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Friends & Fish Dip

“Good friends are hard to find, harder to leave, and impossible to forget.”

G. Randolph

When we first moved to the Treasure Coast, I was so worried about being far away from the family and friends I relied on all the time.  I remember thinking to myself, what if I have car issues and Ross is at sea and my Daddy is 3 hours away?  Or what if I crave the comfort of my Mama’s kitchen where we just talked, had a snack, and watched my niece bounce around?  What if I need a little therapy from my best friend while I sip on an ice-cold beer in “the bucket” of her couch?  I was so unsure of how I’d handle these situations, and it was definitely a scary time for me.

There were many times when I just missed ‘home’, and to be honest, occasionally I still do.  But instead of focusing on all the things I missed, I started to focus on the life I was building with my sweet captain. Home will always be there, and family and friends are only a phone call away. We were very lucky to have my step-sister and brother-in-law close by, and we began making friends quicker than I imagined!  Nothing could ever take the place of the relationships we cherish back home, but the new additions to our “crew” are equally as important.

Ross is so much better at making friends than I am.  He’s kind of like a golden retriever that will just walk up to new people with a smile and a “how ya doin’?” Whereas I’m more of a chihuahua that needs time to figure out if I’m going to love you or if I’m going to keep my distance and growl if you get too close! All in all, we have met some AWESOME people here.  People who give us work when we need it, help on the boat when we need it, and people who love on us when we need it.

Just recently, our friend Bernie offered to smoke several fillets of mackerel we had in our deep freezer.  The fillets were in vacuumed sealed bags, thanks to another friend, Craig, who packaged them up for us.  Bernie did an excellent job smoking the variation of King, Cero, and Spanish mackerels.  We decided to use some of it to make homemade fish dip!  Here’s a video on how we managed to make fish dip for the first time ever:

I’m going to be honest; I didn’t expect the fish dip to turn out as good as it did. However, it was very tasty! The way the smokey flavors mixed with the onion, cream cheese, and mayonnaise…delicious!  We spread the dip on a buttery, flakey cracker, and topped it with our own homemade pickled jalapeños.  We couldn’t get enough of the dip! Using only two fillets of the smoked fish, it made way more than the two of us could handle.  We nearly filled a large mixing bowl! Restaurants sell this stuff for $10 or more for a scoop, and here we have a huge bowl of it!  We didn’t want any of it to go to waste and we really wanted to share our scrumptious dip , so we packaged it up and delivered it to a couple families who we knew would enjoy it. 

Here’s the recipe!

The way the fish was packaged before it went to the smoker really got me thinking.  It was still very fresh even being in our freezer for a while.  Ross has been mentioning for a long time that he wanted a vacuum sealer for the meat we buy in bulk and for the fish we catch.  I kept putting it off simply because our place is small and we don’t have a lot of room for storage.  I finally caved and bought this FoodSaver vacuum sealer:

Nothing will make you feel more like an adult than buying kitchen appliances! The FoodSaver was a great purchase and is something that will reduce waste and save us money in the long run.  I didn’t realize (DUH) that it came with 2 large rolls of plastic (so you can customize the bag size) and several loose vacuum seal bags that are ready to go, so I bought a package of Nutri-Lock vacuum sealer bags as well. Needless to say, everything is getting vacuum sealed! We broke in our new sealer by packaging all of the smoked fish so that we could freeze it and make more dip later!

While searching for the perfect vacuum sealer on Amazon, I came across a nifty little gadget that I just had to have:

It’s a Bag Sealer! Super easy to use, and the magnet on the back allows you to store it on the refrigerator which gives you easy access to sealing any bag you want to make air-tight. It takes 2 AA batteries (which come with it), and also has a blade installed for easy opening. Family and friends, don’t be surprised if you get one of these for Christmas!

A safety switch is pushed up to reveal the blade.
Putting our new bag sealer to work.

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Smoked Fish Dip Recipe


2 fillets of Smoked Mackerel

1 Sweet Onion

8 oz Cream Cheese

1 cup Mayonnaise

1/2 cup Sour Cream

Pinch of Old Bay

Black Pepper to Taste


Bring Cream Cheese close to room temp.

Remove all skin/blood lines from fillets.

Finely chop fish and put into mixing bowl.

Finely chop onion and add to bowl.

Add cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, and seasonings to other ingredients and mix well.

Spread on cracker topped with pickled jalapeño and enjoy!