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Pioneer Potluck: More memories about Dad (John McClure) from my sister Ginger (who now resides in Boulder, Colorado)

Posted: May 1, 2013 - 9:06am

About more memories about Dad (John McClure-) from my Sister Ginger (who now resides in Boulder, Colorado)

Northern Colorado, on the farm.- about 1945 to 1955

Dad’s recipe for cooking carp.

Story One

Dad would tell you “Catch the biggest, ugliest, “most-est” bottom-feeding carp you can find. Bring it home, measure it, go to the lumber stack and select a piece of flat plank-(freshly cut is best)-the same length as the fish. Lay the cleaned fish on top of the plank; add some lemon slices, salt and pepper on top. Put in the oven and bake for one hour at 350°. Remove from the oven, throw away the fish and eat plank!!” He always said this is the only way that he would ever eat carp!

Grandpa and kids Fishing for Catfish with Bamboo Poles.

Story two.

One late summer evening, Dad gathered all his kids, probably a few the neighbor kids and a couple of Stonebraker nephews and we all headed for a warm lake near our house. We were going fishing for catfish.

Nobody had any fancy fishing tackle. Everybody had a bamboo pole with the piece of fishing line attached and a rather small hook tied to the line. Dad never got to fish for catfish because it was his job to bait all the hooks, line up all the kids on the shoreline, then at the count of three, we’d flip that pole around and fling the worm into the water.

With lots of laughter and squeals, the fun began. We caught little 6 to 8 inch catfish. It was Dad who scurried up and down the shoreline removing the fish and throwing them in a bushel basket. Then he needed to bait the hook and move onto the next kid. He looked like someone in a speeded up movie frantically keep all our lines as busy as possible! We had so much fun we hated to leave when he called a halt to the fishing fun, because the basket was overflowing with dozens of small Catfish.

There wasn’t much left of the fish after Dad chopped off the heads, leaving the gutted fillet ready for mom to dredging cornmeal and deep fry in bacon grease. We ate our fill. Mom would “just keep’m comin’” (in Dads vernacular) until we and Dad could not eat anymore. The fish were so small that the bones disintegrated into crispy wisps so we ate the cat fish (minus the head,) bones and all. As usual mom had homemade buttered bread just in case we choked on a bone. Now that was good eating!!

Written by my sister Virginia R. McClure (Ginger)

This is a story written by my neice, Regina,

(Who lives in Wellington, Colorado.)

About the 1960’s on a cattle ranch Dad owned at Woods Landing, Colorado

It was always fun to go fishing with Grandpa McClure and my Dad, John Jr,

This is a fish story about Grandpa who owned ranches up in Woods Landing, My dad, John Junior, and I would go up and help put up hay. . I always had the best time. I remember the first time that Grandpa and my Dad took time out to take me fishing. I had never been fishing before!

We took the old Willy’s Jeep and drove forever it seemed. Dad got my new Snoopy fishing pole out and set it up. Then we started walking. I didn’t see any “pond” in sight because of all the willow bushes. Actually we were fishing in a little creek!

My feet kept getting stuck in the swampy area and Dad had to get me unstuck several times. I kept asking “have we made it to the “fishing hole” yet?” I bet I asked that every two minutes. Finally, Grandpa tells me to kneel down so the fish don’t see us and he told me to be very quiet so the fish wouldn’t hear me or they would swim away. Dad had my Snoopy fishing pole to keep it from getting tangled in the willow bushes. I was kneeling down and trying to be quiet but still getting stuck. This took a long but we finally made it to the “pond.” In my eyes it was a pond not a stream!

My dad put a worm on my Snoopy line. I dropped it in the “pond” and I immediately got a fish. I was so excited! I thought I had a big fish! I yanked it through the willow bushes and looked at it. It was a baby fish!! And it had swallowed the hook! I started to cry because he was such a little tiny fish. Dad was trying to pull the hook out of the mouth with the pliers.

Grandpa and my Dad were so excited for me for catching a fish so fast. But I was crying because I killed the baby fish and I felt horrible. They just laughed and laughed at me. Grandpa told me it was not a “baby fish” they were the fish we wanted and that they were called brookies. Everyone we caught was little! I wanted to catch a BIG FISH so I sat in the willow bushes and pouted.

My Dad and Grandpa caught enough brookies by that afternoon for a fish dinner that night. Of course my Grandma was the expert it cooking fish. That was the best fish I’ve ever eaten.

We went fishing for brookies a lot that year. It sure was fun, thanks to my Dad, Grandpa and Grandma McClure! It was one of the best time of my life!

Written by Regina Sue McClure Bevins

PEACH CUSTARD PIE

Line and deep pie plate with pie crust, or better yet go buy one! I have these on and in the freezer always. Cover the unfilled pie crust with foil and bake at 450° for 5 min.

In a large bowl mix;

3-16 ounces cans of sliced peaches or 1 quart of home canned-I prefer the Cling or Alberta’s.

2 eggs slightly beaten

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 cup Brown sugar

Pour into hot pie shell

Sprinkle with the following topping

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup Brown sugar

3 tablespoons butter melted

Mix to blend and sprinkle over top of peaches. Bake at 375° for 20 to 30 min. Cool and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

SALMON CHOWDER

In a large glass or stainless steel cooking pot sauté in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil the following.

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup diced green pepper or red pepper or combination

Sauté until vegetables are tender and add;

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 can chicken broth

2 large unpeeled new potatoes scrubbed and diced

2 large carrots sliced

Simmer 15 min. until the potatoes are tender

Add 1 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon dill weed optional

1 can cream style corn

1 can of canned milk

Stir in and bring to a slow simmer BUT DO NOT BOIL!

Add:

1 pint of salmon and the liquid with dark pieces removed.

Gently stir in and take off the stove. Stir in 1 tablespoon of butter. Ladle into warm serving bowls and sprinkle with dill weed and once again dot with butter. Serve with oyster crackers or saltines, a large spoon and Mom’s dill pickles.

SMOKY-SALMON-CRAB-CORN CHOWDER

Bob and I love soup. I had all the ingredients that we like on hand so here goes “use what is in the kitchen pantry-soup.” I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

In a large glass or stainless steel soup pot sauté in 1 tablespoon of butter the following:

1 large onion chopped

3 stalks of celery sliced thin

½ green pepper, diced

1 large carrot sliced thin

Sauté until they are tender crisp about 5 min.

Add

2 cans chicken broth

2 medium potatoes diced unpeeled

Simmer 10 min. until potatoes are tender

Add

1 can sliced mushrooms with the liquid

1 can cream of corn

1 small can green diced chilies

2 cans canned milk

1 pint slightly smoked canned salmon (regular non-smoked works too)

½ package imitation crab cut in large chunks

Bring to a simmer but do not boil, watch carefully. Stir in 2 tablespoons of cornstarch in 1/4 cup of water stirring slowly until thickened. Take off heat. Add a small amount of garlic salt-this depends on how salty the smoked salmon is. Sprinkle of cayenne and cracked pepper. Stir in butter and serve in large bowls was saltines. Make the peach pie for dessert.

FISH CHOWDER WITH BACON

Boil 1 cup of diced unpeeled Alaska new potatoes and 1/2 cup carrots in water, just covered. Fry three slices of diced bacon or a small piece of salt pork. Add one half chopped onion and cook until tender. Add 1 1/2 cans canned milk to the potatoes and carrots. Mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch in one half cans of milk and stir into potatoes, Stir until smooth. Add bacon, onions and 1 cup of cooked fish (any combination) to the milk. Stir carefully and heat through but do not boil. Ladle into bowls dot with butter and pepper. No salt needed because the pork or the bacon is salty enough.

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