Thursday, March 22, 2012
It could be that I'm trying to lose some weight, and that my brain is stubbornly refusing to let go of the fatty, fried foods that got me in this predicament. Last night, I had the recurring Conch Dream.
I was fortunate enough to get to the Bahamas for the first time earlier this month, and while the fishing was tough thanks to challenging weather and an interesting saltwater cast, the food was ... amazing.
Darlene, the cook at Long Island Bonefishing Lodge, had us all salivating at the end of the day, thanks largely to her conch fritters. If you've never had one of these nuggets of fried ecstasy, I beg you ... don't judge. Not until you let one of these delectable mouthfuls of joy cross your lips. Then, and only then, will you understand what it's like to wake up in the middle of the Conch Dream and realize that you're not really sitting on the deck overlooking the flats of Long Island while the warm, evening breeze massages your skin, and that you're not really eating a heaping plate of conch fritters, and that you're not really washing it down with an ice-cold Kalik beer.
This is what rude awakenings are all about.
The conch is the critter that lives inside those beautiful sea shells--you know, the ones that, if you hold them to your ear, you can hear the surf? They're plentiful in the Bahamas, and each night, Darlene would dice up the delicate shellfish, mix it in a seasoned batter with onions, garlic, peppers (and a little bit of love, right, Darlene?), and fry 'em up.
Nothing takes the sting out of getting skunked on the flats like a never-ending serving of conch fritters. Nothing.
I miss you, Darlene... And I miss your fritters, too.