Monday, June 15, 2009

Fish camps and Andrew Jackson

Went down to North Carolina last weekend to attend a get-together with cousins.

My husband (a Yankee from Buffalo) thinks that the concept of "fish camps" is strange and oh-so-Southern.

I adore fish camps.

As a child, my family used to go to one called The Old Mill Stream. It was on a beautiful creek (or, um, a "stream", I guess) in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Everyone sat together at rustic old picnic tables on screened porches with the stream running beside it. (Oh, the sound of that stream!)

The table was covered with newspapers and the boiled shrimp was dumped right out onto the table.

Except for boiled shrimp - EVERYTHING at a fish camp is FRIED, FRIED, FRIED.

There are always unlimited refills on giant pitchers of the best sweet tea in the world at fish camps. (And, by the way, a REAL fish camp never serves alcohol - so forget the beer.)

The best part is the baskets of fried hushpuppies. Sometimes those big round kind and sometimes those little sausage -shaped kind.

But always SOOOOOO good.

So, of course, when I went to North Carolina I had to go to a fish camp.

And when you go to a fish camp, you have to eat fried catfish.

(By the way....I'm a little over-dressed for a fish camp....but I went there straight from the airport! I always dress well when I fly because once my family was flying to Ireland and got chosen to be upgraded to first class based solely on the way we were dressed. It has never happened since, but you never know.....)

I also decided to rent a car and head to Waxhaw (North Carolina) - in search of a spot to retire about the year 2048.

Guess what?

Waxhaw is the birthplace of Andrew Jackson.

Who knew?

And of course, I had to check out the library.


Anonymous said...

Being a crazy northerner , I have to ask: What is a hushpuppy? Honestly I know it is something to eat, but don't know if it is animal or vegetable! JAZ

Barbara O'Connor said...

Ha! It's sort of like fried cornbread. It's made from cornmeal and shaped either into a golf-ball size ball or like a little sausage and, of course, deep fried. Soooo good. (Supposedly at some point in history, folks used them to throw to the dogs around the table to keep them from begging - thus "hush puppy" - but who knows....

Karen said...

Your fish camp reminds me of the lobster pounds I sooooooo love up around Bar Harbor / Acadia National Park in Maine! Simple, but great food!

I do love hush puppies, also. Yum!

And finally, didn't we just chat about how to dress for flying? :) I think you look fabulous!

Barbara O'Connor said...

Karen: Yes we DID have that chat. See? I'm following my rule. It still hasn't worked for me yet (as far as getting upgraded again), but, hey, it's still worth a shot.

Lobster pounds? mmmmm

Mary Lee said...

I'm going to start dressing up to fly!

Anonymous said...

I have friends who firmly argue the advantage of dressing up to shop. They are sure and have proven that the shopper who is reasonably well dressed, flashy jewels as well, draws help in a store like a magnet.... The well dressed look like they have a buying habit. Store personnel have even offered better deals. JAZ