Fishing Lessons

One of the things weekend fishermen need a lot of is patience. That's why I figure it's more or less my duty to take my girls fishing as often as possible.

This summer, with Jared and the crew doing such a great job at the Shack, we were able to make Sundays––at least a good number of them––our day for family and fishing. There's nothing better than heading out into the bay on the Toja Too, our grandfather's little red 14-foot Starcraft, visiting "the tilted house," and his other favorite spots, and coming home with a bluefish or two for dinner.

One Sunday towards the end of the summer, my daughter Bella's patience paid off. That's her in the picture with a nine-pound bluefish. Uncle Alex is helping her show it off, but she reeled it in, and for the first time, she did it entirely on her own.

Bella waited a long time for that fish. Her younger sister, Lili, has caught quite a few––her strategy has always been "the more you cast, the more you catch." Bella doesn't like to take her chances that way. She waits until we're in the best patch of eel grass before she drops her line.

A good-sized bluefish puts up a heck of a fight. About half way through this one, Bella was tired. She looked around to make a handoff, but when nobody came forward, she kept at it. And you can probably tell from that smile, she was glad she did.

All of us at Mac's have had some good lessons in casting and waiting and perseverance this summer. Provincetown was for me kind of like Bella's bluefish: a long haul. We had hoped to open our new market there by Memorial Day, but didn't do it until almost the 4th of July. And we are just now putting the finishing touches on the restaurant next door.

We hope you'll be there with us when we finally have our opening night in early November. We'll let you know as soon as we set the date.

There should be plenty to smile about by then: a big raw bar and sushi bar, an excellent new kitchen and menu, and Traci's awesome big bluefish painting hanging on the wall. And we are especially pleased to have work for more staff than we have ever been able to employ well into winter.

It will be a real celebration. With thanks to our terrific crew for their hard work and perseverance. And to our faithful customers for another great summer.

Meantime, it's not too late to go out there and get one last bluefish before the season is over.

Mustard & Ken's Grill-Roasted Bluefish

We usually wind up at our grandparents' place in Truro for dinner after our family-and-fishing Sundays. That means relying on my mom's cupboard for ingredients (always a challenge––she hates to cook). But I think I've figured out how my folks survive without a decent supply of olive oil and garlic on hand: Ken's dressing. It really is fantastic on bluefish. Doctor it up with minced garlic and dried oregano if you have them on hand.

Serves 12

4 sides of bluefish (four fillets from two good-sized fish, about 1 1/2 lbs each)
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup Ken's dressing––the Original Italian flavor
freshly ground black pepper (at Mom's an old can of the ground stuff works fine)
one clove minced garlic and 1 tsp dried oregano, if you have them on hand

Make a hot charcoal fire, or fire up the gas grill.

Meanwhile, rub the skin side of each fillet with a little Ken's, then flip the fillets over and set them skin side down on a sheet of heavy duty foil (one fillet per sheet).

Spread the meaty side of each fillet with a tablespoon of dijon mustard and a quarter cup of Ken's dressing––if you're doctoring up the Ken's with garlic and oregano, whisk them into the dressing first. The fillets should be generously covered. Season well with pepper.

When the fire is hot, set the fillets on the grill, foil and all. Cover the grill and roast the fish for 10 to 15 minutes, until it firms up nicely.

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