If someone would have asked me say 10 years ago or even 5 years ago, if I thought it was likely that I'd be married to a fisherman, I would have laughed. My own childhood memories of fishing consist of one trip to the lake, where our grandfather took me, my sister and my nephew fishing. We were all terribly excited, but it turned out that sitting still with a pole in your hand for hours on end sounds much more fun than it actually is. And then one of us (can't remember whom, but not me) actually caught a little fishy, suitable for a cat perhaps and it started a major fight as the others then needed to also get a fish.
So no freshly smoked / fried fish stories from my childhood, neither my dad nor my granddads fished. But now S's taken it up. It took him the entire summer, a trunkful of gear he's gradually acquired (starting from all kinds of hooks and poles and lines to a camouflage-pattern suit that I keep teasing him about ('Is that so the fishes don't spot you from the river?') and a lucky chance of pulling out someone elses hook from the water to be able to learn a new way to knot the hooks), before he got anything, but now he regularly shows up with fish. He's gotten decent-sized pikes (yum!), roach and perch so far. But every time he goes, he's hoping for bream.
Luckily for me (as I suck at cleaning fish) he goes fishing when we're in Tartu, visiting my parents. And my mom has an abundance of fishing-memories form her childhood and thus is also a very able fish-cleaner. She's also missed fresh fresh-water fish so much that she often competes with the cat for what S brings home :).
But it is truly and indescribably lovely to toss a freshly caught fish in some flour and quickly fry it in vegetable oil or butter.
"Nothing beats ecologically clean eating", as my mom says every time, licking her fingers.
Fried freshwater fish:
any freshly caught freshwater fish you have (scales off, guts out, head off)
a small handful of flour
1 onion, coarsely chopped
salt vegetable oil for frying
Clean the fishes and wash them in cold water. Pat dry.
Coarsely chop an onion.
Heat some oil in a frying pan and sautee the onions until glassy.
Sprinkle a large plate with flour and salt, toss the fishes in it.
Fry on both sides.
Eat with black bread.
Swoon, swoon, swoon.