61012No; this is not a recipe. It is two brief stories about my first fishing trip and the first vegetables I ever grew.
My first fishing trip was at Silver Lake, past my grandparents summer house in Pioneer. I was just a little tyke. I think I had just a small cane with a hook on a string tied to it. I doubt that I was expected to catch anything with it. I sat on a bare granite shore with my Uncle Bill behind me to keep me from falling in, and my hook on a string in the water.
‘Fishy’ took the hook almost immediately. He was a slippery and shiny trout who startled everyone around with his eagerness to grab onto the hook in order to come home with us. I pulled him up so that my Uncle Bill could take him off of the hook. However, to my surprise, my Uncle Bill explained that Fishy had to go back into the lake because he was too small! I was baffled. I told my Uncle Bill that Fishy could not bee too small because he was bigger than any other fish in my grandfather’s aquarium!
Of course, Uncle Bill then explained that the objective of fishing was not to relocate fish from the uncomfortably cold lake to the cozy warm aquarium. As he continued to explain what the real objective of fishing was, it became very obvious that the lake was the best option for Fishy! Uncle Bill put Fishy back in the water, where he happily swam away. I am pleased to say that I never saw Fishy again.
Shortly afterward, my grandmother gave me a six-pack of cabbage seedlings that I planted in a neat row below my mother’s kitchen window. I was so pleased with them. I watered them and talked to them and sometimes just petted their waxy leaves. They grew quite large, and started to crowd each other.
Then, one day while I was out playing with my pine cones and favorite dirt on the patio, my mother came out with a paring knife and walked by without saying anything. To my HORROR, she returned with a severed cabbage! I totally freaked out! Of course, my mother explained to me that the objective of growing the cabbages was to eat them, and that they were the same vegetable that I liked so much in a cooked form. That was not much consolation. If I had known that, I would have planted them up at Silver Lake so that they could live happily ever after with Fishy.
Well, I did not eat any cabbage with supper that evening. By the time the second cabbage was murdered, I was able to eat it. I did not want it to die in vain; and it really was quite good. So were the third, fourth and fifth cabbage.
The last cabbage was the runt of the litter, so my mother allowed me to care for it all through winter. When it got muddy from splattering rain water falling from the eave, I washed it with soap, which is how I learned that plants do not like soap. As the weather warmed in spring, it bolted. The outer leaves got rather crispy, and a floral stalk stretched upward from the center. It bloomed with small yellow flowers and even made little seed capsules. I do not know if it ever made viable seed, because I did not collect any. By the time it deteriorated and died, I knew that it had lived a full life, so was not too sad about it. The funeral was brief before it was interred behind the apricot tree.
In the end, I ate neither the first fish I ever caught, nor the first vegetable I ever grew.

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15 thoughts on “Trout and Cabbage

  1. What a great story. My mother has a tale of a chicken named Elbert and how it was her and her sister’s pet. They were unable to eat him when he appeared on the dinner table. I DID eat my first vegetables. Some … oops…carrots.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great writer you are. You’ve got that great, understated approach that makes even funny tales even funnier.

    You also reminded me of the days my dad would take me, my cane pole, and my red and white bobber down to the river to try and catch sunfish. I can’t remember if we ever caught fish, but I remember the fun of trying.

    Liked by 1 person

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