Charles Adams, the present efficient and popular superintendent of Epworth by the Sea on St. Simons Island, and his amiable wife Millie have been our good friends for a long time. At first, our relationship was strictly professional. He was our district superintendent in the Statesboro District of the United Methodist Church. When Charles discovered that I was a fair cook, I was appointed district cook every year at the setup meeting held annually at the Tattnall Campground in Tattnall County.
Time passed and our relationship with Charles and Millie developed into more than just professional. When Bishop Michael Watson appointed Charles Superintendent of Epworth by the Sea, and he and Millie moved into the Superintendent’s Residency just up the street from us, we were elated. Across the years, we’ve enjoyed, and still enjoy, good times together. We travel together occasionally, walk together on St. Simons, visit in each other’s homes, and do a lot of cooking in and cooking out together.
Charles is an avid angler. He catches many nice fish, cleans them and stores them in his freezer. When he gets an ample supply, he gives a fish fry and, as has been his tradition, appoints B. J. and me cooks.
A few days ago, Charles announced at one of our meetings that he had enough fish for a fry. The invited guests would be the retired preachers on St. Simons, Jekyll and in Brunswick and Darien. In addition, as expected the cooks for the event would be B. J. and me. The date was set for Thursday March 3 at 6:00pm.
There is no place more beautiful to cook out on St. Simons than Charles and Millie’s home. They have a lovely sprawling yard dotted with tall stately pines bordered by the marshlands of the Golden Isles that reach almost up to the backyard patio.
The word was that a goodly number of people were coming. We would need two cookers-Charles’ and mine.
B. J. and I went up to the Adams’ at 4:00pm. Millie was in her lovely kitchen thawing the plentiful amount of nice bream, white perch and succulent catfish. B. J. joined right in with Millie and they happily chatted as they readied the fish for cooking. I went outside and set the cookers up, poured in the cooking oil and made ready to fry the pile of fish.
The happy guests began arriving and bringing tasty dishes to go with the fish. Dave and Kaye Hanson brought a big pot of cheese grits, Jim and Barbara Jensen presented a new and different kind of crunch coleslaw—Asian coleslaw, Beau and Roberta Taylor added another delicious dish of coleslaw, Mabel and Don Proctor brought another pot of grits. B. J. made a new dessert—cream cheese Danish, and etc. The big serving bar in Charles and Millie’s elegant living room was literally loaded with fine fare.
B. J. had prepared a plentiful supply of corndodger (hush puppy if you prefer) mix and had it ready to fry.
At 4:45pm, I put the first fish in the cookers. I aimed to have the fish ready to eat by 6:00pm.
As the fish began sizzling, the tantalizing aroma filled the air and fogged out over the marsh. It is always a great feeling to cook out near the marsh with Charles and Millie. The breathtaking panorama of the Frederica River and the Marshes of Glynn spreading across to the mainland gives me a great feeling.
As more guests arrived, the men joined in to give a helping hand around the cookers, Jim Kenny and George Herndon and Charles assisted B. J. with the hush puppies and they all assisted me with taking up the “done fish” and putting more fish in the cookers. The girls went inside to assist Millie. There was a lot of happy camaraderie as everyone yackety-yacked about this and that.
At 6:00pm, the fish were ready, all the food was in place, and our appetites were working overtime. Charles welcomed everyone and said the blessing and we dug in. Boy was it all so fundelicious. The fish were so yummy! I got a lot of great comments.
The superintendent’s house has an adorable sunroom with a long table draped with a colorful cloth and big glass windows all around that gives a cozy charm and a magnificent view of the marsh. B. J. and I love to eat in there so we can enjoy the warm appeal and the superb view while dining.
After the scrumptious meal, we all relaxed, sat around and chitchatted about various preacherly matters including the upcoming appointments for the next church year.
We had excellent food and terrific fun. We vowed not to wait so long until doing it again.