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VOL. 35 | NO. 14 | Friday, April 8, 2011

From a shark tale to strawberry mousse

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It was “Shark Week” at our house earlier this month. “The Most Dangerous Catch.” “Jaws.” “The Shark Tank.” If it had to do with sharks, Don and I were on a high alert.

We went to our usual place in Mexico for a few days earlier this month to get a bit of rest. We watched the whales play out in the bay the entire time we were there but couldn’t get good photos because they were just too far away. So we decided, on our next-to-the-last day there, that we had time to sneak in a whale-watching tour.

As with most times when planning something at the last minute, there was no room on the boats for the time we needed. However, after talking to Jose, our alternative was to charter a fishing boat for a few hours. We took the bait.

The next morning we met Captain Fernandez and his assistant (his son, Fernandez or “Pancho”) at the marina. We then found out that we couldn’t use the boat without a fishing license, which made sense; it was a fishing boat. So off we sailed with license in hand.

Once we were away from the marina, I climbed up to the top to talk to the captain for a bit, and Don stayed below talking to his son. Come to find out, that captain is the pastor of a mission in the city, and his fishing is a side job. This allows him to take most all of what his mission contributes and help the poor. It was already a rewarding trip regardless of the fact that we had not been able to close-in on a whale.

Pastor Captain was busy telling me about his work when I saw this “thing” on my side of the boat that looked like a log in the water. I pointed it out and questioned him about what it was, and he told me it was “a shark. Would you like to catch it?” Well, TOTALLY without thinking I shook my head yes, and before I could turn around and scurry down the ladder, “Pancho” had a pole rigged and waiting for me.

I sat down in the “official fisherman seat” on the back of the boat, and Pancho handed me the rod before he and his dad changed positions. Pastor Captain and Don were at my side, and Pancho was manning the helm. We circled the shark once and then bam! I had it.

Pastor Captain showed me how to go about reeling it in. Then he bowed out and it was up to me. I spent about another 15 minutes reeling it in, then it was there - hanging off the side of the boat, and they were raising an orange flag to signal that we had caught a shark!

So there is my mako shark story: A devil shark, which I gave to Pastor Captain so he could feed poor folks with it. I felt like Peter from the Bible!

Well, now for a recipe, but it isn’t about shark. This is a recipe for the juicy-red, locally grown strawberries that will be here within just a few months! My mouth is watering already!

Strawberry Mousse

1 cup boiling water

1 pkg. (4-serving size) sugar-free strawberry Jello

1 pkg. (8 oz.) Philadelphia cream cheese, softened

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups thawed Cool Whip Lite

2/3 cup chopped strawberries

Stir boiling water into gelatin in small bowl at least two minutes until completely dissolved. Whip cream cheese and vanilla in large bowl on low speed until well blended. Gradually add Jello, beating until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping and strawberries. Spoon evenly into eight dessert dishes. Refrigerate at least one hour or until firm.

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