This week’s lesson elaborates on a quick how-to guide Amy, a ZSC Sergeant at Arms, included in her delicious Campfire Trout recipe many moons ago.
- A clean, flat surface to work on
- Newspaper (if you can find it)
- Bucket/cooler with cold water to store the fish until time to clean them
- 2 clean containers for the scaled/prepped fish
- Small container for fish innards
- Sharp knife
- Butter knife or fish scaler
- Plenty of cold purified water to wash the fish
- Keep the fish in cold water until you’re ready to clean them. Fish spoils rapidly after death. Plan to catch, clean, and cook the fish within a two-hour span or less.
- Prepare your cleaning table. Cover the table with newspaper. Set out everything you’ll need. Nothing is worse than getting fish goo all over your hands, then stopping to fetch the knife you forgot in the bottom of your go bag. Cleaning fish is messy. It’s best you don’t do this in camp, lest the residual mess you can’t clean attract wildlife.
- Grab your first fish and plop it on the cleaning table—keep the rest in cold water until it’s their turn. Hold the fish down by its head. Starting at the tail, use the butter knife or fish scaler to scrape the scales, working toward the head. Short, medium pressure strokes work best. Don’t press too hard, you’ll damage the flesh. Make sure to remove all the scales around the fins and gills.
- Rinse the fish. Make sure all the loose scales are rinsed off. If you have more fish to work on, store the little fellow in clean water.
- Now is not the moment to be squeamish. Set the scaled fish down on the prep table. Hold it down firmly by the head, as before. Using the sharp knife, insert the blade tip into the fish’s anus—that’s down near the tail on the underside of the fish. Note: If you have a larger fish—one larger than a frying pan’s diameter—flip it onto its back for easier cutting.
- Draw the knife along the fish’s belly, going from the tail toward the gills. Put the knife aside.
- Stick your fingers into the fish and scoop out everything inside. Dump the innards into the trash bowl. Note: Do not dispose of the innards near camp. All camp garbage should be stored elsewhere so it doesn’t attract wildlife.
- Rinse the fish. Make sure to give it a good wash inside to remove anything which could potentially make you sick.
- Off with its head! Some people are opposed to eating food that looks at them. If you want to, cut the head off behind the gills and give it another quick rinse.
- Store the clean fish in cold, clean water until you’re ready to cook it. We suggest using Commander in Chief Juliette Terzieff’s quick and easy recipe.
Yawn if you’re as tired of the same recycled story line as I am.
The gang is back together again. Citizen Z actually did something right, leading everyone to the same underground bunker in Utah for a happy reunion and to grab supplies from Chester. Who happened to put a bullet in his brain not too long before they showed up. Oops. Oh well, the food and water are still there. Before the hugging and back-patting fest, Addy and Mack venture the tunnels alone, killing any stray zombies they came across. One already dispatched zombie is tied to a chair with a bag over his head. O . . . kay. Seems perfectly normal.
In another room, four zombies shamble around aimlessly. Addy takes the lead, dancing into the fray and singing a nursery rhyme with an apocalypse twist. Mack isn’t entertained. He’s concerned about the lingering effects from Addy’s breakdown at the river. (I’m still concerned about the lingering effects of that episode on my mind, as well, Mack.)
Mack asks Addy, “You couldn’t just give them Mercy?”
Addy replies, “What fun would that be?”
Not long after everyone is reunited, Addy takes a swing at Chester’s corpse. More than a few swings. It looks like she is warming up for the Home Run Derby. “Somebody got up on the wrong side of the apocalypse,” Murphy observes. Hey, Mack? Your girlfriend lost a cog or four after her little dream-fest. May want to see if you can find her professional help.
Good news, everyone! The scientists in California aren’t dead. Just when I thought for sure the gang would be left up Feces Creek with nothing but Murphy’s shining personality to paddle with, Citizen Z delivers the good news—their cross-country trek and the lives they’ve taken/loss aren’t a giant waste of time. Paired with the new-to-them SUV and they may just arrive in California with everyone safe and sound. Unless the writers decide to employ yet another vehicle mishap to delay the mission again.
On their way through Utah, west of Salt Lake City, the gang comes across a handful of zombie boys. Further up the road, they spot a live boy walking along like there’s no apocalypse. The boy is under the impression that he can simply walk into Mord—Salt Lake City and visit his father. After all, his mother says it’s okay. Roberta isn’t buying it. Why lie to the kid about the city being overrun? They pack the kid into the overly crowded SUV and drive down the road to talk to mommy dearest about her shining parenting skills.
Despite bringing back the kid safe and sound, the crew is met at the community’s gate by armed women. There’s not a man in sight. For a reason—there’s absolutely no men allowed inside the gates. Not even humanity’s savior. Murphy, Mack, Doc, and 10k remain outside while Roberta, Addy, and Cassandra head inside for a little R&R, supplies, and treatment for the infection on Cassandra’s leg. It takes no time at all for the community’s head sister-wife, Helen, to start manipulating Addy. She comes across as the ideal person for Addy to work through her problems with, begin healing the trauma she forgot for so long. Actually, Helen just wants another strong woman in her group.
The entire compound runs on the idea that men created the apocalypse. Helen murdered her abusive husband. Scouts from the group venture out to track abused women and bring them into the sister-wife fold. But they don’t just bring the women, oh no. They snag the men and dispense their particular brand of justice—feeding the abusers to a zombie bear without trial. At one point, they take Addy and Roberta along for one of these rescue missions. A motorcycle crew (MC) has two women bound and trapped in their sidecars. The sister-wives stage a broke-down car and wait. The MC guys take the bait, offering to help. They’re outnumbered. It doesn’t take much for the women to disarm and capture them, tying them all together. Then Helen puts her master plan to work, asking Addy to shoot an MC member. She uses Addy’s trauma from the cannibal fiasco to egg her on. Addy pulls the trigger and doesn’t flinch. The MC guys are left to fend for themselves against their newly undead buddy.
Back at the compound, Murphy has his own R&R time with a buxom blonde. On her way back inside the gate, the blonde is held hostage by the surviving MC member. Mack saves the day. But it doesn’t make him feel any better. Why? Addy wants to stay with Helen and the sister-wives. She’s certain if she continues on the mission to California, it’ll be the end of her . . . or Mack. Neither a prospect she can handle with her current mental problems. Should Addy find a safe place to hole up until Murphy’s cure is dispersed? Totally. Should she stay for Helen to use as her personal executioner? No way. Nothing Mack says changes Addy’s mind. He charges the gate to try one last time to convince her to leave. One of the sister-wives shoots him in the shoulder. Roberta tries to save him from himself. Mack pulls a gun on her. Eventually Roberta steps aside. Gunshots ring out. We have no clue what happens to Mack.
Two characters dropped off the mission. It’s not a huge loss considering Addy and Mack weren’t with the crew for several episodes. When they were, Addy’s mental hiccups prevented her from providing much help and Mack spent more time keeping her safe than protecting the asset—Murphy’s miraculous blood. Seems like things are back on track for Mission Save Everyone. Good thing. There’s only two episodes left.