

Bob * on my way to my storage shed to unload my "gear" <g>
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