Category Archives: Food

Weekly Verse – Family Fish Fry

We’re fresh off one of my favorite times of the year… our Annual Family Reunion Camping Weekend.  One of my favorite things about the get-together is having a fish fry.

It doesn’t happen every time, though. Only on the years when the fish are biting in Minnesota (where some relatives have Summer homes).

Fortunately, the walleye were biting earlier this year and my uncle and some cousins caught enough to share with our group.

My job in the fish fry is to cut the fish in manageable pieces and look for any bones that might have been missed during the filleting process.   The uncle that helped catch the fish is in charge of coating the fish.

It’s a not so secret breading.  Just ask him and he’ll share his recipe. After they’re coated one of my cousins drops them in his fryer.

When the timer goes off and the fish are dumped on a paper towel lined plate to cool my uncle will announce, “There’s more fish ready!”  It won’t take long before the plate is empty.

This year, like many before, I wondered to myself if we’d have enough fish for our group.  Five Ziploc bags of fish never looks like nearly enough for our large family gathering.

Fish fry assembly line

Like always, though, we had more than enough.  Everyone got their fill of delicious, crispy, fried walleye.  It was better than anything you’d get in a restaurant.

It reminded me again of the fishes and loaves story in the Bible. Where, like me, the disciples questioned how to feed a large group. They wondered if they’d have enough.  At our fish fry, just like in the Bible, there was plenty for everyone.

I chose to make a fish taco with some of my portion.  It was awesome!

Homemade Fish Tacos

Can’t wait until next year.  Hope the fish are biting then!

Since I had the fishes and loaves story on my mind I thought I’d share it with you.

John 6:1-14 New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Festival was near.

When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages[a] to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

14 After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.”

Book of John

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Tony Tries It: Microwaving Sweet Corn

For years I’ve heard that you can microwave sweet corn and that it’s really easy to do.  I’ve never had an occasion to try it, though.  When we make sweet corn it’s for the whole family. Doing it an ear at a time in the microwave just doesn’t make sense.

Last night the opportunity for me to try it presented itself.  My wife was working late and my girls were both busy.  That meant I was on my own for supper.

As luck would have it, we had a few ears of freshly picked sweet corn in the house.  Our neighbor, Mike, had dropped it by earlier.  They had a few extra ears and wanted to share.

I knew this was my chance to try microwaving sweet corn.  A quick Google search gave me all the direction needed to get started.  It’s really quite simple.

I placed one ear of unshucked sweet corn in the microwave and cooked it for 3 minutes.

Microwaving Sweet Corn

It got steamed right in the husk and was extremely hot.  You’ll want to use some oven mitts to get it out of the microwave.

Let it cool for several minutes.  When it’s cool enough to handle, peel back the husks and silks, butter, salt, and enjoy!

The first ear I had was good but I felt it was a little overcooked.  I made a second ear and microwaved it for 2:30 and that was perfect.

I’d definitely recommend this way of preparing sweetcorn if you’re just making a few ears.  Any more than that and I’d stick to cooking them in boiling water for a few minutes.

The hardest part of this whole process was waiting for the corn too cool!  Seriously… let it cool before removing the husk and use oven mitts to get it out of the microwave.  I came close to burning myself.

Now I need to try cooking sweet corn on the grill and over a campfire.

Have you microwaved sweet corn before?

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The Great Jolly Rancher Soda Taste Test

I was not provided free product for this review. In fact, my wife thinks I’m crazy for spending $4 so we could conduct it. All opinions expressed are those of my family… and me! 😉

Several weeks ago as my daughters and I were shopping at our local grocery store we came across a small display near the end of the aisle that caught all of our attentions.  It was for Jolly Rancher soda.

I had no idea such a product existed and debated out loud with my girls whether it was any good.  I snapped a picture of it and shared it on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posing the questions:

Drinkable Jolly Rancher? What do you think? Does it sound great or gross?”

Jolly Rancher Soda On Store Shelves

I got a couple great votes, some people thought their kids would like it, a college friend thought there might be a reason it was on sale, and Jeni from the blog “Jeni Eats” suggested that a taste test was in order.

The next time we did our grocery shopping we picked up 4 bottles. There were some different flavors like kiwi-strawberry and lime punch but we stuck with the more traditional Jolly Rancher flavors for our taste test; apple, blue raspberry, cherry, and watermelon.

Jolly Rancher Soda Bottles

The Great Jolly Rancher Soda Taste Test

I’ve conducted experiments for my blog with my oldest daughter before so I enlisted her help in coming up with a way to evaluate each beverage.

We decided to break it down into 3 areas: overall taste, how it tasted compared to the actual Jolly Rancher hard candy, and aroma.  Then we devised the score sheets our family would fill out.

Four clear juice glass were filled with each flavor we judged.

Green Apple Jolly Rancher Soda Taste Test

Here are some of our notes on each flavor:

  1. Apple – Smelled identical to the candy. Closest tasting to the actual Jolly Rancher candy.
  2. Watermelon – Tasted good at first but had a bad after-taste.
  3. Cherry – Smelled like cough syrup… tasted like carbonated cough syrup.
  4. Blue Raspberry – Looks like Listerine. Smelled pretty good. Tasted ok.

So, what flavor came out on top?  Apple was the overall winner in 1st place.  Blue Raspberry 2nd.  Watermelon 3rd.  Cherry 4th.

Final Thoughts:

Jolly Rancher Soda was fun to try but I can’t see our family ever buying this again… but as my wife pointed out, we’re really not the target market.

My kids don’t like carbonated beverages, I don’t drink much soda, and the only things my wife ever drinks are water, milk, and Diet Coke.

I can see the younger 5-10 year-old, juice loving crowd really enjoying these.  Perhaps older folks would like using them as a mixer with rum or vodka.  Hmmmm… perhaps I should do another personal taste test. 😉

Have you had Jolly Rancher Soda before? What were your thoughts?

If you enjoyed this head over to Learning As I Go for a taste test review of Wildwood Soda.

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