It's Our Turn: Food on a boat with dadIt gets me every time – a summer sausage sandwich on a burger bun smeared with mustard and butter. Instantly, I’m 10 years old again, back in my mom and dad’s kitchen making and packing sandwiches for an afternoon of fishing with Dad.
By: Amy Chaffins, Alexandria Echo Press
It gets me every time - a summer sausage sandwich on a burger bun smeared with mustard and butter.
Instantly, I'm 10 years old again, back in my mom and dad's kitchen making and packing sandwiches for an afternoon of fishing with Dad.
While he loaded the boat with life jackets, rods and a net, I was in charge of making the sandwiches.
My little sister was - and always will be - the center of entertainment in the family and while I was in the kitchen, she was packing a sparkly tote bag with magazines, notebooks, pens, stickers, cassette tapes, a Walkman and candy - always candy.
I'd throw three cans of generic-brand cream soda in the cooler with the sandwiches and track down my flip-flops and a hat.
Dad would hook up the boat to his clunky old '70 Monte Carlo decked out with a trailer hitch and away we'd go to nearby fishing holes like Lake George or Twin Lake.
We'd stop to buy bait on the way and, always, my dad would come out of the bait shop with a bag of minnows, a box of crawlers, plus, a bag of peanut M&Ms, an Almond Joy and a bag of dill pickle chips.
Coolest. Dad. Ever.
We'd hit the road with the windows rolled down, pulling the boat north on Highway 47. Although it was no more than 20 miles away, getting to the lake always seemed to take forrr-evvvverrrrr.
Finally, we'd arrive. My sister and I would sit up straight and start unbuckling our seat belts when we saw the lake.
To this day, I'm still amazed by my dad's smooth and effortless ability to back up a boat trailer. It seems second nature to him - a few easy turns of the wheel and a couple glances in the mirrors and suddenly he was out of the car, unhooking the straps, floating the boat off the trailer and roping it to the dock. Wham, bam, just like that he'd have that trailer unloaded in no time. I think backing up a boat trailer is a super power that only dads possess.
Soon, it was me, my sister and our dad gliding across the lake. My sister and I would squeal when Dad revved up the motor and the front end of the boat lifted from the surface. We'd race across the lake, Dad would cut the motor and we'd gently float into the perfect spot and drop anchor.
Dad spent more time putting bait on and taking fish off our hooks than he ever spent fishing himself - and he never seemed to mind. He'd tease us and tell us to stop catching all the fish.
Then, about 10 minutes into our fishing trip, my sister and I would bust into the cooler and start snacking. First, we'd eat the candy (of course), then the chips. My dad would turn on his little FM radio, tune in some classic country or a baseball game and eventually he'd ask us to hand him a sandwich. Then, all three of us would put up our feet, crack open a cream soda and gobble up our summer sausage sandwiches on a burger bun smeared with mustard and butter.
Food always tastes better when you're floating in a boat with your dad.
It was bliss.
After an action-packed hour of thousands of pecks from hundreds of starving sunfish, one of us girls would have to go to the bathroom. My dad always threatened to make us go in a coffee can in the boat and we'd look at him with sheer horror on our faces, but he'd always oblige and take us to shore.
We'd maybe venture out again for a little more fishing, or we'd wrap it up for the day, load up the boat and go home.
Those were some of the best days of my childhood summer vacations.
I've enjoyed fishing for as long as I can remember and I have my dad to thank for that. I'm sure it was a bit of a hassle to load up the boat and his girls for an hour or so of fishing, but he knew what he was doing - he was making memories for my sister and me. We loved every moment then and cherish every memory now.
I'm all grown up and I continue to enjoy fishing. I still bust into the cooler 10 minutes into our fishing trips, but now, it's my husband asking me to hand him a sandwich from the cooler.
Summer sausage on a burger bun smeared with mustard and butter.
"It's Our Turn" is a weekly column that rotates among members of the Echo Press editorial staff.