I'll never forget it. The minute Brent and I told my father-in-law that we were expecting a little girl, he asked:

"Can I still teach her how to fish?"

Since both of us are outdoorsy - something that has only grown tremendously over the past 4 years - our answer was a resounding, "YES!". We've made a conscious effort to encourage our daughter to feel comfortable on the farm and in the outdoors, while also supporting her feminine interests, which at the age of 4 are primarily baby dolls and princesses. There was nothing like seeing her dressed in a ballerina costume and her rubber shark boots at her 4- year-old birthday party!

A couple of weekends ago, we had the great joy of seeing her experience catching her first fish - several bream - with her daddy, showing her how they are cleaned and cooked, and eating them together as a family. Not to mention that fresh fried bream is one of the most delicious "wild" dinners there is!

Got your own mess 'o bream from a local fishing hole? They're simple to clean - just use a butter knife to scale the outside, then remove the head and guts (there's very little).

Next, dredge the fish, whole, in seasoned cornmeal or a fish fry mix:


Next, fry the bream in hot vegetable oil (preferably in a cast-iron skillet) until crispy and golden brown on the outside. This should take just a few minutes. We usually fry some hushpuppies with them for a side.


Finally, drain on paper towels and serve! To eat, gently scrape the fish away from the bones, being very careful about bones the whole time. Bream bones are quite tiny, but the effort is SO worth it. The fins and tails are edible as well!


Eating these fish with our daughter was such a delight. Now Grandaddy just needs a chance to get out there with her and her fishing pole and catch us a fresh batch!