Monday, February 18, 2013

Friday Fish

I had heard about the codfish dinners in Belleville for years from my cousin, Mary. But this was the first time I was able to participate.  I never realized they don't have these in a restaurant but in the equivalent of a community centre. I have no idea who sponsors them either.

We  were a bit late due to our first flight out of Newark being cancelled, but we still got there before the last of our group did.  This was in Swansea Improvement Hall and looks just like the title - a big hall, with lots of tables and chairs. The choices included codfish, blue gill and other seafood, plus burgers,and a huge selection of sides, like fried okra, coleslaw, macaroni and cheese, etc, yum!

Being in the mid west and as far from the ocean as possible, I continue to be surprised that the main dish is cod.....but it is.  I do wish I had ordered blue gill though. That is a local fish and one all of us cousins have eaten or caught (or both!).

I did get the codfish but, to be honest, it wasn't that great, and far too salty for me. (In the two weeks we stayed in the US, we were all appalled at how incredibly salty the restaurant food was!)  But the total immersion in Midwestern culture and Sprague family gatherings made it a memorable night.

A group of cousins went out after this.  They had an extremely upsetting experience and some ended up, unexpectedly, at our hotel about 4am.  The silver lining as a result of this is that everyone stayed at the hotel the rest of the weekend. So we had much more quality time with our children and cousins instead of them being scattered all over Belleville!

"The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men
Gang aft agley"
Robert Burns 

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