What would I miss if we moved from Lanzarote? Besides the all year round good weather? Fresh fish! In Lanzarote fresh fish is more than a meal, especially if you catch it by yourself.
Sitting in a grey and dark November rain in the Northern Hemisphere I am reminded that I once was asked - What would you miss if you moved from Lanzarote, besides the weather. Oh the weather, what a fortune it is and how it can make so many parts of your life less complicated. The Canarian climate, takes a lot of beating. But there is more to living than just the weather, especially when you’ve lived for more than ten years on an island surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. Going back to that grey November, the first thing that came to my mind was – “Fresh fish, caught by you”.
It sounds like a magazine headline. Because not being a typical fishy person or even less the person catching it, when you’ve had a taste of that adventure you kind of hunger for more. Anchoring up close to a beach, fishing off the boat and then jumping into the blue for a refreshing splash, you don’t need to be a fisherman to appreciate moments like that. Catching plenty of mackerel, sailing back home in the sunset with a cooler box filled with fresh fish and a couple of hours later preparing dinner, that you caught, with Swedish Lingonsylt is a way to connect our two worlds – Islas Canarias & Sweden.
Or how about early morning sunrises along a rugged, rough coast with sea splashes or evening sunsets along a sandy beach watching that red ball drop in the ocean or listening to the waves rolling, it gets rather addicting.
It’s a way of life, at least now and again. Maybe that’s why my answer that gray November is: “Fresh fish, caught by you”. How the kids appreciated their meal when they were so involved and a big part of it.
But what maybe makes me answer: “Fresh fish, caught by you” is because I believe in collecting moments and not things. And because I have two small boys born on the Canarian island Lanzarote and we have chosen to give them a life of outdoor and active living. Maybe that’s why fishing in Lanzarote got to me. We still talk about it today.
Five years ago we occasionally bought salmon from the supermarket. If there wasn’t a long line at the fish counter and we knew it was as fresh as possible, then maybe.
Then the kids were born, we started eating more fish and by coincidence we spoke to a friend who said he never bought fish but they ate a lot. Besides, he got the kids involved too and turned it into weekend adventures. We wanted that too. What we didn’t know was how it would create memorable family moments, teach the boys about Mother Nature and a reason to get outside and be active. Seeing dolphins and whales on our fishing trips were just a bonus.
So we bought a book, to learn about the different types one could catch specifically in the Canary Islands. And we spoke to the locals. On an early morning weekend outing (kids wake early when they are young!) we were sitting at the beach of Playa Quemada and saw the local fisherman arriving in their wooden boats. Taking a piece of driftwood and placing five different types of fish on the plank, ready to be prepared for the Sunday family lunch. That looked so tempting.
There are two ways to fish, from land (spinning) or from the boat. Personally I preferred fishing from the boat, early morning spinning takes a lot more planning and precautions depending on weather- and wave conditions. I was not the one who set the "going fishing" alarm and watches the sun rise and hopefully catches lunch. I married that guy. I did however make the lunch.
Since having the kids we have started eating more fish. They love it and we know it's a much healthier choice. The magic is the more fish one eats the more one wants... True!
People often ask me what fish we caught? And how did we cook it? Well, we ate whatever we caught also depending on the season - Sierra (Atlantic bonito), Biccuda (Barracuda), Aguja (Pike), Lubina (Seabass) Dorado, Cabrilla (Comber), Caballa (Mackerel) , Sama (Pink Dentex), Bocinegro (Sea Bream), Breca (Pandora) etc.
I am everything but a gourmet chef and cooking in general is not one of my more talented sides. I made it as simple as possible. This is the beauty of fresh fish. The Canarians really know how to prepare it, in the most simple but also most delicious way, in the oven on the grill or in a frying pan.
Oh, and not to forget. Sushi! Not only did my husband wake early and catch the fish - he made lovely sushi plates with mainly Sierra and Lubina. Those sushi meals were highlights in our "family-fishing-culture". That sushi plate became so special and felt even more exotic knowing he caught it, froze it and prepared it.
So, what would I miss the from Lanzarote? Well, definitely those fishing moments. From ocean to oven and everything around it.