Strange Fish

When we were first married, my husband had a streak of good luck fishing for unusual fish. He kept bringing home strange looking fish.

A true pre-historic fish, the spoonbill is a boneless fish, with a spinal cord that looks like a rope and a tail that looks like a propeller and a big flat spout that looks like the beaver’s tail. Also called a paddlefish, they can grow up to 7 feet long and up to 200 pounds and in Oklahoma at least they are caught by snagging or using a giant hook to catch them on their body.

 The biggest spoonbill my husband ever snagged was 60 pounds. He hung it by the “paddle” from a tree, cut around the tail, and pulled the spinal cord out. We chopped it into big chunks, dipped it into cornmeal, and deep fried it. It was very good. We froze a large amount to eat later, but when I thawed and cooked it, I didn’t like it.

Once hubby came home with buffalo, buffalo fish that is. Most people throw them back since they are full of bones. I didn’t really want to bother with it, but Mom said that they used to eat buffalo, after it was pressure-cooked, so we canned it. In January when I opened the fish to eat it, the fish reminded me of jack mackerel, and we made “tuna” sandwiches and “tuna” patties.

Paul had some rough times too and he mentioned frequently that he worked for his living instead of depending on the people in the churches.

“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.” Philippians 4:12 NLT.

There are many things that we ate back in those early days of our marriage when we were struggling to get by because we weren’t too good to eat fish that wasn’t commonly served.