Post # 10 Catfish and Fried Pie

June 22, 2012 at 12:59 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

I like fish.  I haven’t yet met a fish dish that I didn’t like.  Some I’ve liked a little or whole lot less than others, but by and large, I like fish.  When I was very young, I worried when I ate fish because we were always warned to be careful of the bones and not choke on them.  Mom gave us fish sticks by the pound, and we ate them with relish!  And ketchup!  Mom and Dad, and my little brother were avid fishermen.  My sister and I couldn’t be bothered, but for the other three it was an avocation bordering on obsession.  I have one fond memory of my mom reeling in a fish and the line breaking just as she lifted that thing out of the water.  It fell back in with a splash, only to be echoed by a second splash as my mom, all 5 foot nothing of a non-swimmer launched herself face first into the lake after that trophy winner.  I fell over backward laughing when she came out of the water with her hair streaming, clothes plastered to her, glasses still on, and clutching that fish to her chest in a death grip.  The only thing is could move was its mouth and its tail in small half-hearted flaps.  I think that fish had given up all hope as soon as it felt Mom’s arms encircle it.

Yesterday, my little family and I drove south for two hours since partner/spouse needed to go to this town for a job assignment.  Around noon, we passed a small, pokey little restaurant called, I’m not kidding, Bubba’s Barbeque and Catfish.  Guess what it served?  No prizes for guessing right.

We went inside and it was exactly what you’d expect, and surprisingly busy.  The owner sat us at our table and got our drink order.  Then he explained the buffet (We got a salad bar, a hot bar with all our entrees, and a dessert bar for only $8.99!) and gave us menus if we were so inclined.  The waitress came by with our drinks and welcomed us with an accent so thick as to be almost a foreign language.  She invited us to take a look at the buffet before we made up our minds.  They seemed very proud of that buffet.  I wasn’t ready for the buffet, and neither was anyone else.  Father in law ordered the fried catfish.  It makes sense to order the specialty when you don’t know the place.  I had chicken fried chicken, assuming I was getting fried chicken.  Partner/spouse got chicken fried steak.  We didn’t have to wait long, and the chef, a big blond burly guy delivered it himself.  There really is only one word for it:  PERFECTION!

Everything right down to the milk gravy was great.  I had a chicken breast pounded flat, coated in flour, double dipped, and fried.  The crust was golden brown, crispy, and cooked all the way through, no doughy parts anywhere.  It was seasoned perfectly, and the chicken was tender and juicy and cooked through and through.  The french fries that came with were not home made, but rose above the standard fare.  Even my green beans were good.  They used italian flat green beans, sauted onion, and a little salt.  Not over done, but tender.  The caliber of the cooking was not what I was expecting.  But that gravy!  I’m not a big fan of milk gravy, mostly because I can’t stand milk.  Don’t drink, and do everything in my power not to cook with it.  But this stuff was terrific.

On the drive back, we stopped at a converted gas station Arbuckle Mountain Original Fried Pies.  According to the brochure, these are the same fried pies the owner’s grandmother sold starting in 1893.  There’s a huge selection from fruit pies, to cream pies, to savory pies.  These things are huge, easily encompassing a half of a pie plate.  The crust was deliciously flaky and tender.  The fillings were good.  I got a cherry fried pie, and a chocolate fried pie.  Both were really good.   And amazingly easy to make, I assume.  They make all kinds of fruit pies, but they seem to sell more of the savory pies, at least, while we were there.  The have breakfast pie that contain scrambled eggs, potatoes, sausage, bacon, and cheese.  They have pizza pie which is basically a pizza pie folded over.  They even have vegetarian spinach and mushroom with parmesan cheese.

Gotta go now.  Bread in the oven waiting to come out.


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