Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Smoked Mullet

We are having a Fulford family reunion July 4th weekend in Cortez, Florida. One of my best memories was the one my Grandpa Tink had in 1965. He had come down with cancer that year and had gone through several months of surgery and difficult treatment, which was unsuccessful. He would pass away in a couple months and I think everyone knew it except us kids.

He organized a big reunion that summer and I can vividly remember him smoking mullet in the concrete smoker he had built next to the boat shed. It was made of concrete block with a metal roof about 8 foot by 8 foot. He had metal trays that looked like they came from an old refrigerator that he stacked inside. He made the fire underneath but it held the heat and smoke so well it didn't require much of a fire.

There were rows and rows of mullet fillets laid out on the cutting board at Fulford Fish with salt and pepper on them, waiting their turn in the smoker. I was too young to pay a lot of attention to who or how many people were there but I know there were a lot of people. Tink was in his white dress hat and had a big smile.

I consider myself a pretty good cook and can produce championship quality smoked ribs or pulled pork in my back yard smoker but I have never tried to smoke mullet. My cousins Blue and Donald Fulford in Cortez are really good at it. I may attempt it one day but I know no matter how they come out they won't be like Tink's.

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