Fish Fry # 1 for 2023 is in the books


The long running tradition of the Knights of Columbus providing a fish dinner to members of the parish continued this past Friday February 24th, 2023 as 41 Knights, two lady Knights, and 3 guests cooked, served and generally orchestrated the first fish fry of the year.  Mary Archer and Cindy Florentes joined their husbands at this event and Joe Hernandez (son of Gamaliel Hernandez), Cappy Wood, and Gilbert Compos were helping guests. 

Eduardo and Cindy Florentes, Eric Conner, and Larry Balagna in the background
Doug Karpan and Frank Salazar making tartar sauce

While we starting serving at 5pm, lots of preparation had already taken. place The gymnasium was set up, the serving line was made ready, salads were constructed, coleslaw bowls were prepared, tea was brewed and iced down, lemonade was made, tartar sauce was made, fish were thawed, lots of fished were pre-cooked, french fries were prepared and so also hushpuppies, while beans were in a warmer. All this preparation happened from about 3pm until 5pm – some even before that.  While 41 Knights arrived to help with this event, there wasn’t really enough jobs or space for this many Knight; so for some Knights it was a cameo appearance.  Even at the end of the fish fry there was an adequate number of Knights to do the cleanup. 

Perhaps because this was the first in-house fish fry since the pandemic or perhaps the price was right, we were swamped with guests from 5pm until closing time.  During those 2 plus hours we served over 300 guests.  Larry Balagna thawed 11 cases of fish with each case containing about 56 fish for a total of 616 catfish.  The frying crew even broke out additional frying vessels to keep up with the demand.

The serving line

All the while a whole line of Knights and helpers were serving the guests (including assembling fish tacos) with many guests having multiple to-go boxes making the evening quite an exciting and sometime stressful occasion.  A special “thank you” to James Smith, the overall honcho of the event, David Ybarra, who watched out for all the frying guys, Mary and Keith Archer for organizing the serving line, and Dan Murphy who just seemed to help wherever needed.  Thank you also to those who showed up and contributed some time to make this event possible.  Kudos to   Keith Archer, Mary Archer, Larry Balagna, Ben Burns, Tim Burns, Billy Calander, Fred Ciarochi, Mike Clark, Gilbert Compos, Eric Conner, Joe Cuellar, David Dybala, John Espree, Marc Evans, Cindy Florentes, Eduardo Florentes, Mike Fitzgerald, Gamaliel Hernandez, Joe Hernandez, Doug Karpan, Rod Kinard, Russell LeRoy, Hector Lopez, Adan Luna, Ben Luna, Jeff Miller, Jose Montoya, Dan Murphy, Robert Nieto, Efrain Ochoa, Peter Petra, Ramon Presas, Jack Ramsden, Steve Reid, Allen Reitmeier, Jim Russell, Frank Salazar, Rolando Sobalvarro, James Smith, Jeff Traub, Cesar Villarreal, Greg Warr, Cappie Wood, David Ybarra, Robby Zablan, Jesse Zuniga. 

Also in attendance were Gilda Evans who supervised sale of cookies and cupcakes for the Catholic Daughters of America and Alex Sabo engaged in the sale of chances to win up to $10,000 to benefit Pro-life.  There will be another fish fry next Friday – same time, same format.  Hope to see you all there again.