I would get up at 6am with my dad, pull on my boots and add one jacket on top of another. At only 8 years old, I’d fill that dented and well-loved Stanley thermos with hot chocolate – dad had his thermos of coffee – and traipse with him to the boat. I can still see the boat bobbing by the dock and smell the salty ocean water. A few seagulls say hello, but all else is quiet, serene – we witness the crack of dawn.
He loved to fish, and I loved being part of dad’s crew. I’d curl up on the bright blue, tattered vinyl boat seat then stare at the end of my fishing pole for hours. Was that a bite? We listened to music – or Bill Cosby or the Nylons – and if my Uncle or grandpa were fishing on a nearby boat – we’d call them on the CB (long before cell phones existed). Roger.
After hours filled with a few exciting minutes of reeling like a mad-person, nets flying and big proud grins – we’d pull in our poles and motor back to dock.
I would watch as my dad deftly fileted each fish – on the dock there would be a pseudo sink with a spray hose and slab of wood.
As a child, it was a given that we put ‘grandma’s special sauce’ on our salmon. Now I giggle at the notion that I accepted ‘special sauce’ without question. Even today, nostalgia easily trumps my professionally trained palate: I still make and love grandma’s special sauce.
2 T. sweet pickle relish
a small onion, diced
2 T. brown sugar
2 T. vinegar
1/2 to 1 teas. prepared mustard
1 T. liquid smoke
Combine all, heat over stove.
2-3 tsp honey