It’s so wonderful to catch a fish, clean it and gently toss it into the frying pan. My 9-year-old, Grayson, recently made this task look easy on a visit to Grand Cayman. He caught and fried his own meal two days in a row. The first afternoon we were there, he went out fishing with a friend at around 1 p.m. He came walking in with a cleaned fish and a big smile about 30 minutes later. His grandma turned on the stove and put some oil in a frying pan for him. She helped him season the fish and with a little guidance, he did the rest.
Grayson loves to play “survivor” in our yard. He spends the entire day outside building makeshift forts and collecting his sustenance from edibles he finds. He’s learned to like things he would never even taste before. He thinks figs are delicious now. He says his favorite fruit is the Simpson stopper berry. However, now that the muscadine grapes are ripe, they have definitely taken first place on his list of favorites.
He discovered some wild grapes growing on the riverbank the other day and brought them to me to find out what they are. He was bummed when I told him they’re not safe to eat. We don’t spray our yard with any pesticides or herbicides so Grayson can safely eat straight from the yard. However, I’ve taught him to be certain about what plants and berries he is putting near his mouth.
On a recent trip to Washington D.C., we bought a book at the Museum of Natural History that we fought over. This book was such a great read that we were constantly sneaking it away from each other. It’s called Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln’s Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities, by Amy Stewart. Grayson has a whole new outlook on the power of a plant and what it can do to you if you’re not careful. After reading this book, I know Grayson won’t eat a plant or berry unless he’s absolutely sure of its identity.
Grayson has always been a very poor eater. I constantly try to trick him into something nutritious. However, when he grows his own food in his own garden, he will usually taste his harvest and almost always loves it. He only ate this fish because he caught it and cooked it. The next day, he caught two fish. He cooked and ate both of them. I’m so happy that he’s finally discovered how delicious fish are!
I think he should relish the fact that he can even eat fresh fish. This may not be something we can do in the near future. Check out the documentary End of the Line if you really want to take a glimpse into our future world without seafood. We don’t feel comfortable eating the fish we catch out of our river at home in Florida. Sometimes there are health warnings on the fresh water fish in the polluted water from Lake Okeechobee. We typically just avoid eating our catch.
We went on some serious botanical hunts in Cayman, but the fishing adventures really expanded Grayson’s young mind.
Come grow with us!