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A family member brought six crappies home a few days ago after ice fishing with a friend.

They had a good time, although rain pelted the ice fishing shack until they emerged about nine p.m., splashing through pools of water on the lake ice. They loaded the ATV and rode through freezing rain to shore.

The friend commented that “crappies are good in the winter, but in the summer crappies are crappy.”

I guess it’s good that it’s winter!

I fixed the crappies the next day and were they ever good!

I tried a simple recipe from the Joy of Cooking cookbook, cutting the crappies into steaks or ‘darnes,’ frying them in butter and olive oil.

Served with a salad of mixed spring greens, cucumbers, red bell peppers, and tomatoes topped with feta cheese, red onions, garbanzo beans, and Greek olives, our dinner was a Supermeal – healthful. (We each chose our favorite dressing.)

I’m glad I decided to keep it simple. The fresh, delicate flavor of the crappies was easy to taste without an elaborate recipe.

If I think about it, the experience was better than eating at an expensive restaurant. The protein was from an exclusive source and the salad was prepared with ingredients I don’t usually find in a restaurant.

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