Jillian

No need for ginger in all fish recipes, certainly wouldn't hurt some.

As far as fresh v. frozen, if you aren't close to the ocean it's pretty much all been frozen. Some of it is kept that way and some is thawed and sold "fresh" in grocery stores. Perhaps you can get sashimi-grade in some higher end places, I never tried when I lived in the Midwest.

There's 5-ish types of fish to cook by my reckoning, not necessarily the absolute truth just how I tend to think of it.

  • Darker, firm and oily fish like achovies, herrings, sardines
  • Lean, white fish like pollock, rock fish, haddock, catfish
  • Oily, medium colored fish like char, yellowfin, mahi mahi
  • Lean, flaky fish like sea bass, red snappers, tilapia
  • White, firm fish like shad, lake trout

The flakier the fish the more delicate your cooking should be, foil wrapped fish with herbs and butter is great and can be easily cooked indoors or out.

You can tailor that type of cooking to pretty much any preference or ethnic style you desire. Tilapia rubbed with a little olive oil and seasoned with S&P, dill, minced garlic, coriander, paprika and fennel makes a great Mediterranean-style dish that you can fill out to a complete meal if you toss some cherry tomatoes with rosemary and thyme in another foil pack or the same one as the fish.

Make one per person and a salad and you can easily feed a few people for low cost, fish can be quite affordable at your local grocer or market.

Heavier, meatier fish can be cooked almost like a steak.

Yellowfin tuna is great with a light marinade, something like oil, dijon mustard, lemon juice, garlic, lemon peel, and soy sauce. Marinate for a few hours, dry it off, toss it on the grill and baste in the leftover marinade.

Frying fish is another option, catfish and mullet are common in the southern US and are usually battered in corn meal and cooked outdoors. Midwestern fare is usually beer battered cod, walleye, and perch; catfish if you live near the Mississippi. A big local fish fry is an awesome event, really common in Minnesota and Wisconsin because of the whole Catholic fish eating tradition.

Frying fish while camping is another good option, you be hard pressed to find much better fish than freshly caught walleye battered up and served with a little lemon juice about half an hour after it was swimming.

Salmon is another category unto itself almost, lots of people have very particular preferences regarding how it should be prepared and the variation between all the Salmonids of the world is pretty significant.

Pacific and Atlantic salmon are the two biggest categories.

Pacific salmon are as follows, there might be a few more

  • King/Chinook; Classic oily, deep red salmon
  • Sockeye; Bright red flesh, usually ocean caught
  • Coho/Silver; Similar to King but lighter in flavor and texture
  • Pink salmon; Most common, often canned
  • Chum/Keta; Not eaten in the US a lot, medium colored and low fat

I admittedly have no experience with Atlantic salmon, but as far as I know pretty much none are wild caught any more due to long term over-harvesting in Europe and North America.

There's a whole wide world of fish out there, so much variety in species and the hundreds of years of culinary history make it an awesome avenue to go down in your exploration of cooking.

Ginger is not necessary who ever told you that needs to be fried in it. As far as cooking frozen fish goes, I prefer letting it thaw out in the fridge overnight. Very watery fish fillets (Waleye, Tilapia, Pollock) tend to break down in water as well as being fragile. You could get away with (in my opinion) thawing heavier fillets such as Salmon, Tuna ect. in water without much hassle.

On that note, if you're just getting into it, try just a simple pan fry with lemon butter and rosemary cook it till it's white (or pink if salmon) all the way through.

Jillian

I have a lot of time on my hands now that I am retired, but that doesn't mean that I want to spend it wasting it.

I know that this sounds harsh.

It probably means that I am selfish. But I was put on the spot recently. I was asked to help host a bridal shower. And well, that has just never been my cup of tea, or I should say coffee. I like to be active, organized, and not be the one dancing to the whims of a couple of ladies that I can't really stand being around for more than a few hours.

The fatdroid put it down as a delima, her delima. Mine wasn't so much a delima as it was a tacklful way to say no.

I am not one for keeping thing quite for the sake of piece, if it hurts them and they retract from you, then you need to take it as a lesson learned. I would suggest being honest. Something like, "Hey X, I hate to do this but I can't help you out." You do not need to give them a reason here. If they ask. They are over stepping boundaries. They should accept that you can't make it and leave it at that.

You can also go with a more oblique, "So sorry but it just won't work, have a great time!"

Unless they are totally dense they will get it and like I said. If they pull the jerk card on you then you have learned something.

Normally when I find myself in this situation I will just write a short note on the RSVP card saying you would love to be there, but can't and you'll be celebrating them from home. Or write a short note saying you wish you could attend and you can't wait to celebrate the next time you see them.

But this depends on how close you are.

Since I was asked to help I needed to act quicker.

The woman being honored at the bridal shower really didn't make me feel like they really wanted to be there so I personally I don't feel like you need to explain myself at all, but a note card is how I will go abouthandling it.

Jillian

For years I had a tackle box they are a pain to carry always cluttered, last year I made the switch to utility boxes and a back pack and I'll never go back easy and comfortable to carry extra pockets for keys, wallet, needle nose, line, and anything else you can think of and some have a water bottle pouch.

You won't regret it!

Jillian

Not working is a new experience and many of us don't have a clue how to approach it. I read a lot of articles and a book or two that gave me some direction, but no real roadmap to take me from working to a happy retirement.

While the process was disjointed and a little hit or miss, I can point to the major steps that I focused on to get to the point I am. To help you avoid the running in circles pieces that we experienced, I’ll organize this into logical steps that need to be completed. Addressing all of these is essential so don’t think that doing 7 of 8 is success. Some of them will evolve over time, but you need to have a plan to address them all.

These are the elements of your retirement transition plan inventory:

    • Personal activity plan – What are you going to do with your new found freedom?
  • Spousal/partner activity plan – What are you and your spouse going to do to make retirement a mutually happy experience.
  • Get your life in order – We all have little messes in our lives that need to get cleaned up.
  • Decide where you want to live – This is a complex question that depends a lot on many other items in your transition plan.
  • Develop a retirement budget – This will allow you to assess the viability of many elements of your transition plan.
  • Develop an investment strategy for your savings – This is an important aspect of a successful retirement.
  • Perform a personal and family health assessment – The life you live in retirement is dependent on how healthy you are and how healthy the other members of your family are.
  • Establish a calendar of events – Ideally, the inventory should be developed before you retire so that you have it as a guide to a happy retirement.

I discovered that a single hobby, no matter how exciting, can become a chore if you work on it non-stop. I ended up adding a couple more hobbies to the mix and taking occasional breaks.

I ad mit, it is nothing fancy, really, just basic project management principles like:

  1. capturing and tracking requirements and deliverables
  2. prioritization
  3. resource allocation in a multi-developer environment
  4. dependencies
  5. allocating time for code refactoring and documentation updates
  6. keeping the communications channels with the users open, establishing expectations and adjusting the plan based on their feedback
Jillian

Use a very light drag since they don't have much fight in them for at least a year after they are planted. You'll want to use a 4lb leader 1-3' long. 6lb line works if that's what you have. Just about any lure between 1/16oz and 3/8oz will work for stocked trout, but you can occasionally go up to 1/2oz.

Ultralight is my favorite rod power to fish for trout (when I'm not fly fishing for them). Light or Medium-Light also work. If you already have a medium power rod, that will work too - but you won't feel much of a fight.

  1. PowerEggs: I switched from powerbait about 2 years ago and never looked back. A jar or powereggs will last basically forever since 2 eggs will last at least 5 fish, often 12 . About the only time I ever lose them is on the rare snag or break-off from being lazy and not replacing my leader all day. No mess, no lingering stink, and always floats the same. I also catch at least as many, if not more, then I ever did on powerbait. Just put 2 eggs on the back of a size 8 single egg hook leaving the point exposed. Use 1/4oz or 3/8oz weight above your swivel (which should be 1' to 3' from the hook). Sunrise is my favorite color, with Lemon Lime and BubbleGum tied for second.
  2. Spoons: Make sure to use a small-ish swivel on these to prevent line twist. It can be a swivel w/ a clip connected straight to the spoon or about 2' up the line. Cast, let it sink to your desired depth, then retrieve just fast enough for it to wobble, but not rotate over itself. Kastmaster is my favorite brand, and I love blue chrome or green chrome.
  3. Spinners: No swivel. Cast it out while keeping a relatively tight line as it falls to depth, then give your rod a decent sweep at the start of your retrieve to get the blade spinning. You should be able to feel the blade vibrate in your rod tip. Mepps or Rooster Tails are both great. White w/ black dots or brown w/ black dots are my go-to.

Trout are often fed pellet like fish food when they are being farmed. So stocked trout will almost always hit orange, white, and chartreuse power bait because its already familar to the fish.. but usually only 1 specific color on a given day will hit the best.... so I always take all 3. It does so well it feels like cheating.

After that live bait. Minnows, mealworms, redworms, maggots, and night crawlers will pull trout.

Artificial lures I usually have the most luck with twister tails and small daredevil spoons.

Also they like the small colorful marshmallows you get in bulk at the grocery store. It sounds crazy but my husband and I went fishing in a trout stocked lake and we caught a fish nearly every cast with the marshmallows.

Nothing else we used worked half as well.

Jillian

I retired about a year ago. I've been through the boredom. It's almost like there's too much choice and it's paralyzing.

Then I started volunteering.

It was okay, but didn't give me that boost I wanted. I still volunteer one day a week but it's become more of a chore than anything. Then I tried creating things - mostly tackle and stuff for fishing. Oddly, fishing wasn't as high on my list as it once was.

Then I went through a period where I stopped trying. For some weeks I'd tell myself I didn't need to rush it, that it was my job to keep my mind open for the universe to send me inspiration. That didn't last long. I realized I was totally addicted to the internet.

Like, while on the toilet, stopped at a traffic light, read over coffee, etc..

Then I started a habit at night: I'd scope out the next day - down to the half hour. What I wanted to do: exercise, yoga, write for 3 hours, read a particular book.

What I found was that when I formally planned my day, it took away the overwhelming decision fatigue of having no plans and infinite options.

I still slip back into old patterns but I've finished my writing and exercise and reading for the day. I feel better being online having accomplished things that give me personal fulfillment.

  1. Be ready to throw everything against the wall -- art, learning, socials, math, whatever. If you see that there's an introductory japanese class or someone you know is starting a book club, go to it all. Until you get a better feel for what you like, do everything.
  2. Find something interesting in everything you do -- it's the start of your "Story Repertoire" -- the great memories that you can share with others.
  3. Read. Every single day. I'd say a minimum of an hour.
  4. Actively be where people are interacting and look for situations that improve your likelihood of "collisions" (aka random conversations) with other people. eg. If I'm at starbucks staring at my laptop with my headphones on, no one will glance twice at you; but put the laptop away and write a few postcards / letters snail mail style, and suddenly you're chatting about your family with a lady and her daughter over tea -- why? because you're now doing something interesting to other people -- and being interesting to other people often is the start of an inspirational thread.
  5. Practice being the most ridiculously extroverted person that ever lived. Sign up for a few meetups and before you walk through the door stretch out your smile muscles & say to yourself "I'm going to go in there, shake someones hand and ask them what they do."
  6. Be an amazing listener and never brag. The perfect time to talk about yourself is in sharing your experience as a contextual reference in an ongoing conversation. If no one's talking, have some roughed out prepared topics [reading the news in the morning is good for this] to carry the conversation until someone else moves it forward. If no one's talking and there's no awkwardness, then just be comfortable to hang out in the quiet and enjoy eachother's company.
  7. After you've met a few people, make an active effort to invite them out; whether it be to an event or to your house for potluck/boardgames.

Anyway, that's been my experience. Take from it what you will.