The Catfish Book

Linda Crawford, Author, Linda Crawford Culberson, Author University Press of Mississippi $10.95 (137p) ISBN 978-0-87805-502-9
Crawford's informative and entertaining little volume explains how to ``skin a cat'' and how to cook it as well, while tossing in enough folklore and background information to turn any Yankee into a passable catfish expert. There are several ``catting'' (catfish fishing) techniques; the most common one uses a cane pole, sinker and live bait. In a more energetic method, people wade out into the water and jump up and down to make it muddy, forcing the unsuspecting fish to swim up for air. However, Crawford notes, ``I'm not sure polite people do this.'' Species range from ``madtoms,'' which are only two to five inches long full grown, to ``flatheads,'' which can weigh more than a hundred pounds. There seem to be as many different ways to ``fry up'' catfish as there are cooks--all convinced their own way is ``best, most traditional, and maybe even God-given.'' Readers can avoid joining that argument and proceed to sample by attemptingpk some of the recipes rounding out the volume, like catfish and broccoli chowder, catfish en papillote or catfish and sprout pita sandwich. At the very least, they can nibble on hushpuppies (there are five versions here) while listening to the more volatile cooks sort it all out. Crawford is executive director of South Delta Library Services in Yazoo City, Miss. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
Paperback - 140 pages - 978-1-60473-389-1
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