Build a Better Me, Month 9: Eat More Local Fish

Build a Better Me Healthy Blogging Challenge

The last month I posted about building a better me was June, month 6. I can’t really tell you what happened to months 7 and 8. July, August and most of September were a blur. I can’t say I built a better me this summer, but I was apparently very busy.

Now that September is mostly over, I’ve decided to get back on the bandwagon. A couple of weeks ago, the community where I live featured a Day at the Docks celebration. This annual festival on Hatteras Island, North Carolina, began in 2004, the year after Hurricane Isabel wrecked Hatteras Village at the southern end of the island. It wasn’t held last year because Rodanthe, Waves and Salvo at the northern end of the island were devastated by Hurricane Irene. We really don’t like named storms that begin with the letter “I” around here.

Mullet Toss at Day at the Docks, Hatteras NC

The Grillmaster gets mentally prepared for his favorite event

Day at the Docks celebrates our island’s commercial fishing heritage. Kids can participate in crab races, paint fish and stamp designs on t-shirts and participate in a fishing contest. Adults can judge the chowder competition, listen to fisher poets and try to get into a survival suit faster than anyone else. Professional captains and mates participate in the Concrete Marlin Contest and try to hook and gaff a concrete cylinder that replicates the weight of a fighting marlin. The Grillmaster’s favorite competition is the Mullet Toss, where contestants pitch fish into laundry baskets.

A new event this year, along the lines of Iron Chef, was the Seafood Throwdown. Two chefs from local restaurants had an hour to prepare a dish using the “secret ingredient” (cobia) plus produce and honey supplied by the Conetoe Family Life Center.

Chef Seth Foutz of Ketch 55 in Avon, NC

Chef Seth Foutz of Ketch 55 in Avon, NC prepares the winning cobia dish

Although I’ve never been much of a fish eater, attending this event inspired me to incorporate more local fish into my diet. My extended family often had fish frys when I was a kid and they always had to throw a burger or hot dog on the grill for me because I wouldn’t eat fish. I’ve gotten better over the years – I’ll eat “steaky” fish, but I’m still not a fan of “flaky” fish. I’m going to try very hard over the next few months to visit my local fish market at least once a week and try some new things.

I’m off to a good start. I’ve made Mahi-Mahi Chowder and Tuna Ceviche already. If you have any amazing fish recipes, I’d love for you to share them with me.

If you’re interested in learning more about the issues currently facing commercial fishermen in the U.S., I highly recommend that you read Fish House Opera by Susan West and Barbara Garrity-Blake and Wetland Riders by Robert Fritchey.

Quick reminder: Those of us involved with Virtual Potluck are working to make ourselves healthier in 2012, but we aren’t focusing exclusively on losing weight. Once a month, we’ll each be posting what we are doing to improve our health and well-being. Thanks again to Foodhunter’s Guide to Cuisine for coordinating this project.


  1. says

    What a cool event. I love all kinds of fish, I can’t really think of any that I don’t like. Of course I grew up in a catfish restaurant. Fried fish is my favorite but I do enjoy grilled salmon or smoked salmon a lot.

  2. says

    I know what you mean about this summer… it was so crazy busy. I laughed when you mentioned hurricane Isabel because, my husband said… I live with Hurrican Isabel every day.

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