Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.
Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.
If you clean a mess of fish there is a really good way to recycle all of the heads, guts and stuff that's left after you have retrieved your valuable and tasty fillets.
You use it to bait crab traps.
Here at fish camp everyone on the block chipped-in a couple of years ago to construct this dock at the end of the street.
As far as docks go this one is rather nicely appointed.
It has a couple of fish cleaning stations, fresh running water and a gas grill. It also has power so there is lighting and a couple of humongous live wells.
It also has about a dozen crab traps that all of the neighbors monitor.
We baited the traps with fish parts and went back the following day to fetch them out of the water and up on the pier.
Ooooh baby. Blue crabs. Lots of them too.
Male crabs go into the laundry basket and females are tossed back in the gulf.
Girlfriend - who is very good about fetching a downed game bird - learned early-on that if she attempted to fetch a blue crab she would end-up doing the Blue Crab Shuffle.
When you have a big Lab and a pinching crab doing the shuffle on a narrow pier - adults and children are going to run for cover.
Anyway, after the ruckus subsides and the basket is full you ice-down the crabs in a cooler for a couple of hours so that they're numb and not so feisty.
Then you sit down with your son-in-law, have a beer or two and clean crabs.
The process is rather straight-forward.
You peel-off their apron, pop-off the top half of the shell, remove their face and pluck-out the dead man's fingers.
And keep them on ice.
This is followed by the neighbors stopping-over with drinks and side dishes while your daughter grills them.
Just a dash of Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning and Captain Herk's secret Cajun sauce.
I'm thinking to myself - You know Tom, fish camp is a lot like deer camp. Lots of fresh game, the company of family and good friends. Blowing-off a little steam.
Next - The Trouble With Seafood