The Host

I am family oriented and am lucky that many relatives live nearby. These are the people with whom I like to fish. If you are new to my blog, angling for pike is my middle name (and the title of my blog!). I love to share stories, whether about time on the water with a rod, or not. Today I am writing about a big annual family event that I agreed to host this year. I have the space, time, and inclination. The problem is that I will have to take time from fishing to clean the house.

Housecleaning is not my forte and I am not about to offer tip and tricks for homeowners. I do want to relate my fiasco buying a new vacuum to get the job done. I grabbed the first one I saw online at and was disappointed with its lack of power. I sent it back and borrowed a friend’s nearly-new model. The darn thing died in the middle of the living room floor. I just sent him a check. Already in the hole, I tried again with a dual cyclone marvel that brought the science of suction to new heights. My mother screamed with rage, “Why didn’t you get the more updated Dyson ball?” Not wanting to argue or say I cared, I dutifully exchanged machines.

I was ready to go, but stopped in my track with the vacuum choked on the cat’s knitted toy. It wanted to consume it whole like a snake gorging a gopher. After an expensive repair, I hired a cleaning surface. Switching focus, I decided to cook dinner instead and prepare some fresh-caught pike. This part of the process was much easier and went without a hitch. The meal was delicious as you can’t go wrong with fish. Everyone who knows me—colleagues, family, or friends—understands what is likely to be on the menu at my house. I have my own special way of grilling it with a wonderful marinade that brings out its extraordinary flavor. Frankly, I could eat it plain; but people enjoy my culinary efforts.

Having done these dinners numerous times, I have been sent dozens of recipes. I have ways of poaching the pike in parchment paper or aluminum foil. I broil it in the oven and pan sauté it with butter or oil. The number of sauces is legion with everything from lemon and capers and tomato basil to tartar sauce or spicy vegetables. Pike is certainly on a par with Dover sole or wild salmon. Give it a try. You will never crave sea bass again.