Coffee To Go (Chapter Four, page 1 of 5)

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Following him to a table near the shed, she watched as he brought over a board with an attached clamp, and two fish knives. Picking up a fish, he quickly hit it on the back of the head with the butt end of a knife, killing it instantly. Placing the head in the clamp on the board, the fish on its side, he said, "Watch carefully. This is the tricky part. Starting just below the head, make an incision across the neck, lay the knife flat on the edge of the incision, and then slice the flesh from the side of the fish, being careful to stay just on top of the spine. Slice it to the tail and lift it off. I normally put it in the water while I prepare the rest of the filets, but you are going to do the next part."

"Are you serious?"

"Yep. It's not that difficult." Picking up a short piece of pine two-by-six, he set it on the table in front of her. Handing her the filet knife, he placed the filet, skin side down, on the board. Taking her hand, he had her run her fingers up the length of the filet until she found the ridge of tiny bones.

"Now all you have to do is make a V cut on each side of that strip of bones, not all the way through to the skin, but just enough to get under the bones, and lift them off. I'll remove the skin later. Think you can handle that?"

"Doesn't sound too difficult, but you'd better watch this first one to make sure I'm doing it right. It feels a bit like performing surgery." Melanie was nervous, but determined.

"That's a good way to describe it. Be careful with the knife - the blade is really sharp."

"Yes, Boss." Working carefully as he had instructed, she successfully cut out a small strip and removed it. Running her fingers back up the filet, she was happy to discover there were no more bones to be found.

Working quietly together, they soon had all four filets prepared and marinating in lemon juice. Russ had wrapped two potatoes in foil to bake on the barbecue. Once it was lit, warmed up, and the potatoes placed inside, he opened a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and poured two glasses. "The potatoes will take quite a while, so we can relax and enjoy our wine." He had placed two lawn chairs side by side, facing the lake.

How can he bear to leave this place and go back into town? Melanie was totally captivated by the peace and quiet, the bird songs in the background, and the sunlight sparkling on the water. The busy world of work, traffic, telephones and emails had melted away and she felt really happy.

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